Unfortunately, it is hard to find someone who does not know of someone suffering with or having died from breast cancer. This terrible disease affects 1 in 8 women which makes it the most common type of cancer in women. More tragically it is estimated to be the second leading cause of cancer related deaths in women in 2018. Over the last several decades, the mortality rate from breast cancer has decreased by 39% - giving us all hope for the future. With further advancements in medicine, treatment, and a continued increase in awareness and testing, hopefully these rates can continue to decline.
History of BCA Month
In October of 1985, the American Cancer Society and former Imperial Chemical Industries (known today as AstraZeneca), teamed up to spread awareness of this disease. From then on, the month of October would be known as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
One of the First
An organization that was one of the first for breast cancer awareness is the The Susan G. Komen Foundation. Started by Nancy G. Brinker in 1983 after losing her sister, Susan G. Komen to the disease just a year earlier. Nancy promised her sister that she would do everything she could to fight breast cancer. Recent estimates state that the foundation has raised over $956 million to fund breast cancer research and find a cure. The Race for The Cure by the Susan G. Komen foundation has over 150 race events around the world every year.
Bright Pink is a younger foundation looking to not only raise awareness about breast cancer, but to encourage women to be more proactive at a younger age. Founded in 2007, Lindsay Avner underwent genetic testing at the age of 22 after watching her mother battle both breast cancer and ovarian cancer. In addition, before Lindsay was even born, both her grandmother and great-grandmother died from breast cancer. Her genetic testing revealed she carried the BRCA1 gene which put her lifetime odds at 87% of developing breast cancer (and a 54% chance of developing ovarian cancer). At the age of 23, Avner was the youngest women in the US to undergo a voluntary risk-reducing double mastectomy. Today their proactive approach along with a focus on overall health, are attracting attention across the world.
This year, we decided to focus our fundraising efforts to The National Breast Cancer Foundation. Started in 1991 by breast cancer survivor, Janelle Hail, who overcame the disease just years prior. Today, the NBCF has a multifaceted (pun intended) approach to helping, inspiring, educating, and supporting all of those affected.