Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) referred to as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) in America is organized every October to promote the awareness of breast cancer. It is an international health campaign designed with the purpose to:
1. share information on breast cancer
2. raise funds in order to carry out further research on the disease
3. make people aware about its prevention and cure
4. enhance accessibility to screening services
5. provide support and information to people already suffering from breast cancer
6.to educate and empower women to conduct self-breast examinations
BCAM is organized every October by major breast cancer charities, such as national public service organizations, government agencies and professional medical associations. The NBCAM provides a platform to breast cancer charities to increase awareness about the disease and their work. More importantly, it reminds people to undertake early detection.
Since this is the breast cancer awareness month, let’s have a brief overview about this disease.
Basics of Breast cancer
Breast cancer is a cancerous development in the cells of the breast, most commonly in the milk ducts or the lobules. It can occur both in women and men, but it is almost 100 times more common in women than men. It is the second most common cancer diagnosed amongst women in America. The increased awareness of the disease and more funding has improved the diagnosis as well as the treatment of breast cancer. The survival rates of this disease has been increasing and the deaths due to it has been on a decline. Early detection, increased awareness, and newer treatments are helping people fight this condition in a better manner.
According to studies, the risk of this disease is more among older women. Rarely, women under 35 years are diagnosed of this disease. As women above 50 years are more prone to this condition, getting regular breast check-up is essential.
Signs and symptoms of breast cancer
1. A lump in the breast or thickening that looks different from the rest part
2. A change in the shape or size of a breast
3. Discharge of blood from the nipple
4. Inverted nipple
5. Peeling of the skin on the nipple
6. Some change on the skin of the breast, such as dimpling
7. Development of redness on the skin of a breast
While self-examining the breast, if a woman finds a lump or any other change in the appearance of the breast, she should consult a doctor.
Role of NBCAM
AstraZeneca, a drug manufacturer, started the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in 1985. Since the beginning, its aim has been to make people aware about mammography, which is a diagnostic tool to detect breast cancer. The ‘Pink Ribbon’ was established as the symbol of this foundation in the year 1993. People wearing pink ribbon offer their support towards the breast cancer awareness campaign by reminding other women to take mammogram and understand the importance of breast health and screening. NBCAM celebrated its 25th anniversary in the year 2005.
Every year, in October, a number of world renowned landmarks are illuminated in pink light to attract attention of people to the importance of mammography screening in order to detect breast cancer at an early stage. Some of these landmarks in America include Perimeter Hotel, Downtown Hotel, Buckhead Hotel, and Midtown Hotel, in W Atlanta. Learn more about breast cancer in the below paragraphs.
The NBCAM organization estimates to diagnose 192,370 new cases of invasive breast cancer among women in America. Though, much has been done by the NBCAM to increase the awareness and educate people on this terrible disease, there is still a long road.
People who wish to learn more about this disease can visit the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month website (www.NBCAM.org). Though October is the designated month to promote breast cancer awareness worldwide, NBCAM website is a yearlong effort. People can take the help of this organization to solve their questions on early detections, treatment and symptoms. Join the pink ribbon campaign and make women aware, educated and empowered!!!
Let’s work proactively to eliminate deaths from this disease