October marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the annual communication campaign to promote awareness and screening for breast cancer. Additionally, the campaign helps raise funds for breast cancer research and support ongoing outreach programs.
The Pink Ribbon Campaign originated in the United States in 1985 , in partnership with the American Cancer Society and Imperial Chemical Industries.The movement then spread worldwide, with the first celebration in France in 1994, and in Gabon in 2014.
Breast cancer affects millions of women each year (2.4 million cases worldwide with 523,000 deaths in 2015).The Pink Ribbon Campaign aims to raise awareness about the importance of (early) breast cancer screening and relies on a network of associations and health professionals.
In the case of Gabon, as with the rest of the world, the most common female cancers affect the breast and the cervix. According to the data provided by the Ministry of Health, in 2013, Gabon recorded 400 deaths per year due to women's cancers. Cancers of the cervix and breast represented 88% of gynecological cancers with 52% of cases being breast cancer and 36% of cases being cervical cancer.
The annual Pink Ribbon Campaign began this month in Gabon to raise awareness for breast and cervical cancer screening. The theme chosen for this year is "getting tested means fighting it". The awareness campaign was launched on Saturday, September 28, 2019, during the 10 km Masuku Run by the First Lady and the Minister of Health. Fitness Rose is back again this year at the Palais des Sports of Libreville. Rendez-vous every saturday morning throughout the month of October!
Several free testing sites are currently open throughout the country for intensified screening of women 25 years and over. Screenings for both breast and cervical cancer are provided. The importance and impact of early detection on the subsequent management of a positive cancer diagnosis is regularly emphasized throughout the health awareness campaign.
Aside from the screening sites, awareness campaigns are also being carried out through classic media channels as well as social media. A free hotline number, 1455, is open for any further information on the subject.
Women are the heart of the family, therefore we are all concerned by this disease. Whether you are a mother, aunt, sister, daughter, get yourself tested and encourage others to do the same.