Hurray, October dawns and spans out, and there comes the much craze about the Colour Pink, a Ribbon and all in the name of Breast Cancer Awareness.
But, take a pause, reflect on these three things, yes, the colour pink, the ribbon in solidaarity and the month of October, Have you ever wondered where all the traffic and attention towards these 3 goes after?
History of Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Breast Cancer Awareness Month, international health campaign lasting the month of October that is intended to increase global awareness of breast cancer. … The first organized effort to bring widespread attention to breast cancer occurred as a weeklong event in the United States in October 1985. Since then, campaigns to increase awareness of the disease, to educate people about methods of prevention and early detection, and to raise money to support research have extended to countries around the world. Today, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and medical societies work together to promote breast cancer awareness. – Kara Rogers
"Breast cancer is the top cancer in women worldwide and is increasing particularly in developing countries where the majority of cases are diagnosed in late stages." – @WHO @afrosages Click To Tweet
“Breast cancer is the top cancer in women both in the developed and the developing world. The incidence of breast cancer is increasing in the developing world due to increase life expectancy, increase urbanization and adoption of western lifestyles. Although some risk reduction might be achieved with prevention, these strategies cannot eliminate the majority of breast cancers that develop in low- and middle-income countries where breast cancer is diagnosed in very late stages. Therefore, early detection in order to improve breast cancer outcome and survival remains the cornerstone of breast cancer control.” – World Health Organisation
What are the Prevalence and Death Rates?
It is estimated that worldwide over 508k women died in 2011 due to breast cancer (Global Health Estimates, WHO 2013). Breast Cancer as many would assume to be a disease of the developed world due to their enormous medical infrastructure and level of awareness for early detection and treatment.
But according to GLOBOCAN in its 2008 figures, a whooping over 50% of all breast cancer cases and 58% of deaths occur in less developed countries and this is largely due to late detection, from poor awareness levels, financial difficulties as well as access to treatment facilities.
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Why Breast Cancer Awareness should Transcend Symbols and Months
Largely and particularly in the developing worlds, much media, governmental and NGO focus is given to the month of October where emphasis is placed on the Pink Ribbon a few screen sessions are held to commemorate the Breast Cancer Awareness.
The real test of the awareness is how follow ups are done to ensure that the incidence and death rates due to breast cancer are decreasing.
Is there a monthly call or reminder by the stakeholders to ensure there is BSE(Breast Self Examination)?- A practice that will empower women and help them in taking responsibility for their own health since many cannot afford the CBE(Clinical Breast Examination) or Mammography.
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Should something as basic as a weekly, bi-monthly or monthly awareness of breast cancer should be denied the low income woman in the developed country? Could be it be sponsored by these stakeholders that would only wait for the month of October to clad in Pink clothing and use the occasion to sell their merchandise? We ask!
Learn How to Conduct Breast Self Examination(BSE) Today!
Take this as a clarion call to let another know that early detection is half the problem solved.
Encourage someone to do at least a monthly self breast examination.
Stay Healthy, spread the knowledge to keep another also healthy and do remind them that Breast Cancer Awareness goes beyond the Pink Ribbon and the Month of October!
SIGNED – AFROSAGES.