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“Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it.” –Bill Cosby
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The BRCA Gene Patented? What This Could Mean To Breast Cancer Patients

posted by:
ErikaM

The discovery of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes has brought hope to millions of women around the world. Now, men and women who are genetically predisposed to breast cancer can make the right choices when it comes to their health. They know they have to be vigilant in performing breast self examination frequently and subject themselves to a mammogram at least every year.

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But what happens when the BRCA 1 and BRCA2 genes become patented?

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The Australian Federal Court has ruled for Myriad Genetics and Genetic Technologies, making it legal to patent the breast cancer gene. Cancer advocates around the world have expressed their outrage about the decision and have lent their support for Ms. Yvonne D’Arcy, a two time cancer survivor, who has filed the suit against the genetics company. According to her, the High Court’s decision wasn’t just against her, but it was against millions of people who will suffer the increased prices of gene testing and treatments once the company has patented the genes.

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A similar case has been filed in the United States last June, also against US Based Myriad Genetics. However, the US Supreme Court ruled against the company saying” Myriad did not create anything…to be sure, it found an important and useful gene, but separating that gene from its surrounding genetic material is not an act of invention.” In most countries, it is against the law to patent anything that occurs naturally such as blood and in this case, genes.

There is no doubt that legally “owning” the gene will give the company permission to make profit out of it. We hope that the Australian Court will consider Ms. D’Arcy’s appeal in the name of all the men and women who can be saved from breast cancer.

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NFL: There Will Be Less Pink This October

posted by:
ErikaM

It hasn’t been the best few weeks for the NFL. In addition to the alleged cover-ups, drug use and domestic violence in the league, another controversy has hit the league- this time involving breast cancer awareness.

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According to an unnamed resource, the National Football League -who has religiously supported Breast Cancer Awareness month for years – is reportedly “dialing down” the pink this October. The reason for this has not been revealed but many are speculating that this has something to do with the recent domestic violence issues that involve NFL players.

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A Crucial Catch is the NFL’s Breast Cancer Awareness in partnership with the American Cancer Society. As part of the campaign, a part of the profits from Crucial Catch games and pink merchandise sold online and on site are donated to the ACS. While the NFL claims that 90% of the profits go directly to breast cancer charities, a report from the ESPN says otherwise. In 2013, it was found out that only 8% went to the American Cancer Society. The rest of the money was divided among the NFL, the manufacturer and the distributor.

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While we do not doubt the power the NFL possesses when it comes to spreading the word, maybe it would be a better idea to donate directly to the ACS if you aren’t big enough fans of the NFL anyway. This way, we can be ensured that 100% of your donations would be used towards finding a cure. Let us remember who we want to help and find ways on how our help can reach them faster.

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Our Favorite BCA Activities from Pinterest!

posted by:
ErikaM

Pinterest is a website described as a “visual discovery tool”. It allows you to choose pictures that spark your creativity by “pinning” them on your very own board. Basically it works as an idea cork board for the internet.

So what does this have to do with breast cancer awareness? Well, we’ve recently discovered that there are  lot of advocates posting great ideas on Pinterest that are perfect for the upcoming Breast Cancer Awareness month! Here are some of our favorites:

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When we saw this picture, two ideas came to mind: Invite all of your friends for a Pink Nail Party  and talk about the nitty gritty of taking good care of the breast. Second, talk to your favorite Nail Art salon about participating in your upcoming event this October.

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How adorable are these? These are a great idea for any fundraising activities in schools especially because most students own a pair of sneakers. If the guys find this a little too frilly for their taste, you can offer them plain pink laces like these.

a2aa7be6b564b6af650cea935f76226bAccording to the post, this is a picture of her daughter’s basketball team showing off the basketball shoes a local business donated to their team for their annual breast cancer game.

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This is a great way to show your support for breast cancer awareness all year long!

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This precious pic was snapped at the Susan G. Komen Atlanta 3-Day in 2013.  We love how these ladies proudly wore their pink! capes during the event!

6ac48634dc5db6e6a8c2e6c50ba0584eHow about a walk were pets are included? There can even be a contest on whose pup’s costume is the cutest! We’re voting for these three, definitely!

Pinterest is a good place to start when you’re looking for ideas for your upcoming breast cancer awareness event! We hope we got the ball rolling for you!

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Smoking Increases the Risk of Aggressive Breast Cancer in Young Women

posted by:
ErikaM

Do you think you’re invincible to cancer because you’re young? Think again!

A study recently found a direct link between smoking at an early age and triple negative breast cancer. Although less commonly seen, triple negative is notorious for its reputation as an aggressive kind of breast cancer – that means women diagnosed with this kind of cancer are less likely to survive.

The study involved women between 20 and 44 years old who smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for 10 years. Dr. Christopher Li, the study’s senior author found evidence that women who started smoking early in their lifetime are 60% more likely to develop estrogen receptor positive breast cancer.

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According to the American Cancer Society the time that the women started smoking also plays a part in breast cancer risk. Those who started smoking before their first menstrual period had a 61% risk and those who started after their first cycle but 11 or so years before having their first child had a 45% risk. Mia Gaudet, the ACS’s Director of Genetic Epidemiology explained that a woman’s breast tissue is not fully developed until she had her first child and that makes the breasts more susceptible to the negative effects of tobacco.

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In the light of the upcoming breast cancer awareness month, let us put the focus on influencing young women to adapt a healthy lifestyle and put all the focus on developing the body and the mind to achieve their potential.

