It is a well-known fact that October is designated as the Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It is a sad commentary on the health sector that despite the exponential morbidity and mortality associated with breast cancer, very few men and women are aware of what actually happens, what are the risk factors and what is to be done in case they come across a lump.
In America, Evelyn H. Lauder, founder and president of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and Alexandra Penney, former editor of Self Magazine took upon themselves the task to increase the awareness of breast cancer among the general population by starting the pink ribbon campaign in 1991. To date the color pink is the most powerful association between breast cancer and the general public.
Meanwhile, American Indian women have started their own campaign against the deadly cancer. They have embarked on a Pink Shawl Project to to promote breast cancer awareness among their ilk. This initiative is needed since the National Cancer Institute says that between 1998 and 2002 55 cases of breast cancer were reported for every 100,000 American Indian women. And since there are cultural and linguistic barriers that prevent these women from participating in the general ventures, these traditional wraps or shawls are a much better way of projecting breast cancer awareness in this community.