Original goals of awareness month for Breast Cancer have been achieved – but are they adequateDaniel McCarthy (Author) Published Date : Oct 02, 2015 18:23 IST
This week brings along the start of the Breast Cancer Awareness Month an event which originated in 1985 in the USA for educating women on how mammograms help early detection for breast cancer. The BCRF has funded close to 8,700,000 hours for research and raised more than $207 million through donations since 1993. In turn, this has helped in funding the Evelyn H.Lauder Breast Cancer Memorial Center in New York.
A cosmetic company in UK also launched a campaign in 1992 and the Avon s Breast Cancer Crusade now spans 50 countries across the globe offering monetary support for research, raising awareness, and establishing support and care services. The company s website sums up its aim as a company fighting wrinkles with one hand and using the other to fight breast cancer. Since 1992, the company raised as much as 16, 500, 00 which facilitated funding a number of Dr. Avons fellowships in clinical research. Their work formed a critical link between patients, medicine and science.
The original intent of the awareness month for breast cancer, which was raising awareness about mammographic screening has now been achieved. Women aged between 49 and 70 years of age are invited to get themselves screen at an interval of three years. However, no reminders go out, and the individuals are expected to ask their GP for a referral. But, many older women get the impression that by not getting invited, they are not at risk any more. However, this essentially is not the case
Over 50% of women who die due to breast cancer every year are above 70 years of age and only about 14% of these women who were diagnosed will get the chemotherapy treatment that is given to patients of a lower age.
The present age limit is slated to be extended to 73 at the end of 2016, but it is essential that treatment options too move in tandem. Existing charities that have been doing commendable work in this area could perhaps direct some funds to screening program for the above 70 age group.
The creation of Breast Cancer Now earlier in the year by merging Breakthrough Breast Cancer and Breast Cancer Campaign was on the belief that if all of us acted now, by 2050 all those who developed breast cancer will continue to live. There is the underlying conviction that screening meantime will play its part.
Original goals of awareness month for Breast Cancer have been achieved – but are they adequate