Pink October: what does it mean?

This Month, also known as Pink October, aims to raise awareness regarding early breast cancer prevention and diagnosis, promoting more safety, well-being and comfort to all women.
Pink Month: Because we all deserve comfort

With October’s arrival, several campaigns and messages come up regarding breast cancer prevention. You see several public figures, organizations and companies adopting pink as a way of supporting this cause and call for attention. The movement, globally famous as Pink October, is celebrated annually since the 90’s and has the goal of sharing information, increasing awareness and different channels of access to diagnosis services.

The start of an awareness movement

Every year, health professionals and entities from the most varied fields reunite to spread the word with content related to the prevention and treatment of breast cancer. This international movement aims to bring awareness and encourage women to book mammograms and to do self-exams, both important to identify possible cancer signals in an early stage. However, this subject hasn’t always been so present. It started on the 90’s decade in the United States, with the participation of some American states in the development of campaigns focused on this theme. October was only recognized as the month of breast cancer prevention after this campaign was approved by the American Congress. It was also after that that the pink loop – symbol of the movement – started to show up. This symbol was presented to the world by the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation during the first Race for the Cure in 1990, New York city. Back then, the runners received the loop to wear during the race and afterwards it started getting distributed in public places, fashion shows and other events.

Behind the disease: risk facts

The breast cancer is the most common one worldwide, being the most frequently detected in women in 140 to 184 countries. In 2021, the World Health Organization declared that around 3.4 million of women were diagnosed with breast cancer – a number that resulted in a total of 685 000 deaths. Besides, despite the fact that this is the most incident cancer among women, there is a record of 1 in 100 cancers in men. The exact causes of breast cancer aren’t already common knowledge but some risk factors worth sharing are:

• Overweight;
• Tobacco or excessive alcohol consumption, being the cause of several cancers, namely breast cancer;
• Age: 80% of all kinds of cancer occur in women with more than 50 years;
• An oncologic history: a woman that already had cancer in one of the breasts has a higher risk of getting it in the other one;
• Changes in certain genes, genetically transmitted, originate from 5% to 10% of the cases.

Signs and Symptoms

A lot of breast cancers are discovered by women itself. Regardless of the age, it is intuitive to know if there is something wrong with your body and that’s why it is so important to do the self-exam frequently. That are usual signs such as:

• Fixed, hardened and usually painless nodules;
• Reddened, contracted or orange-peel-like skin on the chest;
• Changes in the nipples;
• Small lumps in the area under the arms (armpits) or neck;
• Spontaneous outflow of fluid from the nipple. In addition to paying attention to body changes, it is recommended that women between the ages of 50 and 69 have mammograms every two years, even when there are no alarming signs.

Find out how to do it here.

Where to find help regarding breast cancer

Take the first step towards prevention and a more comfortable life today. Seek help, support or more information about breast cancer:

The Global Breast Cancer Initiative Developed by World
Health Organization

Tests related to breast cancer –Promoted

European Breast Cancer Coalition – It
is an independent, non-profit organization whose affiliated members are organizations from countries across Europe. The Coalition works to raise awareness of breast cancer, to mobilize the support of European women in health awareness and education, organized screening, the best treatments and increased funding for research. The EBCC represents the interests of European women on breast cancer before local and national authorities, as well as before the EU institutions.