By Priscila Asante
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to raise awareness on breast cancer and fund research into its causes, treatment, and cure. Since 1985, individuals, civil society organizations, communities and organizations have come together every October to show their support for the many people affected by breast cancer.
History has it that, in 1985, Breast Cancer Awareness Month was first initiated by the imperial Chemical Industries and the American Cancer Society. The first lady of USA at that time, Betty Ford organized a week-long event having been diagnosed herself of breast cancer and undergoing a mastectomy. Today, breast cancer awareness month is commemorated all over the world by thousands of women, charities, and organizations.
Its key aim is to encourage people to tell their stories, and raise awareness and funds for research of the disease. The pink ribbon is an international symbol to support breast cancer awareness month. Breast cancer is the most common cause of cancer in women. Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer among women. Roughly, around 23 to 37 percent of cases of breast cancer are prevented while most breast cancer cases affect women who are over the age of 50.
As one of the budget-friendly breast cancer awareness activities, one can choose to wear a pink ribbon during the entire month of October.
The theme for this year’s celebration is “Living beyond Breast Cancer” which highlights how collaborations continue to support people impacted by Breast Cancer.
In Ghana, the National Breast Cancer Foundation reports that a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every two minutes. However, with early detection, a woman’s survival rate goes up which is the more reason self-breast examination is important to know if one has any abnormal growth in their breasts for early treatment.
The Director of the St John Holistic Health Centre, John Awuni said observing the day is very important since it offers women the opportunity to give extra care to their breasts which is a very important organ.