Breast Cancer Awareness Around The World
When it comes to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, many organizations are turning their efforts towards prevention and self-exam initiatives. With more than 300,000 new cases of breast cancer expected to be diagnosed in the USA this year, preventative care and early diagnoses are becoming more important than ever.
The United States is not alone in this fight though; breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide. Organizations around the world are raising funds, conducting research, and hosting events to teach women, both young and old, about the importance of early diagnosis and prevention. Here are 5 of our favorites!
1. Bright Pink
Location | Chicago, USA
Mission | Save women’s lives from breast & ovarian cancer by empowering them to live proactively at a young age
Initiatives | BrightenUp Educational workshops, outreach groups, PinkPal one-on-one peer support, digital health reminders, online risk assessment
Bright Pink’s mission is to “focus on health, not cancer.” Founded by Lindsay Avner in 2007, the organization emphasizes the importance of education, support, and proactive approaches.
Avner was only 23-years-old when she decided to have a risk-reducing double mastectomy (she was, at the time, the youngest in the USA to undergo this procedure). Her decision came as a result of losing her grandmother and great-grandmother to breast cancer, as well as watching her own mother battle both breast and ovarian cancer. After taking a gene test, a proactive step the organization encourages, Avner discovered she had an 87% lifetime risk of developing breast cancer herself. She then made the personal decision to have a mastectomy.
BrightPink helps women take control of their health—specifically women under the age of 45. The organization offers support and guidance for talking with doctors; it also assists women in asking family members for medical history information. BrightPink provides online personal risk assessment surveys, monthly digital breast check reminders, and educational workshops across the USA.
2. Project PINK BLUE
Location | Abuja, Nigeria
Mission | Stimulating action against cancer and working toward a continent without late detection
Initiatives | Cancer awareness, free cancer screenings, support for cancer patients—specifically in rural areas, advocacy, fundraising, cancer research, psychological support
Cancer is a word, not a sentence. This is the phrase that drives the Nigeria-based NGO, Project PINK BLUE. With four cancer survivors (3 female, 1 male) at the forefront of their initiatives, the organization seeks to not only provide support, raise funds, and increase awareness, but also to change the way Nigerians specifically think about cancer.
Most importantly, the organization is focused on reducing cancer mortality rates—Nigeria has the 5th highest mortality rate for cervical cancer in women worldwide—and improve screenings for early diagnoses of breast cancer. As of current, 30 per 100,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer annually in Nigeria; 15 per 100,000, or 50 percent of those cases, are fatal.
This October, to raise awareness, the organization will gather over 5,000 people to walk, race, skate, and cycle against breast cancer mortality in Nigeria. The event will also include free cancer screening for both men and women.
Location | Brussels, Belgium
Mission | Providing information & funding, raising awareness, financing care & follow-up care projects
Initiatives | Funding scientific-research through The SMART Fund, organizing nationwide exercise & sports events, providing wigs & after-care support
Think-Pink is the national awareness campaign in Belgium, a country with one of the highest number of breast cancer diagnoses in the world. Working directly with media, government officials, companies, and the public, the organization is determined to raise awareness about breast cancer prevention and funds for continued research. Focusing specifically on health and exercise, Think-Pink organizes numerous sporting events throughout Belgium, including three Race For the Cure events across the country.
For women going through breast cancer treatment, Think-Pink helps patients acquire wigs through their Beautifull Lengths Fund. They also have the Share Your Care Fund to “make life with or after cancer a little easier through a small gesture or a sign of support.”
4. Pink Caravan
Location | Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Mission | Uniting breast cancer NGO's in the United Arab Emirates to support patients and offer early detection screenings
Initiatives | Spread awareness—specifically about the importance of self breast exams, dispel UAE-related breast cancer myths, provide access to important screenings, lobby for the creation of the UAE National Cancer Registry, advocate for improved treatment in the UAE
Pink Caravan, founded in 2011, has gained local, regional, and international recognition for its unique approach to raising breast cancer awareness in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
What is Pink Caravan exactly? It’s an annual horseback ride where 150 experienced equine riders travel throughout the seven emirates (including remote areas) to set up medical clinics. To date, the caravan has examined over 41,000 men and women and traveled almost 900 miles. The riders also visit schools to educate younger generations about early detection.
5. Breast Cancer UK (BCUK)
Location | London, England
Mission | Dedicated to achieving the primary prevention of breast cancer by reducing public exposure to carcinogenic & hazardous chemicals in the environment & everyday products
Initiatives | Campaigning for legislation to prevent public exposure to harmful chemicals, raising awareness about exposure & offering practical solutions, supporting scientific research that links breast cancer to hazardous chemicals
We talk about chemicals a lot at The Good Trade; we discuss how toxic chemicals are not only harmful to our environment but also to our health. Breast Cancer UK (BCUK), an independent organization in London, also desires to raise awareness about the synthetic and human-made chemicals that are found in our environment, food, and everyday products. More specifically, BCUK is committed to raising awareness about how these chemicals can lead to breast cancer.
“We need to reduce our exposure…to stop breast cancer before it starts,” they state on their website. We couldn’t agree more.
To help with research this October, the organization is partnering with Animal Free Research UK and Breast Cancer UK for a campaign they call Get Your Frock On! All money raised will go toward funding a 3-year research project that examines the impact of environmental chemicals on high breast density (one of the major risk factors for breast cancer). All research conducted will be free of animal testing.