Breast Cancer Awareness - What you need to know

During the month of October, people all around the world wear pink ribbons to raise awareness for breast cancer, but do you know why and how the pink ribbon became a symbol for breast cancer? The use of ribbons became popular during the nineteenth century, when women started wearing and tying yellow ribbons to remember their loved ones in the military. The pink ribbon started with a woman named Charlotte Hayley, a breast cancer survivor. She hung the pink ribbon with a card saying  “The National Cancer Institute’s annual budget is 1.8 billion US dollars, and only 5 percent goes to cancer prevention. Help us wake up our legislators and America by wearing this ribbon.” The Susan G. Komen Foundation began handing out pink ribbons to breast cancer survivors and the participants of the Komen New York City Race for the Cure. Later on, Self-Magazine’s editor-in-chief and Estee Lauder’s vice president and Charlotte herself founded the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and established the pink ribbon as its official symbol. 


Breast cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the breast cells. It is far more common in women, but men can get it as well. It is also one of the most common types of cancer worldwide. Breast cancer can strike at any age, but it is more common in women aged 45 and up. About 75% of the people diagnosed with breast cancer have no history of this disease. The real question is, how can breast cancer be identified? Some of the symptoms include a lump in the breast, breast pain, change in the size of the breast, swelling in the armpit, etc. If you are concerned about these symptoms, check with your doctor immediately. 


Some factors may increase the likelihood of developing breast cancer. These include being overweight, inactive, taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or contraceptive pills, among other things. Other risk factors that cannot be changed include family history or inherited genes, a history of cancer, X-rays, and radiotherapy. Having one or more of these risk factors does not guarantee that you will develop breast cancer. Many women with these risk factors will probably never get breast cancer, however, they are still considered as risks. 


Breast cancer awareness is an effort to raise awareness and combat the stigma associated with breast cancer by educating people about the symptoms and treatment options. It has one of the highest survival rates when detected early. It is highly recommended to get checked at least once a year even if you are not showing any signs. As members of different communities in Kuwait, it is our role to continue learning and staying informed while also doing our best to support those around us. The importance of breast cancer awareness and campaigns cannot be overstated. Please reach out to anyone you know who is suffering from cancer. Try to assist them in any way you can or direct them to people who can help them.


No one fights alone.




This is how the pink ribbon came to symbolize breast cancer awareness. The Indian Express. (2017, October 6). Retrieved October 26, 2022, from 

Risk factors. Risk factors for breast cancer | Breast Cancer | Cancer Research UK. (2020, January 21). Retrieved October 26, 2022, from

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