beyond pink

Why a pink ribbon? The initiative to commemorate breast cancer, launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1988, has continued to gain momentum in recent years, so it is now commonplace to dye October 19 pink: monuments with giant bows or When night falls, pink bows light up in pink on the streets, at work, on TV, on social networks… But how did the pink bow become a global symbol of the fight against this disease?

Apparently, the Susan G. Komen Foundation was the first foundation to hand out pink ribbons to participants in a breast cancer-related contest in New York in 1991, although the meaning of the pink ribbons is no longer alive . Meanwhile, American woman Charlotte Haley, who has several family members affected by breast cancer, started making peach blossom bows at home, along with a card urging the National Cancer Institute to require breast cancer screening. Invest more in cancer prevention.

However, it was Evelyn Lauder, vice president of cosmetics company Estée Lauder, who beat breast cancer, and Alexandra Penney, editor-in-chief of Self magazine, who linked pink to breast cancer .

Previously, they contacted Charlotte Haley (Charlotte Haley), interested in using her peach silk ribbon to do a breast cancer awareness campaign supported by the Estée Lauder brand, but Haley thought the project was too commercial and did not want to participate. They change color because of the rejection. In 1992, The Estée Lauder Companies distributed approximately 1.5 million of these ribbons in its stores and created the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Since then, the pink ribbon has become a symbol of the fight against the disease.

Breast cancer is the most common tumor in women, although it also has one of the best prognosis. It originates in breast tissue and is mostly diagnosed in women between the ages of 45 and 65. In men, this condition is rare but can occur. The risk of developing the disease is estimated to be 12%, meaning one in eight women will develop it in her lifetime.

According to statistics from the World Health Organization, there were 2.3 million confirmed cases and 685,000 deaths worldwide in 2020. Most of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, with many cases diagnosed at an advanced stage. Breast cancer cases are increasing every year (because we live longer and due to early detection), and survival rates are increasing due to more precise treatments. Diagnose as soon as possible. Diagnosing cancer at its earliest stages is therefore crucial to achieving good treatment outcomes, which highlights new technologies such as liquid blood biopsy, which can detect the presence of tumor cells in a blood sample and help start treatment before cancer develops. The disease has any type of clinical manifestations. Or the promising milk liquid biopsy, which researchers from the Wald Hebron Institute of Oncology are working on. The team announced its findings last September, demonstrating that breast milk contains DNA from breast tumors, opening the door to using breast milk analysis to diagnose breast cancer early in the postpartum period.

There are other screening systems that have been in place for many years and help detect breast cancer at an early stage, such as mammograms (which in Spain are generally recommended every two years for women aged 50 to 69 and younger with risk factors). risks) and breast ultrasound. Women are also advised to perform self-examinations.

All this is aimed at identifying the disease in its initial stages and being able to stop it.

Statistics show that women diagnosed with breast cancer early have a greater than 95% chance of survival after five years, while patients in the metastatic stage have a lower chance of survival.

Treatment for breast cancer often involves a combination of surgical removal, radiation therapy, and medications, a process that can leave a woman in a physically, psychologically, or financially disadvantaged position (those affected must bear the costs associated with breast cancer) when she getting sick when you can’t keep the same pace in your work life).

Progress is being made through a multidisciplinary approach that includes aspects such as specific physical exercise, adequate diet, and psychological support to promote treatment not only of tumors but of the whole person.

In Spain, nearly 35,000 new cases are detected every year, with an overall survival rate of 82.8% and a survival rate of over 99% for patients diagnosed with breast disease alone.

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