Importance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer for women. It accounts for nearly 30% of cases in the United States alone. Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an annual event to help raise awareness about breast cancer and to promote early detection, prevention, and treatment. The first one was held in 1985 after more than 125 women with breast cancer wrote to President Ronald Reagan’s wife Nancy requesting her help in bringing attention to the disease.
October is traditionally the month when many types of awareness campaigns are held, due to its link with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer for women. It accounts for more than one-third of all cancers among American females.
How has Breast Cancer Awareness Month helped over the Years?
It was established over 30 years ago with the goal of raising awareness about breast cancer. The statistics for October 2016 indicate that there are more than 3 million women living with breast cancer. This number is significantly higher than the number of men living with prostate cancer or lung cancer.
The statistics are significant, but still, nothing compared to the number of patients diagnosed with breast cancer annually. It is one of the most popular months of the year, but are we doing enough to make an impact?
Why is a global perspective important?
A global perspective is important because there are differences in the way women in different countries perceive and experience breast cancer. It affects women around the world, and the implications this has for global health initiatives are greatly affected as well. Many countries do not have the resources to diagnose and treat cancer in general, much less a form that is this common.
The words “global” and “worldwide” are often used interchangeably. However, they do not mean the same thing. A global perspective is an inclusive outlook that considers all perspectives on a given topic, while worldwide refers to events that happen in every part of the world. We know much more must be done globally to discuss the expansion of resources to treat breast cancer.
Initiatives Around the World Aim to Raise Awareness & Prevent New Cases
Awareness of the importance of prevention is an important factor in reducing the number of new cases of breast cancer. The World Health Organization has declared the last week in October as Breast Cancer Awareness Week to raise awareness on this topic. Many in the hair industry, including Bravadas, are advocates because so many women lose their hair when going through cancer treatment.
Countries that have been most successful in diagnosing and preventing new cases include Belarus, Colombia, and Costa Rica. These countries have had their numbers drop by about half compared to the United States with rates at around one in 13 women developing breast cancer during their lifetime. If you would like to know what you can do to help, please visit the National Breast Cancer Foundation website.