Experts agree that early detection and diagnosis of breast cancer is key to its successful treatment. When breast cancer is found early, the survival rate at five years is 96%. In fact, because of early detection, more than 2 million breast cancer survivors are alive in America today.
The American Cancer Society has published revised guidelines for key prevention techniques including mammography, breast exam conducted by health care providers, and breast self-examination. These recommendations are as follows:
Clinical breast examinations every three years from ages 20-39, then every year thereafter.
Monthly breast self-examinations beginning at age 20. Look for any changes in your breasts.
Baseline mammogram by the age of 40.
Mammogram every: one to two years for women 40-49, depending on previous findings.
Mammogram every year for women 50 and older.
A personal calendar to record your self-exams, mammograms, and doctor appointments.
A low-fat diet, regular exercise, and no smoking or drinking.
Today, over 80% (113 million individuals) of all American Internet users employ the Internet to access health information and those who use the Internet to search for information regarding a personal health problem are 60% more likely to contact a health professional compared with those who have not searched online. In relation to cancer specifically, it has been demonstrated that use of the internet as a source for oncological information is increasing rapidly, with one recent study demonstrating utilization by 63% of cancer patients.
It is clear that the strategies employed by BCAM (breast cancer awareness month) result in online activity, with high levels of interest demonstrated in relation to both the campaign and its associated initiatives (’breast cancer walk’, ‘breast cancer NFL’ (National Football League), and indeed to the disease itself.
What are the Main Techniques for Breast Cancer Awareness in 2017?
Interpersonal networks - The first type facilitates personal exchanges between friends, family members, colleagues, and health care workers.
Mass Media – The second type (mass media) facilitates mass-mediated, impersonal means such as radio, films, newspapers, magazines and television.
Newspapers/magazines and other mass media were also the most common sources of breast cancer information listed in other studies, while health care workers were also seen as the preferred source of interpersonal channels of communication.
Thus, it is recommended that mass media messages be included as the main mechanism to improving breast cancer care among women. This is essential because mass media messages can produce positive changes or prevent negative changes in health-related behaviors of women (Journal of International Women’s Studies).
Partnering with celebrities, high profile spokespersons –Twitter – Traditional mass media coverage has been enhanced by social media. Twitter has been used for several health-related purposes. To increase overall reach of messages for breast cancer and other health observances, organizations and agencies may consider partnering with both individuals and celebrities as spokespersons or messengers for their campaigns, as celebrities and high profile spokespersons have a large number of followers.
For example, celebrity, Angelina Jolie recently underwent elective surgery for a double mastectomy to reduce her risk of breast cancer. Twitter messages during BCAM by a celebrity such as Ms. Jolie would have a tremendous reach.
Community Outreach - Although mass media health communication strategies can effectively promote health education, and influence health awareness, decisions, practices, and care, interpersonal communication channels are regarded as highly influential to persuade people to change health related behaviors
In this community intervention study, the combination of community outreach (posters on apartment billboards, street promotions, direct mailing, and educational sessions) and clinic and pharmacy-based in-reach (posters in clinic waiting rooms or pharmacies and physician or pharmacist recommendations) strategies was related to improve in campaign outcomes.
Breast Cancer Workshops and Lectures in Schools - In 2005 with school teachers in Al Khobar district, Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia as the target. A breast cancer campaign was designed with lectures and workshops and delivered to school teachers in seven separate sessions. Each session was attended by 100-150 female teachers selected by their administration. Pre and post workshop questionnaires were distributed to assess knowledge of cancer symptoms, risk factors, attitudes towards breast self-examination (BSE), mammography, and common misconceptions.
In order to succeed, breast cancer programs should be structured and implemented on a wide scale preferably tailored to fit individual communities. School teachers as educators help to convey the message to a large sector of the population by enhancing the knowledge of the younger generation on the necessity and the importance of early detection of cancer (NCBI).
In the UK, NHS Breast Screening Program– Comprising of a scripted 10-min interaction with a radiographer plus a booklet, a booklet alone or usual care intervention was found helpful in increasing breast cancer awareness among older women.
