Go Pink for
Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Go Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month
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Look around you in October, and it’s hard to miss it. Pink is all around, every year a little more. And the campaign has been so successful that many people know straight away what it signifies. Pink? October? Oh yes, it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

 

For one month in the year – sometimes at an event on a single day – people’s attention is focused on this pernicious disease. The most common invasive cancer in women, breast cancer affects roughly about one woman in eight over their lifetime. According to WHO, it is even estimated that over 508 000 women died in 2011 due to this disease.

While survival rates are 80% or higher in North America and several other developed countries, they fall to around 60% in middle-income countries and below 40% in low-income countries. This relates not only to inadequate treatment facilities, but also to late diagnosis: the earlier cancer is detected, the better the chances of successful treatment.

By the time a woman can feel a lump in her breast, the cancer may have already begun to spread. But mammogram screening allows detection at a much earlier stage. It’s responsible for saving many lives, and the more women who get the message, the more lives will be spared.

 

Thinking Pink: a strong color to raise awareness

 

The Breast Cancer Awareness Month dates back to 1985, when a month-long campaign was organized in America. The color pink has been closely associated with breast cancer awareness since the 1990s. 

From the outset, events were organized with the twin aims of bringing the need for cancer screening to public attention and raising money to help finance public education programs, to fund research into finding a cure for the disease, and to improve access to mammograms, which are an extremely effective but expensive tool.

The concept has been taken onboard throughout the world and numerous countries held their own versions of “Pink October“. It is the opportunity for government and healthcare agencies to promote breast cancer screening. It often also provides a forum for women who have benefited from early diagnosis and successful treatment to tell their own personal stories.

 

Fighting a disease and having fun

 

The serious purpose of the month is never allowed to detract from the enjoyment of a wide range of fundraising activities, which are frequently organized by companies and by local communities in many countries. Half-marathons, hikes, sales, coffee-mornings, fashion shows and many other events all play their part in this massive effort. People – mostly but not exclusively women – come together with the objective of combating a killer disease, but also of having fun.

Oncology is a key strand of Sanofi’s research work, and it is committed to finding treatments to help improve the survival rates. But the company also encourages its employees to play an active part in Pink October activities in many countries. Educating both employees and the general public in health awareness is part of its mission.

Numerous countries, including the US, China, Russia, the UAE and Spain, organize events and initiatives. Sanofi is a partner of Europa Donna Forum France, the French branch of a Europe-wide organization dedicated to breast cancer awareness initiatives. A number of the Group’s facilities organize talks and run information booths, allowing employees to talk with healthcare professionals about screening, treatment, breast reconstruction and life after breast cancer.

 

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