|March 26, 2016|
Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) (also referred to in America as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) ) is an annual international health campaign organized by major breast cancer charities every October to increase awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention and cure. The campaign also offers information and support to those affected by breast cancer.
As well as providing a platform for breast cancer charities to raise awareness of their work and of the disease, BCAM is also a prime opportunity to remind women to be breast aware for earlier detection.
AstraZeneca, which manufactures breast cancer drugs Arimidex and Tamoxifen, founded the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the year 1985. The aim of the NBCAM from the start has been to promote mammography as the most effective weapon in the fight against breast cancer.
In 1993 Evelyn Lauder, Senior Corporate Vice President of the Est??e Lauder Companies founded The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and established the Pink Ribbon as its symbol, though this was not the first time the ribbon was used to symbolize breast cancer. In the fall of 1991, the Susan G. Komen Foundation had handed out Pink Ribbons to participants in its New York City race for breast cancer survivors.
The National Race for the Cure
In October 1983 the Race for the Cure was held for the first time in Dallas, Texas, where 800 people participated. According to the organizers, by 2002 the number of participants reached 1.3 million and the event was held in over 100 US cities. The event is also being organized in several other parts of the World.
Breast Cancer 2 Day
There are various two-day-long walks to raise money for breast cancer research institutes. Avon sponsors a 39 mile (60 km) walk. A walk in Atlanta offers varying lengths of up to 30 miles. Canada's large "Weekend to End Breast Cancer" features a 60 km walk.
Susan G. Komen 3 Day For the Cure
This sixty mile fundraising walk, which is spread across 3 days, raises money for breast cancer research. This walk, which benefits Susan G. Komen for the Cure occurs in several cities in the United States. The Breast Cancer 3-Day was previously sponsored and managed by Avon .
Ride to Empower
The Ride to Empower started in 2008 and raises money for Breast Cancer Network of Strength's programs. The Ride to Empower is a destination bike ride, with fully-supported route lengths ranging from a 100 miles to less than 32 miles. The location for the Ride to Empower changes yearly.
Est??e Lauder Companies has arranged to have more than a dozen world-famous landmarks illuminated in pink light to draw attention to the importance of mammography screening for early diagnosis of breast cancer as well as the research for finding ways to cure and prevent breast cancer. Some of these landmarks are:
During Breast Cancer Awareness Month each October, people raise money by organizing activities such as theme parties or a "pink day" (when employees wear pink clothing or accessories) at work. The money raised is donated to the organizers' choice of breast cancer care or research programs.
National Football League
During the month of October, the National Football League promotes breast cancer awareness by incorporating pink on its websites, graphics, and advertisements. Players also show support by wearing pink gloves, cleats, captains patches, and other apparel during games.
Pink comic strips
Over 50 comic strip artists used pink on October 10, 2010, using the pink ribbon with the words "Cartoonists Care". King Features Syndicate inspired the plan.
It has been alleged that "the BCAM idea 'was conceived and paid for by a British chemical company that both profits from this epidemic and may be contributing to its cause...'".
Sometimes referred to as National Breast Cancer Industry Month, critics of NBCAM point to a conflict of interest between corporations sponsoring breast cancer awareness while profiting from diagnosis and treatment. The breast cancer advocacy organization, Breast Cancer Action, has pointed out repeatedly in newsletters and other information sources that October has become a public relations campaign that avoids discussion of the causes and prevention of breast cancer and instead focuses on ???awareness??? as a way to encourage women to get their mammograms. The term Pinkwashing has been used by Breast Cancer Action to describe the actions of companies which manufacture and use chemicals which show a link with breast cancer and at the same time publicly support charities focused on curing the disease. Other criticisms center on the marketing of "pink products" and tie ins, citing that more money is spent marketing these campaigns than is donated to the cause.
Cure as "Treatment" vs. "Prevention"
The Cancer Prevention Coalition has criticized the basic message of NBCAM as a form of victim blaming because it focuses on "early detection and treatment" while ignoring environmental factors. According Aaron Blair, Ph.D., chief of the Occupational Epidemiology Branch in National Cancer Institute's Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, For breast cancer, hormone use is one of the major factors affecting risk. According to Rose Marie Williams, a columnist for the Townsend Letter, drug, chemical, and biotechnology companies have a vested interest in treating the disease rather than finding ways to minimize its rate of incidence. Recent studies show that breast cancer is linked to several environmental and genetic factors which can be controlled or mitigated.
GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "National Breast Cancer Awareness Month".
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