Breast Cancer Awareness – Pink Ribbon

The Pink Ribbon Campaign is an international campaign to show solidarity with breast cancer victims, to provide information and increase awareness about breast cancer and to support breast cancer research.

Breast Cancer: Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, affecting about 3,500 women in Norway each year. Based on normal life expectancy, one of twelve women will develop breast cancer at some time in their life. Thanks to research and early detection of breast cancer, the prognosis is better than before. According to the Cancer Registry, about 90% of all women who get breast cancer live five years after being diagnosed.

Breast Self Exam: Become familiar with your breasts through breast self-exam. If you have any of the following warning signs, you should consult a doctor:

  • Lump in the breast or armpit
  • Thickening/swelling
  • Irritation or dimpling of skin
  • Nipple indention, pain or discharge
  • Change in size or shape

Instruction video for breast self examination (in Norwegian)

Causes and Risk Factors: The precise causes of breast cancer are unclear, but there are known risk factors;

  • Age- about eight in ten women who get breast cancer are over 50 years old
  • Gender – female
  • Family history
  • Gene mutations, such as BRCA1 and BRCA2
  • Reproductive history; early first menstruation and late menopause, never having given birth.
  • Hormone replacement
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Obesity/insufficient exercise

Breast Cancer Screening Program: Regular mammogram is the most important method for detecting breast cancer in early stage. The Norwegian Breast Cancer Screening program invites all women between 50 and 69 years of age to mammography every two years.

About nine out of ten lumps detected in the breast are benign. But with the slightest uncertainty, reference will be made to triple diagnosis, which in Norway is performed at breast cancer clinics.

When to see a doctor:

  • If you find a lump or other change in your breast, even if a recent mammogram was normal, make an appointment with your doctor for evaluation.
  • If you have a family history with an increased incidence of breast cancer or other types of cancer, it may be advisable to recommend taking a blood test to see if there are mutations in BRCA or other genes.

For more information about the Pink Ribbon campaign go to: The Norwegian Cancer Society.

Photo: Steffen Aadland