Held each October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a global health movement aimed at increasing awareness of the disease, as well as raising money for research, diagnosis, treatment, an eventual cure, and overall prevention. The annual movement also provides helpful information and an abundance of support to women currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer.
Founded in 1985 as a partnership between the American Cancer Society and a popular pharmaceutical company, National Breast Cancer Awareness month—or NBCAM for short—has gradually evolved from a simple grassroots movement aimed at promoting mammography to the widespread celebration of life and wellness it is today.
NBCAM also offers a wide variety of events and activities throughout October, to include geographically dispersed runs, walks, and the pink-hued illumination of well-known buildings such as the Tokyo Tower. As United States football fans may know, the National Football League also devotes their time to awareness by incorporating pink into many player’s uniforms. Typically these rose-hued game shoes, towels and gloves are then auctioned off by the massive sports organization, with proceeds going to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the United States’ largest and most well-funded organization devoted to breast cancer.
Susan G Komen’s National Race for the Cure is a pinnacle event of NBCAM, and is currently considered the world’s largest breast cancer fundraising event. The first 5k race was held in 1983 in Dallas, Texas with a mere 800 participants. By 2010, the Race for the Cure drew 1.6 million participants and well over 100,000 volunteers. Donations are customarily collected by race participants, with nearly three quarters of the proceeds devoted to breast cancer-related community outreach programs.
According to recent numbers, there are currently more than 130 Race for the Cures held in various cities each year. Additionally, a historic event surrounding this fundraising tradition also occurred in 2010 when Jerusalem held its first Race for the Cure on October 28. More than 5,000 people from all walks of faith including Muslim, Christian and Judaism participated in the walk in an effort to show solidarity to those suffering from cancer.
Aside from the well-known Race for the Cure, NBCAM also hosts a variety of awareness walks with the purpose of raising money to go to research institutes. As an example, beauty products manufacturer Avon sponsors a 39-mile walk, which spans two days, while Canada’s popular “Weekend to End Breast Cancer” features a 60-mile stroll. Several cities throughout North America also participate in a three-day fund raising walk. The Diva Dash is another 5k that has gained popularity over the past few years and is now offered in select cities across the United States. Proceeds from this girls-only event also go to research.
This year, television network BET is also getting involved in the fight against breast cancer. In partnership with Planned Parenthood, the network will be sponsoring “The Breast Party Ever” this October, which is a series of events held across the United States celebrating lifesaving health services. The party’s purpose is bringing together women, medical providers, community leaders, and entertainers to educate women about breast health awareness.
With this type of cancer, it is important to remember that early detection is key. Call the Woodlands OBGYN Associates today at 282.364.9898 to schedule a mammogram.