Whether your wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, niece, or friend – it’s very likely that you know someone who has been affected by breast cancer. “Every day, 32 women in Pennsylvania are diagnosed with breast cancer. We have to remember that breast cancer can happen to us and to those we love. It’s imperative that we have a plan to detect the disease in its early stages and urge others to do the same,” stated Pat Halpin-Murphy, PA Breast Cancer Coalition President & Founder.
Since 1985, the month of October has been recognized as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. Throughout October breast cancer organizations nationwide take this opportunity, in addition to their year-round activities, to promote increased awareness and host events to raise essential funds to fuel research, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and finding a cure. Often associated with breast cancer awareness are the color pink and the pink ribbon.
In 1991, the pink ribbon made its first known appearance when the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation distributed them to participants in its New York City race for breast cancer survivors. The following year, Evelyn Lauder – former Estée Lauder senior corporate vice president and then breast cancer survivor – used her position in the cosmetics industry to popularize the pink ribbon. That year, about 1.5 million ribbons were distributed at cosmetics counters across the country with an attached card describing the correct way to perform a breast self-exam. It was then that people started to really take notice of the breast cancer awareness cause. Evelyn Lauder passed away from complications of non-genetic ovarian cancer in November 2011, after many years of commitment to breast cancer awareness and prevention.
Though many other symbols and messages have been developed over the years, pink remains the central color behind the breast cancer cause. In Pennsylvania, the PA Breast Cancer Coalition (PBCC) is pink all year long. Their mission is to represent, support, and serve breast cancer survivors and their families in Pennsylvania through educational programs, legislative advocacy, and breast cancer research grants. Halpin-Murphy said, “The PBCC is a statewide nonprofit organization that creates the hope of a brighter tomorrow by providing action and information to women with breast cancer today.”
Read the full article in October’s issue of Transactions Magazine. Aren’t a subscriber? Visit the Transactions page on this website or call PACB at 717-231-7447 to start receiving the magazine.