CHICAGO-Ten years ago, breast cancer was a subject women did not often read about in magazines or see on TV. Races had not yet been run, and a pink ribbon was still just a pink ribbon. Then in 1985, three organizations created what was then called Breast Cancer Awareness Week, and the public's demand for information about breast cancer was first recognized.
This ground swell of interest was the impetus for Zeneca Inc. to enlist the support of the American Academy of Family Physicians and Cancer Care, Inc. to create the effort that has since grown to become the nation's largest and most comprehensive breast cancer awareness campaign-National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM), celebrated each October.
Currently sponsored by 17 of the nation's most prestigious medical, professional, and governmental organizations, NBCAM has been credited with mobilizing breast cancer education nationwide and making the issue a priority at the workplace, within communities, and in Congress. Activities for this month's campaign include:
1. National Mammography Day (October 19), which encourages women to receive, sign up for, or make a commitment to get a screening mammogram during October (see list for toll-free numbers to help patients find an accredited radiologists during October).
2. Profiles in Progress (PIP) Awards Dinner, to honor members of the media and corporate or civic entities that have shown an outstanding commitment to breast cancer awareness or have implemented innovative awareness programs at the workplace or in the community.
3. NBCAM Promotion Kit, produced by Zeneca Inc., provides step-by-step instructions and materials on how to promote NBCAM on the community level.
4. Exhibit program, created by Zeneca for use by businesses at trade shows, health fairs, and industry gatherings.
To promote worksite screening, Zeneca has also distributed a videotape to the CEOs of the nation's largest employers describing the benefits it has seen since establishing its program.