Ministry of Local Government (MLG)
Turning October Pink
02/11/12
The entire month of October marks the international health period that is intended to increase global awareness of breast cancer. The first organized effort to bring widespread attention to breast cancer occurred as a weeklong event in the United States in October 1985.

Since then, campaigns to increase awareness of the disease, to educate people about methods of prevention and early detection, and to raise money to support research have extended to countries around the world. Today, non-profit organizations, government agencies, and medical societies work together to promote breast cancer awareness.

Globally, breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women. In 2008 some 1,380,000 million new cases and 458,000 deaths were reported worldwide. The global disparities in screening and treatment, as well as the persistently high incidence of the disease on a global scale, have led to a significant increase in international interest in breast cancer awareness campaigns since the late 1990s.

Breast cancer is currently the top cancer in women worldwide, both in the developed and the developing world. The majority of breast cancer deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, where most of the women are diagnosed in late stages due mainly to lack of awareness and barriers to access to health services.

Throughout Breast Cancer Awareness Month, science forums, educational programs, and informational pamphlets and posters are used as means to disseminate information to the public.

In addition, fund-raising activities, such as walks, runs, auctions, concerts, and other charity events, are held in countries around the world. The money collected by these events typically goes toward local, national, or international funding for breast cancer research.

The major international symbol of Breast Cancer Awareness Month is the colour pink. In the 1990s the pink ribbon stood as the primary emblem of support. However, the colour pink is used in a variety of ways, including on clothing, posters, and Internet Web sites, to demonstrate individual and collective awareness of breast cancer.

To this end, “Batho Pele e-bulletin takes this opportunity to pledge its support for the awareness campaign for breast cancer. We stand with those who have fallen due to the disease and salute the gallant efforts of the survivors who continue to serve as a beacon of hope.

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