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Esteé Lauder’s Breast Cancer Awareness ‘Pink Ribbon Campaign’ Marks 25 Year Milestone

The campaign gives hope to all the women who have breast cancer and unites them with a single thread of hope and shows them that they are not alone

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Pink Ribbon Campaign
Breast Cancer. Pixabay

Oct 1, 2017: Breast Cancer is the second most leading cause of death by among women. The chances of a woman dying from breast cancer are 1 in 37. There is a dire need to spread awareness about breast cancer. Though the deaths from breast cancer have reduced from 1980 till 2007, there is still a lot more work needs that to be done.

The breast cancer awareness was started by Charlotte Hayley, who had battled breast cancer. She brought in the concept of using a peach color breast cancer awareness ribbon. The peach colored ribbon piqued the interest of the editor of the Self magazine, Alexandra Penney, who was then working on the 1992 National Breast Cancer Awareness Month issue. He offered Charlotte to work with her idea, but Charlotte rejected saying that the proposal would make her awareness drive too commercial. Unable to use the peach ribbon, the Self Magazine and the other people who were interested in promoting breast cancer awareness decide to use the pink color. This was the beginning of the concept to use a pink ribbon to promote awareness and thus the idea for pink ribbon campaign.

The pink ribbon has been a symbol of fear of cancer, hope for the future and the goodness of the people who support the awareness programme. It has been the empowering symbol for millions for the past 25 years.  Some organizations like the Pink Ribbon International use the pink ribbon as their primary logo. The pink ribbon, ever since it was created has been helping people to live through and beyond breast cancer by supporting and encouraging them.

Also Read: Pregnancy seems Safe for Breast Cancer Survivors: Study

The campaign today is active in over 70 countries including India and has collaborated with more than 60 regional organizations to provide help in the most needed areas. The activity of the campaign has led to a 38% decrease in breast cancer mortality rates.

To celebrate the success of their campaign, Esteé Lauder has decided to launch their Pink Ribbon inspired collection of cosmetics. 20% of the profits will be donated to research in the field of curing breast cancer. The Pink Ribbon campaign is no longer only a breast cancer awareness drive, but it has become the symbol of the women who have gone through it and have come out of this stronger. This campaign gives hope to all the women who have breast cancer and unites them with a single thread of hope and shows them that they are not alone.

The Pink Campaign is a tribute to its late founder Evelyn Lauder who first launched the pink ribbon. The pink ribbon today has crossed the 25-year milestone, and to honor the 25th anniversary, the Esteé Lauder Companies have decided on a new mission: To create a breast cancer-free world.  25 years ago, Evelyn Lauder saw women dying of breast cancer, and there was nothing done to prevent it. Thus she became the pioneer of the Pink Ribbon campaign which eventually became the global leader in breast cancer awareness.

Prepared by Saloni Hindocha of Newsgram

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Health System Failure for Cancer Patients in Venezuela

Last year, about 4,700 women in Venezuela became ill with breast cancer, according to the Anticancer Society of Venezuela

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Cancer
Cancer Patients are not just afraid of the disease itself, but they also fear dying because they cannot find or afford the necessary treatment. Pixabay

A breast cancer diagnosis is terrifying enough at any time. But for 49-year-old Grecia Solis, the arduous choices faced by all cancer patients were complicated by the crippling decline of Venezuela’s public health facilities.

After her diagnosis two years ago, doctors recommended surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Before the oil-producing nation’s steep economic decline of recent years, those services would have been available free of charge or for a nominal fee at a state-run public hospital.

But trained staff, medicines and equipment are in such short supply at those facilities today that a public hospital was no longer an option. Instead, Solis was forced to borrow money from family and friends to pay for her operation at a privately run, for-profit clinic.

Her operation, performed in May 2018, cost her $500, a modest amount by U.S. standards, but a huge sum in Venezuela where hyperinflation has ravaged most people’s savings. With additional financial help from a sister in Ecuador, Solis was able to pay for the recommended eight sessions of chemotherapy, which were completed in December.

Solis’ story is a common one among cancer patients in Venezuela. Patients are not just afraid of the disease itself, but they also fear dying because they cannot find or afford the necessary treatment.

Last year, about 4,700 women in Venezuela became ill with breast cancer, according to the Anticancer Society of Venezuela, although the nation’s health ministry has not produced official figures since 2012. The society reported 2,300 women died last year from the disease, one of the leading causes of cancer deaths among Venezuelan women.

Cancer
A breast cancer diagnosis is terrifying enough at any time. Pixabay

Senos Ayuda, an NGO that supports breast cancer patients, estimates the number of patients are even higher, at almost 7,000 a year. And it stresses that treatment, medicine and doctors are becoming ever less accessible with the deepening of the nation’s humanitarian emergency.

The problem is part of a wider crisis in public health facilities. According to several Venezuelan doctors’ organizations, 73% of the country’s operating rooms are out of service or lack supplies and have unsanitary conditions.

A survey conducted by the organization Doctors for Health indicated that 90% of radiotherapy facilities are inoperative, 94% of health centers cannot take an X-ray, and 88% of hospitals have insufficient supplies and medicines. The Anticancer Society of Venezuela has reported that 80% of public radiotherapy equipment has been inoperative in the last year.

Solis says she is frustrated the government of President Nicolas Maduro does not accept that Venezuela is in a humanitarian crisis and has done little to address the problem, leading to avoidable cancer deaths.

Cancer
Since 2018, 400,700 women in Venezuela have been diagnosed with Breast Cancer. According to the Anti-Cancer Society in Venezuela, getting an accurate numbers of patients is unlikely. Since 2012, the Ministry of Health does not offer official figures. VOA

Another patient, 58-year-old Algeria Dias, was diagnosed with a breast tumor in August 2017. She was able to afford treatment with the help of family, donations, some government help and the sale of the family car, but she says she now she spends every day “going from clinic to clinic, public and private, and see if they have the space or equipment I need to monitor my disease.”

For her part, Solis says she is running out time. She has until December to raise $5,000 to pay for more than 30 additional radiotherapy sessions to prevent the likely return of her cancer.

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“Cancer does not wait. Cancer does not warn and when you have it, it overtakes you. It hurts having the uncertainty of not knowing if you can say, “I am a cancer survivor,” she said. (VOA)

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