Every October, breast cancer awareness takes center stage as businesses around the world join survivors and their supporters to mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month. But this kind of national attention wasn’t always available or even considered appropriate.
For generations, breast cancer was an unspoken condition, considered too personal to discuss on a national stage. That is until First Lady Betty Ford shared her own breast cancer story in 1975 and helped dismantle the taboo surrounding the disease. Since 1975, the 5-year survival rate for women (and men) has significantly increased, in large part to better education and access to screening.
While early detection and screening are more readily available today than they were when the first Breast Cancer Awareness Month was announced in 1985, funding for screening access, research and treatment is still a tremendous need. The Breast Cancer Research Foundation estimates that nearly 300,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in 2020 alone and an estimated 42,000 women will die from the disease this year.
Many direct selling companies see the urgent need for more breast cancer research and resources and are supporting the cause through donations, fundraising and sponsorship.
Avon has been active in the fight against breast cancer since 1992 when the company launched The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade. Over the last several decades, the company has donated more that $800 million to breast cancer causes and is a longtime partner of the American Cancer Society. Today, Avon is the first National Presenting Partner of Making Strides Against Breast Cancer— the nation’s largest network of breast cancer events. The company’s “Pink Hope” line of products—a selection of personal care items, cosmetics and pink accessories—raises funds with every item sold, with up to $700,000 funding the American Cancer Society’s breast cancer programs and services.
Plexus has had breast cancer detection in mind from its inception, as the Breast Chek™ Kit was the company’s first product. The kit was created to make monthly self-examinations an easier process for women and can be reused with each monthly check. Last October, Plexus committed to donate one Breast Chek™ Kit for every kit sold, resulting in a donation of 2,000 kits to Esperança, a Phoenix-based charity that serves impoverished communities. This October, the company will be recognizing Breast Cancer Awareness Month by hosting “Pink Wednesday” Pop-Up Giveaways on Facebook every Wednesday in October.
From partnerships with breast cancer research organizations to fundraising through product sales and team events, direct selling companies like Avon, Plexus, Le-Vel, Touchstone Essentials, Color Street and many more are bringing much needed awareness and resources to the fight against breast cancer.