Everything Turns Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Today is October 1st, the beginning of the 26th annual celebration of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and increasing in popularity is the promotion of the color pink – the official color of breast cancer awareness - on everything from sports Avon to Vera Wang.
Breast Cancer is the Second Most Common Cancer Among Women
This year, over 200,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and about 40,000 will die (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women, after non-melanoma skin cancer. Although progress is made in the fight and mortality is decreasing, the goal of Breast Cancer Awareness Month is to promote efforts toward more research and efforts to get women screened and treated earlier, particularly lower income women.
The NFL kicks off another year of wearing pink gear in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month with pink chin cups, cleats and towels, pink ribbons on game balls, and pink whistles for referees. Even the coin tossed to start the game will be pink. According to Peter O’Reilly, the leagues vice president of fat strategy and marketing, about $5 million was spend on the campaign.
Special pink merchandise will be for consumer sale at www.nflshop.com, at stadium stores, and at other retail stores.
The NFL isn’t the only sports team supporting Breast Cancer Awareness. Major League Soccer also launches a community outreach initiative involving all 16 MLS clubs who will each conduct one night of local activation to raise awareness and funds throughout the month of October. Major League Baseball is promoting “Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer” and the National Basketball Association has launched “Box Out Breast Cancer” as well.
Perhaps the most original “pink” promotion is the painting of an Austin, TX police car completely pink with Susan G. Komen Foundation decals to raise awareness for the need for breast cancer research. In the Austin area, if you see the car, text “50555” to IMPACT and your cell phone bill will be charged $10 which will be donated to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation.
In Winnipeg (Ontario, Canada), firefighters will be wearing specially designed pink t-shirts while attending emergency calls in support of women who are diagnosed with breast cancer. The United Fire Fighters of Winnipeg are also offering the shirts for sale, with proceeds going to the Breast Cancer Centre of Hope.
Several newspapers are turning pink today also. The News-Record of Greensboro (NC), the Huntsville (AL) Times, and the Marietta (GA) Daily Journal are among those that are being printed on pink paper in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Food items are also being turned into the lovely color shade. Panera Bread locations in Houston and San Diego are offering the “Pink Ribbon Bagel” for the tenth year. These baked-fresh-daily bagels feature cherry chips, dried cherries and cranberries and Panera cafes will donate 25 cents from each sale to local centers to support research and diagnostic intervention efforts.
Although the color of the month is pink, men should be aware that breast cancer is not just a “woman’s disease”. Nearly 80% of men who are at higher risk for developing breast cancer aren’t aware that males can get it. According to the US National Cancer Institute, breast cancer in men accounts for less than 1% of total breast cancer cases , but men who get the disease are at a greater risk of dying from it.