by Jana Royer-Morian
So, you most likely know that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM), right? With all the pretty pinkness around it’s kind of hard to miss. But do you know why we celebrate in October, and how all of the pretty-in-pinkness came about?
Well I am here to tell you; NBCAM was founded as a partnership between the American Cancer Societyand the pharmaceutical division of Imperial Chemical Industries (now part of AstraZeneca, maker of several anti-breast cancer drugs). In October of 1983 the “Race for the Cure” was held for the first time in Dallas, Texas, where nearly 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.
And now to all of the pretty pink stuff;
In 1993 Evelyn Lauder, Senior Corporate Vice President of Estee Lauder founded The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and established the pink ribbon as its symbol. However, this was not the first time the pink ribbon had been used.
In the fall of 1991, the Susan G. Komen Foundation handed out pink ribbons to participants in its New York City race for breast cancer survivors. These days we see this pink everywhere from world famous landmarks illuminated in pink light to draw attention to the importance of mammography screening to our NFL players who show support by wearing pink gloves, cleats, captain’s patches, and other apparel during games.
SO how do we stay on top of protecting ourselves and loved ones? The American Cancer Society recommends these screening guidelines for most adults:
- Yearly mammograms are recommended starting at age 40 and continuing for as long as a woman is in good health
- Clinical breast exam (CBE) about every 3 years for women in their 20s and 30s and every year for women 40 and over
- Women should know how their breasts normally look and feel and report any breast change promptly to their health care provider. Breast self-exam (BSE) is an option for women starting in their 20s.
At Inspired Wellness Center we will be kicking off October by participating in the Denver Race for the Cure and making it a family affair! Almost everybody knows someone who has been touched by breast cancer so we hope you’ll join us in celebrating this month and the people who have had to deal with this terrible disease. You can join the fight by donating money, volunteering to do something nice for a survivor, participating in local events, encouraging loved ones to commit to scheduling their screenings or do what one local Denver woman did- paint your house pink for the month of October! (ok-the last one might be a little extreme, but you get the idea!)