by Hayley Escobar-Petersen
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
It’s officially October! Which means everything spooky, pumpkin spice whatever you want, and of course the beautiful colors of the changing season are in full swing. While we love celebrating everything fall, we can’t forget that October is also an important month for Breast Cancer Awareness. In fact, October is globally recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Starting as a weeklong event, Breast Cancer awareness broke ground in the United States in 1985 when it was founded by the American Cancer Society.
In 1991 Charlotte Haley, grassroots activist and breast cancer survivor, started a campaign where she sent out letters with a peach-colored ribbon on them asking for support & to raise awareness for Breast Cancer. Later in 1991 ribbons were being recognized as a symbol of support for both the military during the Gulf War and AIDS awareness. Just months before, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation began incorporating pink in their efforts by handing out pink visors to women participating in the Race for a Cure races. While the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation was technically the first foundation to use the color pink, they weren’t the ones to popularize the pink ribbon. The popularity of the symbolic ribbon came from Miss Charlotte Haley when she sent out her direct mail campaigns. This caught the attention of Self Magazine’s editor in chief, Alexandra Penney, who was working on their second annual Breast Cancer Awareness Month issue. Self Magazine published their first annual Breast Cancer Awareness Month issue in October of 1991 with guest editor Evelyn Lauder. Evelyn Lauder was the senior Corporate VP of the cosmetic giant Estee Lauder, and a cancer survivor herself. When Ms. Penney reached out to incorporate a ribbon as a symbol for the cause in the second issue, Ms. Lauder was totally on board resulting in pink ribbons being handed out at Estee Lauder cosmetic counters a cross the country. Self Magazine reached out to Charlotte Haley on behalf of her own grassroots campaign efforts to be a part of the Estee Lauder/Self Magazine campaign. Ms. Haley declined due the magazine’s commercial ties. This did not hinder the efforts being made and Ms. Penny & Ms. Lauder continued with their plan to create the ribbon. There was a lot of effort and thought put into the deciding of the color of the ribbon as it was important to be both symbolic and elegant in style. The two came together and decided on what is called “150 Pink”. That year, over 1.5 million pink ribbons were handed out and the cause also produced 200,000 pink ribbon petitions that urged the White House to increase funding for Breast Cancer Research.
Fast forward 30 years and the pink ribbon is recognized as the universal symbol of hope and awareness surrounding Breast Cancer and Breast Cancer Awareness month. According to breascancer.org, to this day, breast cancer remains the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women. Breast cancer is actually said to have become the most common diagnosed cancer globally as of 2021. Foundations such as the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation & the Breast Cancer Research Foundation continue to raise awareness, research funds, and offer support to those effected. Women being the overwhelming sex to be diagnosed with breast cancer, early detection by encouraging annual mammograms and self-examinations are two of the ways these foundations strive to bring awareness.
The cannabis community is no stranger to harsh diagnoses, we aim to provide support and compassion alongside anybody’s journey with any diagnosis. Many cancer patients turn to cannabis to help alleviate pain and other cancer related or chemo induced symptoms. Cannabis may help cancer patients manage symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and pain. Cannabis has been said to help promote appetite, sleep, and potentially aid in depression, all three symptoms being heavily reported by cancer patients. Missouri Health & Wellness strives to stay educated and up to date on the newest strains and potential effects to help guide patients in the right direction if they choose to medicate with cannabis during their journey. The care and comfort of our patients is always our top priority & remains as so as we recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Our hearts go out to the survivors, their families, the fallen, and everyone in between. For more information & resources concerning early detection, support groups, and research please visit: breastcancer.org, https://www.britannica.com/topic/Breast-Cancer-Awareness-Month, or https://www.komen.org/.
Medical decisions should not be made based on advertising. Consult a physician on the benefits and risks of particular medical marijuana products.