An intervention to equip older women with the knowledge, skills, confidence and motivation to detect breast cancer symptoms and seek help promptly increases breast cancer awareness at 1 year.
Group or individual educational interventions specifically focusing on raising breast cancer awareness in women will be eligible for inclusion. Interventions should promote breast cancer awareness for women through the provision of information on: (i) breast cancer symptoms and (ii) breast awareness (i.e. women having the confidence to look at and feel (palpate) their breasts so that they know what is normal for their own body and what changes to look and feel for).
The intervention will take place in any setting i.e. clinical/online/community and may involve one single session or a number of sessions. Interventions may be provided in a combination of various formats including written brochures, video/audio tape, online or media campaigns.
Breast cancer awareness campaigns have been highly effective in getting attention for the disease. Breast cancer receives significantly more media coverage than other prevalent cancers, such as prostate cancer.
A pink ribbon is a symbol of breast cancer awareness. It may be worn to honor those who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, or to identify products that a manufacturer would like to sell to consumers that are interested in breast cancer.
Each year, the month of October is recognized as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month by many governments, the media, and cancer survivors. NBCAM was begun in 1985 by the American Cancer Society and pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. The organization that runs the official NBCAM aims to promote mammography and other forms of early detection as the most effective means of fighting breast cancer.
Typical NBCAM events include: fundraising-based foot races, walk-a-thons, and bicycle rides. Participants solicit donations to a breast cancer-related charity in return for running, walking, or riding in the event. Through mass-participation events, breast cancer survivors form a single, united group that speaks and acts consistently and shares a coherent set of beliefs.
Various landmarks are illuminated in pink lights as a visible reminder of breast cancer, and public events, such as American football games, may use pink equipment or supplies.
Private companies may arrange a "pink day", in which employees wear pink clothes in support of breast cancer patients, or pay for the privilege of a relaxed dress code, such as Lee National Denim Day. Some events are directed at people in specific communities, such as the Global Pink Hijab Day, which was started in America to encourage appropriate medical care and reduce the stigma of breast cancer among Muslim women, and Male Breast Cancer Awareness Week, which some organizations highlight during the third week of October.
Thousands of breast cancer-themed products are developed and sold each year. Some of these items are everyday products that have been repackaged or repositioned to take advantage of cause-related marketing, such as teddy bears, clothing, jewelry, candles, and coffee mugs.
Two significant campaigns against pink consumption are the National Breast Cancer Coalition's "Not Just Ribbons" campaign, and Breast Cancer Action's "Think Before You Pink" campaign. NBCC's "Not Just Ribbons" campaign sought to focus awareness efforts onto substantive issues such as genetic discrimination, access to cancer treatment, patient rights, and environmental breast cancer research. "Think Before You Pink" encouraged consumers to ask questions about pink products (e.g., to find out how much of a donation was being made).
Many corporate and charitable organizations run advertisements related to breast cancer, especially during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, in the hope of increasing sales by aligning themselves with a positive, helpful message.
Medical institutions may run advertisements for mammogram or other breast-related services. Non-profit organizations often benefit from public service announcements, which are free advertisements provided by newspapers, radio and television stations, and other media.
Others Breast Cancer Awareness Initiatives:
Breast Cancer Umbrellas
There are many online websites that sell custom designed umbrellas. It’s easy to choose your own colors (pink is a great choice) and add your own designs. Every time it rains you’ll be spreading your own message to the people around you.
Breast Cancer Research Walk
The goal is to raise awareness for breast cancer and raise funds for breast cancer research. Avon is a great example of a company with frequent breast cancer walks. Hundreds of people often gather for these walks, which can sometimes span for an entire weekend. It’s one of the most powerful methods for raising awareness.
Baking Goods With A Message
Confectioneries are a great method for raising awareness and satisfying that sweet tooth. Everyone will appreciate the treat and enjoy the message that comes along with it.
Not every attempt to spread awareness needs to be a grand gesture. The small things matter just as much. A small, pink ribbon that pins to the front of your shirt is a great example.
Last update 25th of December 2017.