It is the beginning of October and everywhere you turn, there are little pink ribbons. You continuously ask yourself, “What’s the meaning of this? ” Do not feel discouraged because all around the world, there are thousands of people that do not know the true meaning to these little pink ribbons. Some think that it is a new fashion statement; many think it’s the person’s favorite color. In reality, these ribbons are more than a fashion statement and have a greater significance than one can ever imagine.
First distributed in 1991 in New York City, breast cancer ribbons were merely a test of interest. Now, they are displayed freely around the world. In the month of October, the presentation of these ribbons is not just some simple task. It is, in fact, a celebration of life. These ribbons are worn by many around the world to symbolize their support in the fight for a cure to breast cancer. Every year, the fourth Monday in October is celebrated as Pink Ribbon Day, where money is raised and activities are harvested for the awareness and battle of breast cancer.
This day is one of the most effective days to raise money for the research and awareness of early prevention and the disease itself. In effort for the message of awareness to get out; there is not just one company to promote these pink ribbons. Any company has the right to create their own style of the ribbon to spread the word internationally. So, don’t settle for just one ribbon type because there are endless amounts to choose from. These ribbons have strong importance in the fight for the cure, even if you purchase a small, little pin, you will be contributing and making a difference.
Now with the meaning and its importance in hand, help and support the cause (Fernandez 1998). The ribbons had an interesting story, right? A very strong, positive message to get the community involved in medical action, but what exactly is breast cancer? How does it form? When was it first discovered? All of these questions come to mind as one is looking deeper into the importance of breast cancer awareness in the world. Breast cancer is defined as cancer of the glandular breast tissue. Although it is found in both male and female patients, it is most commonly found in women.
Studies have shown that worldwide breast cancer is responsible for almost 1% of all deaths, and is the fifth most common form of cancer. On average, an estimated 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year and of that, 40,000 will die. With early detection, the five-year survival rate will increase by 96% (Arimidex 2009). Knowing that our country is one that promotes the awareness and prevention of breast cancer, one would have never thought that the discovery of this disease was in existence for such a long time in other places around the world.
In my research, I found that the ancient Egyptians were the first to make this miraculous discovery more than 3,500 years ago. They thought the disease to be tumors or ulcers on the breast. They believed that there was no cure for this and the only form of removal was to burn it off with a tool called the “fire drill” (Camp 2004). Later in the years, doctors had found a connection between the lymph nodes in the armpit and breast cancer. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Jean Petit and Benjamin Bell were the first to remove the lymph nodes in order to save the lives of many of the cancer carriers.
By the 1880’s William Halsted began to perform mastectomies, breast removal. This was a commonly used, popular procedure (Schover 1993). In 1976, Bernard Fisher decided to challenge Halsted’s theory to prove that the removal of breasts was not the end to the cancer cells. In his efforts, he confirmed that the treatment of the cancer by radiation, chemotherapy, and hormone treatments would conserve breast and save more lives. By 1995, the causes of deaths due to breast cancer began to decrease and less than 10% percent of women had mastectomies (Chitranshi 2009).
In many cases, breast cancer symptoms do not turn out to represent underlying breast cancer. These normally turn out to be benign diseases of the breast and only represent the more common symptoms similar to breast cancer itself. However, appearance of new breast symptoms should be taken very seriously by patients and doctors. The possibility of an underlying breast cancer can develop at any age. As with all types of cancer, the detection and treatment of breast cancer has a far greater chance of a positive outcome by detecting it earlier rather than later (Lauder 2009).
Of course, none of this would be possible if there wasn’t a major foundation supporting these heroic efforts. My advertisement was based upon the message of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. This foundation wanted to portray the message that women could be and feel beautiful even after the many treatments that they would face to fight off breast cancer. The advertisement wanted to make people aware of the disease and the many ways that they could help with research and prevention.
With as little as a dollar, 85 cents will go to research and awareness programs. A little can go a long way (Sledge 1995). Founded in 1993 by Evelyn H. Lauder, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation fought to get more assistance to increase the fight against breast cancer. After petitioning the White House, they were granted nearly $160, 000 for 8 researchers. By 1998, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation had reached its five year mark and had risen over $4,000,000 for research and had hundreds of sponsors to support their fight.
Throughout the years, up until now, the Breast Cancer Research foundations has raised over $100,000,000 for research and has granted another life to a fighter of breast cancer. (Lauder 2009) The Breast Cancer Research Foundation wants its supporters to know what they are about and the goal to succeed with their research, “The mission of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation is to achieve prevention and a cure for breast cancer in our lifetime by providing critical funding for innovative clinical and translational research at leading medical centers worldwide, and increasing public awareness about good breast health.
A minimum of 85 cents of every dollar goes to research and awareness programs” (Lauder 2009). In their mission statement, they explain to us what our money is going towards. They are loyal to their supporters and they want everyone to be completely confident with their organization. While a cure has not yet been found, public perception surrounding breast cancer has changed dramatically. Once a disease that many women felt ashamed to discuss, breast cancer now has lost much of its disgrace.
The message that we all can make a difference, whether big or small is true. The ancient Egyptians, although they did not know it, were making a huge difference with their tremendous discovery. Jean Petit, Benjamin Bell, and William Halsted all made small discoveries that have made such an extravagant change in today’s research and awareness for breast cancer. In closing, my advertisement shows a woman that looks as if she has overcame the struggle of her disease and treatment.
This is a message to everyone that shows the significance of their small impact, whether donation or support. Breast cancer is a disease that will be studied for years to come, but as long as we support it, there is always a brighter tomorrow. So now that you have been informed, when October comes, you too can wear a pink ribbon proudly and know of its significance.
“Breast cancer information for cancer patients. ” ARIMIDEX | hormonal treatment for post menopausal women with hormone receptor positive breast cancer. AstraZeneca, May 2009. Web. 01 Nov. 2009. Camp, Annie S. “The History of Breast Cancer – Fighting the Most Common Cancer in Women. ” Search Your Love. SYL Corp, Feb. 2004. Web. 1 Nov. 2009. Chitranshi, Mansi. “Brest Cancer – History, Facts, and Statistics. ” Article Wave Thoughts (2009). Article Wave. Live 24 Networks, 10 Mar. 2009. Web. 1 Nov. 2009. Fernandez, Sandy M. “History of the Pink Ribbon: Think Before You Pink” Breast Cancer Action. June-July 1998. Web. 01 Nov. 2009. Lauder, Evelyn. Timeline of History and Events. ” BCRF: providing critical funding for innovative clinical and genetic research. The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Jan. -Feb. 2009. Web. 18 Nov. 2009. Schover, Leslie R. BreastCancer. org – Breast Cancer Treatment Information and Pictures. The Antoinette Westphal Living Legacy, Oct. 1993. Web. 01 Nov. 2009. Sledge, George. BCRF: providing critical funding for innovative clinical and genetic research. The American Institute of Philanthropy, Aug. -Sept. 1995. Web. 01 Nov. 2009.