October 14, 2022

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month takes place each year in October. Breast cancer is the uncontrolled growth of cells in the breast which can result in malignant tumors. About one in eight women will develop breast cancer over the course of their lifetime. This observance helps to raise awareness around this disease and the importance of self-care and regular check-ups. Let’s look at the history of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 

First Lady, Betty Ford, successfully finished treatment for her breast cancer in 1978, receiving a mastectomy. News struck the nation of Betty’s cancer and treatment leaving citizens shocked and saddened of her troubles and praising her bravery.  Through diagnoses and treatment, patients kept quiet about their breast cancer, with virtually no awareness. This all changed after Betty Ford came forward and citizens started sharing their stories of breast cancer. Betty Ford’s bravery changed the discussion in America to start advocating for those with breast cancer.  

 It was in 1985 when the American Cancer Society and the pharmaceutical division of Imperial Chemical Industries first hosted Breast Cancer Awareness Month with Betty Ford, helping to kick off the event we still observe today (A Brief History, 2019). Since that event, every October has been dedicated to raising awareness around breast cancer! It was not until 1992 when the nationwide campaign of pink ribbons was utilized. Estee Lauder Cosmetics gave out 1.5 million pink ribbons to remind citizens of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a symbol still greatly used today (A Brief History, 2019).  

Breast cancer has become unstigmatized thanks to the work of activists in the 1900s. Take time to honor those who have struggled with this disease and promote healthy habits and regular check-ups with your provider to ensure your health.  


A Brief History of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Brevard Health Alliance. (2019, October 17). Retrieved September 12, 2022, from,a%20survivor%20of%20breast%20cancer

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