menu icon
spm group large logo 468x104
spm group team logos

The Squeeze, Vol. 18: (Em)powered by Pink

The Squeeze, Vol. 18: (Em)powered by Pink.

Let’s go pink with purpose.

What’s going on?
This Pink October, brands showed their support like a well-made bra.

ICYMI: October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a worldwide annual campaign devoted to increase awareness, education and research funding for breast cancer, which is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in American women (behind lung cancer). In recent years past, breast cancer campaigning has drawn criticism for the ‘pinkification’ (i.e., commoditization) of the disease. But this October the sea of pink seemed to be calmer, with initiatives aimed at raising awareness of discrete issues of the disease among particular communities.

1. Lizzo’s shapewear brand, YITTY, has partnered with Young Survival Coalition (an organization that supports the young breast cancer community) on a campaign for women under 40. The campaign urges young adults to make their #FitCheck – the viral trend for checking an outfit before leaving the house – a #TitCheck. “Breast self-awareness” is critical for young women, who typically don’t begin mammography screening until age 40 and generally have lower survival rates when facing breast cancer. 80% of young women diagnosed with breast cancer find their breast abnormality themselves so this campaign aims to help them understand how easy it is to check themselves and take control of their breast health.

2. Sista Strut is a 3k walk event bringing awareness to breast cancer in women of colorBlack women are more likely to be diagnosed at a younger age and are 40% more likely to die of breast cancer than white women. Each year, walks are held in select cities across the US benefitting local non-profit organizations. The 2022 Milwaukee event offered free breast exams to participants and was presented by SPM Group’s own Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin.

3. Other healthcare systems, like Springfield, IL-based Memorial Health, are offering free mammograms for uninsured and underinsured patients at system locations throughout the month of October. By removing the financial burden of mammographies, providers are reinforcing their importance while reducing health disparities among their communities. Which is especially important given that a decades-long study released last year found that women diagnosed with breast cancer who do not have regular mammograms are 50% more likely to die from the disease within 10 years of diagnosis than those who have regular screening.

4. The Pink Fund (a national nonprofit dedicated to providing non-medical financial assistance to breast cancer patients) has declared October as “Breast Cancer Unawareness Month” to highlight the often-overlooked financial side effects of the disease: 41% of patients alter or skip treatment due to the financial hardships of breast cancer. One of the key components of the campaign is to ask supporters to turn their pink ribbons upside down to show the world that there is another part of the fight that affects almost all breast cancer patients.


What's The Squeeze?
These initiatives and statistics remind us of Breast Cancer Awareness Month’s importance, while advocating the need to move from just awareness to action too.

Despite the pink wallpapering typical of past Octobers, the intent behind Breast Cancer Awareness Month is still very much valid as a recent survey found that 22% of women aged 35-44 have never gotten a mammogram and have no plans to. Research also shows that Breast Cancer Awareness Month campaigns are effective in increasing screenings, as there is typically a rise in mammograms performed in and immediately following October. Which then begs the question, why don’t we take similar actions throughout the entire year and for additional cancer types as well?

Another SPM Group client, Virtua Health, is leading the charge in doing so. They offer free breast screenings to 900+ women (who meet age and income requirements) annually as part of its Mobile Mammography and Cancer Screening Unit. Virtua will be adding a Mobile Health and Cancer Screening Unit to its fleet next year, expanding access to gynecologic exams and tests, colorectal screenings, prostate exams, and additional community health services for its at-risk populations.

It has been well established that early detection of cancer through routine screening improves survival, particularly for breast cancer. So until a true cure has been discovered, we as healthcare communication specialists must continue empowering women to keep up with routine self-exams and mammography screenings and ensure that all women have the resources needed to do so.

Related Insights.

Duis Aute Irure.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum.

For more information, please contact
[email protected].