October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

October 13, 2019

Breast cancer awareness month is an annual campaign in October that highlights the importance of breast cancer awareness, education, and research. Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer with 271,270 new cases expected in the United States in 2019.

Breast cancer does not discriminate.

Typically when people think of breast cancer, they assume it pertains to women; however, breast cancer may occur in men at any age. It usually occurs in males between 60 and 70 years of age. Even though the survival rate for men with breast cancer is similar to women, it is often diagnosed at a later stage which makes it less likely to be cured. The following tests and procedures may be used to detect and diagnose breast cancer in men:

  • Physical exam and history
  • Clinical breast exam (CBE)
  • Mammogram
  • Ultrasound exam
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
  • Blood chemistry studies
  • Biopsy

Why we wear pink

            Before it was pink, it was peach! In the early 1990s, 68-year-old breast cancer survivor Charlotte Haley began making peach colored ribbons by hand in her home. She led a grassroots movement, handing out thousands of ribbons at local supermarkets with cards that read: “The National Center Institute annual budget is $1.8 billon, only 5 percent goes for cancer prevention. Help us wake up our legislators and America by wearing this ribbon.”

            As her movement grew, executives from Estee Lauder and Self Magazine saw the potential of a ribbon branded to breast cancer. Haley told their representatives she wouldn’t work with them – they were too corporate and commercial for her. After consulting with their lawyers, these corporations found that they could still adopt Haley’s idea as long as they changed the ribbons color. Soon, Haley’s original peach ribbon was history and her original grassroots movement was transformed into the iconic pink ribbon that is now recognized worldwide as the symbol for breast cancer.