It’s breast cancer awareness month.

Get a mammogram! Help a patient! Make a donation!

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Estee Lauder was the first to use the pink ribbon in 1992.

If you’ve been reading along on this blog, then you know that I get antsy when “increase awareness” is listed as the goal or the objective. Awareness feeds broader goals and objectives that determine your anticipated outcomes. Knowing about something without knowing where it fits in the scheme of things  is trivia.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month does it right!

However, Breast Cancer Awareness Month is far from trivial. It is probably one of the largest campaigns of its kind. Since 1985, it has educated women about the warning signs, encouraged them to undergo annual mammograms, and raised millions of dollars for breast cancer research, free cancer screenings, and support services for patients.

I found this well-written, concise history about Breast Cancer Awareness Month on the website for Brevard Health Alliance in Florida. The piece includes the campaign’s clearly defined goals. Click here to read the whole story.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month was founded in 1985 with an enviable combination of a well-respected nonprofit, a prominent corporation, and a familiar and trusted spokesperson. The American Cancer Society, the pharmaceutical division of Imperial Chemical Industries, and cancer survivor former First Lady Betty Ford joined forces to set the tone for a campaign that has left us in the pink ever since.

In 1992, cosmetic company giant Estee Lauder began distributing the pink ribbons to help spread awareness.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month Goals

The campaign committee aimed to increase the survival rate among breast cancer patients. The remedy was, and still is, empowering women to take proactive measures to detect breast cancer early.

They set these distinct goals to solve the problem:

  • Educate women about breast cancer and early detection tests
  • Empower women to be in control of their breast health
  • Promote mammograms as an important tool to be used in the fight against breast cancer.
  • Celebrate breast cancer survivors
  • Raise funds for breast cancer research and other related causes.

While We’re On the Topic …

Note, men can get breast cancer too, so don’t ignore any abnormal lumps under the skin on your chest, regardless of your gender.

Women over 40 are wise to book annual mammograms. If you find it kind of scary, then book it with a friend then go to lunch or get a massage after–celebrate your health and congratulate yourself for being proactive.

I recognize all the strides this campaign has made, I only wish to rename it to DO SOMETHING ABOUT BREAST CANCER month. If I can’t change that, at least I can encourage you to do something.

Get a mammogram! Help a patient! Make a donation!

Happy October!

Leslie A.M. Smith founded McCormick L.A. in 1994 offering public relations and marketing consulting to nonprofits and businesses of all shapes and sizes. Sign-up on her website today to receive helpful insights like this one in your inbox.  See how easy your efforts can be here

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