Health

When is breast cancer day?

October is a month dedicated to breast cancer awareness and this year's specific date to know about is October 22, where people are encouraged to wear pink.

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When is breast cancer day?
Richard Bord Getty Images

Each October marks National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM), an international health campaign organized by major breast cancer charities to increase awareness of the disease, as well as raise funds for research on its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure.

The official day of support is Friday October 22.

What are people encouraged to do?

People are encouraged to wear pink, which is the color which symbolizes the awareness month. Synonymous with the movement is the Pink Ribbon, which is usually worn as a badge during the month.

The White House was lit up pink earlier this month in dedication to the fight against breast cancer.

The White House is illuminated in pink for Breast Cancer Awareness month in Washington, DC on October 1, 2021.

What other important dates are there?

During Breast Cancer Awareness Month there are some specific dates to raise awareness about this disease. October 9 is World Hospice and Palliative Care Day, October 13 is recognized as Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day, and October 15 is National Mammography Day.

What is the history of the occasion?

NBCAM was founded in 1985 by the American Cancer Society and, what is now known as, AstraZeneca pharmaceuticals. The main aim is the promoting of mammography as the best tool to fight breast cancer. The crux of this plan is early screenings for cancer, currently the most effective way of dealing with the disease before it becomes too rampant to control. Making people aware of the signs of potential cancer are a major part of this.

It is recognized around the world. As well as the White House, the Eiffel Tower in Paris was daubed in pink light to mark the beginning of the month.

DJ Martin Solveig, center, poses with women with breast cancer in front of the Eiffel Tower.

There has been criticism of the month from campaigners arguing the month is too beholden to corporate interests. The central argument for this is the links the movement has to big pharma, who profit from the prevalence of cancer treatment and its costs. There does exist a conflict of interest inherent in the movement; pharmaceutical giants need diseases to exist to keep their profit margins. The US is already infamous for its exorbitant healthcare costs.