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History of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month was created in 1985 by the American Cancer Society and the pharmaceutical division of Imperial Chemical Industries. Since the beginning, the goal of the campaign has been to promote breast cancer awareness, share information, and provide greater access to treatment and services. Since its creation, the campaign is always recognized in the month of October.

The largest breast cancer organization in the world is the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, which predates National Breast Cancer Awareness Month by three years. The Komen Foundation was created by Nancy Brinker, who promised her late older sister (Susan Komen) that she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer.

The iconic pink ribbon that symbolizes breast cancer awareness was first given out in 1991 by the Komen Foundation to participants in that year’s Race For The Cure, and then two years later was made the official symbol of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, a top rated, non-profit organization.

Today National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a partnership of over 14 nation-wide organizations, and breast cancer awareness is more visible than ever before. The NFL now recognizes the health campaign, as well as many public lighting displays, including the Empire State Building and the White House.

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