Education is the best ammunition against breast cancer. This is the battle cry of global beauty company Avon, as it wages an all out “pink war” against the killer disease that mostly affects women.
As the annual Breast Cancer Awareness Month draws near in October, pink ribbons are popping up everywhere to celebrate the courage of those inflicted with the ailment, as well as a cheerful reminder to womankind that there is hope to prevent and overcome the condition.
To launch the Avon Pink Walk and Run (WAR), a military-style briefing was fittingly held at the Philippine Army Officers’ Clubhouse in Taguig City. At the battlefront were the company’s “Kiss Goodbye to Breast Cancer” ambassadors in Solenn Heussaff, Rocco Nacino, and Kris Bernal, who called on the public to join the “Pink Army.”
The trio creatively highlighted the best course in early breast cancer detection, the monthly self-breast exam—via the “Dibdiban Dance.” A high-energy performance, the number featured the very simple moves that all women should take time to do three to five days after their period begins.
“It’s our mission to check ourselves,” Heussaff emphasized. “This dance is more than just a form of entertainment but a call to spread awareness. Avon hopes for women to become more familiar with their bodies because early detection is the best way to fight breast cancer.”
“It’s frightening that we have a disease that women all around the world and in the Philippines have to battle and fight without a known cure,” echoed Julie Tatarczuk, president and general manager of Avon Philippines. “But we can still do something about it with this kind of education.”
Data from the Philippine Breast Cancer Organization indicates that one out of 13 Filipino women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. In Asia, the Philippines recorded the highest number of breast cancer patients between 1980 to 2010.
“Those statistics are equally frightening but if we educate women, we can help save lives. That’s what we’ll do to turn this war around. The time is now to give every single woman in this country the ammunition to survive this disease,” Tatarczuk said.
Three ways to BSE
There are three ideal conditions in performing a self-breast exam (BSE): While the woman is in the shower, in front of a mirror, or lying down. In the shower, she should simply place her right hand behind her head while pressing the fingers of her left hand around her right breast to feel for any lumps. The process is repeated on the opposite breast.
In front of a mirror, a woman should clasp her hands behind her head while looking for any irregularities in the appearance of both breasts. She should also squeeze her nipples to check for any discharge.
Finally, while lying down, a woman should place a pillow under her right shoulder, and place her right hand behind her head. She must then press her left hand’s fingers firmly on her right breast, starting from the outermost part to work her way towards the center in a circular motion.
“Self-breast examination is a woman’s best weapon. Early detection means a better outcome if a woman is indeed afflicted with breast cancer. The sooner a woman knows she has the disease, the sooner she can begin treatment for a better prognosis,” Tatarczuk elaborated.
Along with Heusaff and Bernal, top male celebrity Rocco Nacino also shared his motivation in joining the Pink War.
The actor revealed that his mother is a breast cancer survivor, and his active participation in the campaign is his way of giving thanks for her continued life.
“It feels great to be doing this for my mom who’s a breast cancer survivor. I’m happy to do this for women like her,” he enthused.
“Guys don’t have to feel awkward or uncomfortable to be part of something like this, especially so if they have a partner. Because if they care for that person, they should take the initiative to remind her to take care of herself.”
Nacino’s mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1998 while living in Singapore. She returned to seek medical treatment in the Philippines, and is thankfully in remission.
Nacino eagerly invites the public to join the fundraising walk and run on October 12 at the SM Mall of Asia grounds.
Registration fee for the five-kilometer run is P550, P700 for the 10-kilometer run, and P229 for the walk. All fees are inclusive of an Avon WAR Kit. The proceeds of the Pink War will go to the Philippine General Hospital Breast Care Center and selected provincial hospitals.
Registration is now ongoing via www.avon.com.ph; and at Chris Sports branches in Festival Mall, Glorietta 3, SM Mall of Asia, SM Megamall Building B, SM City North Edsa Main Mall, and Market Market. Deadline for registration is on October 6.