Pink October: All You Need To Know About This Campaign

During the 31 days of October, the health of the female bodies occupies the space of debates, public discussions, reports and others. The pink color is coloring buildings, monuments, squares and clothes. To raise awareness and clarify, the month of October is the time of one of the biggest campaigns of the year: the fight against breast cancer. 

But how did all this start? Where did it start? Who had the initiative? In this report, we brought you everything you need to know about the pink October.

The origin

During the last decade of the twentieth century, the United States had already been promoting actions referring to breast cancer and its implications, mainly in October. And within this incipient context of struggle, the Susan G. Komen – considered today as the largest organization to fight breast cancer in the world – launches the pink lace in the first race for healing, held in new York in the year 1990.

From the use of ties by the participants of the race, several entities and organizations began to promote actions aimed at breast cancer. And subsequently, seeing the dimensions of the nation's mobilization regarding the theme, the North American Congress decrease the month of October as the National (American) month for the prevention of breast cancer.

The Pink October Campaign

Allied to the Governmental Foundation, the campaign also starts to carry considerable popular awareness. As a way to demonstrate support for the cause, public spaces of important cities begin to spruce up with pink bows, host races, fashion shows, special sports matches, etc. The color rose now occupies the urban and collective scenery.

"The campaign is very important, as it informs women about the need for early diagnosis of breast cancer, directs to do self-examination, medical consultation and mammography", said gynecologist and obstetrician Ana Rosa Fogagnolo Arato. Achieving the early diagnostic as the main objective, the campaign positions the self knowledge of the body itself as a major step towards the fight against breast cancer.

Image Source: Maria Antônia Anacleto 

"In reality there is no prevention of breast cancer, there is early diagnosis. Surely if the people become aware will improve the early diagnosis ", said the gynecologist Ana Rosa.

Consequences and possible changes in the Brazilian scenario

Only from 2007 Brazil began to demonstrate support for the Pink October campaign, through the illumination in pink of the monument mausoleum of the Constitutionalist soldier (the Obelisk of Ibirapuera), located in the city of São Paulo.

"A lot has already been conquered, but there is still much to do about breast cancer awareness," explained José de Moura Leite Netto, communications executive at CDN Corporate Communication, MSc in science with an emphasis on oncology by Fundação Antônio Prudente/A.C. Camargo Cancer Center (2015) and PhD student in Science in A.C. Camargo.

Despite the growth of the amount of materials that address the topic breast cancer and the October rose campaign, the quality is still distant from the ideal. From his doctoral thesis, José de Moura noted the strong and direct relationship between the construction of the media narrative and the early diagnosis of the disease. "From 607 patients interviewed, I noticed that the most informed were those who discovered the disease earlier," José said. 

On the other hand, women who do not have effective access to information are at a disadvantage regarding the processes regarding the health of the female breast.

The class also emerges as a factor that implies the respect of knowledge about breast cancer. In his research, the journalist found that the women who presented the early diagnosis of the pathology were white, middle/upper class, with higher education, married and users of the private health system. Those who were diagnosed with the disease in the most advanced stage belonged to lower classes, black, single, with training until high school and users of the unified Health System (SUS).

According to the National Cancer Institute (INCA) during the year 2018, 59,700 new cases were diagnosed, demonstrating that the debate about breast cancer awareness. "The younger generations speak more about the disease, but this conversation cannot effectively encompass and achieve all the layers of society," the journalist said.

It is a fact that the October Rosa Campaign has had and has an impact on several cases of breast cancer, however, the total clarification of the functioning of the female body is not part of the context of all Brazilian women.