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If you have been thinking about quitting smoking, do something about it today. Look at the ACS’s Guide to Quitting Smoking and see what small steps you can take to finally free yourself from the negative effects of tobacco. You can do it!

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Self Help: What You Can Do For Yourself for Breast Cancer Awareness

posted by:
ErikaM

Most Breast Cancer awareness activities are centered on helping others by participating in various events or donating to a charity. Participation fosters empowerment of survivors and their families by showing them how that we are willing to walk/run/trek for their cause. Donations are given to charities to help them in their plight to spread the word about early detection, support and treatment options. Some also fund promising research to continue the hunt for the illusive cure.

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This week, we encourage you to step back and divert the passion you feel for helping others towards yourself – what can you do for yourself this breast cancer awareness month?

If you are in your early 30s and 40s, it is never too early to take steps towards early detection and prevention. Here are some of your suggested ‘Self Help’ activities:

  1. Get yourself a mammogram/sonogram appointment for the next 20 years. Schedule it every year on the day you won’t forget – your mom’s birthday, your anniversary or the date of birth of your first born.
  2. Learn how to do a proper Breast Self Examination on yourself and do it every month. It’s best to let your doctor demonstrate the proper way to perform the exam. You can print out a really cute guide to help you out each month.mammary-exam-card
  3. Quit Smoking. It’s as simple as that.
  4. Start a healthy revolution. There are a lot of different kinds of exercises out there go out and find a routine you love and stick to it! It doesn’t have to be anything fancy like joining a gym or buying exercise equipment. It can be as simple as taking a walk thrice a week with a friend.background-image2
  5. Revisit your grocery list. Stop buying foods high in carbohydrates and fat. Stock up on fruits, veggies and other foods that are jam packed with vitamins and minerals to help lessen your risk.
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Sports and Breast Cancer Awareness: Fun Ideas From The Susan G. Komen Foundation

posted by:
ErikaM

Sports and fundraising events always go hand in hand. Both implore the use of hard work, teamwork, and heart – the three things we need to finally put an end to breast cancer.

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The Susan G. Komen Foundation is leading the way to the cure by utilizing the help of sports teams across the nation. Everyone from national sports teams to your local pee wee league can participate in the following sports: Basketball (Hoops for the Cure), Volleyball (Volley/Dig for the Cure), Softball/Baseball (Pitch for the Cure), Pool Tournament (Shoot for the Cure). If your team isn’t listed, head on over to Play for the Cure- a non-specific charity that helps teams from different sports to organize their own rally for breast cancer.

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The foundation also provides resources, ideas and support for individuals or teams who want to part to participate in any of these events. A portion of the proceeds from admission tickets, sales of breast cancer giveaways and donations from guests are donated to the Foundation’s research grants which are in the forefront of finding a way to finding a cure and local charities that give support to individuals battling breast cancer in your community.

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This is also a great time to honor survivors and their families by asking them to participate during halftime events or organizing small talks where they could share their experiences to the younger generation. These stories inspire young people to take up the cause and encourage their loved ones to get their mammograms regularly.

What’s a sports rally for breast cancer without some pink gear?  As always, our friends from Suddora would be more than happy to provide you with quality gear that can be used by the athletes or sold to event spectators… don’t forget to visit them!

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Why It’s Cool To Go Local: An Austin Charity Helps Neighbors with Breast Cancer

posted by:
ErikaM

It is often hard for first time advocates to pick an organization to support, simply because of the huge numbers of non-profit organizations for breast cancer in existence. We’re all thankful for their valiant efforts of course, but sometimes people want to help people whom they interact with on an everyday basis: their teachers, neighbors, local business owners who are putting up a fight against breast cancer.

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The Susan G. Komen Chapter in Austin, Texas wants to make one thing clear this October: They may be part of a national organization, but the funds raised during this year’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month will go to their neighbors who are battling the disease. Since 1999, they’ve concentrated all their efforts to raising money to help survivors and their families living in the Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson Counties by providing financial and emotional aid.

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We can take a page from their book and host our own local fundraising event this October. Here are some of our suggested activities which you can easily adopt for your school or office:

Penny Wars: A Penny Jar is left inside classrooms and students are encouraged to put in their extra change throughout the month of October.

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Pink Spirit Week: Go all out and organize a week long awareness campaign in your place of work or study. Invite survivors to speak about their experiences and experts to answer questions about breast care. You can also dedicate a day wherein students and staff wear head to toe pink!

Race for the Cure: Undeniably the main event for October, Race for the Cure Austin will be held on November 16th 2014.

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Breast Cancer affects women in your community too! Look up your local Breast Cancer Support foundation and ask them how you can help them make an impact this October. Whether you chose to be local or national, the important thing is that we do everything that we can to raise awareness and funds to finally put a stop to the disease.

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Taking Bake Offs To The Next Level for Breast Cancer

posted by:
ErikaM

Are your cupcakes as good as you think they are? Put them to the test with the Breakthrough Bake-Off Challenge!

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The Bake Off is a program sponsored by The Breakthrough Cancer Foundation. It aims to inspire anybody who enjoys a good piece of cake to get up and do something to help aid breast cancer programs and research. As we were browsing through their website, we can’t help but be inspired – it seems that the Foundation has pulled out all the stops to make setting-up easy for participants by making  posters, stickers, price tags and even recipes available to anyone who signs up for the event!

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Although the BCF is based in the United Kingdom, the Bake-Off is something you can do in your own neighborhood as well. Partner up with your favorite Breast Cancer Charity and pick out a date in October when you want to hold the event.

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Challenge your neighbors to bake their signature goodies and ask local businesses to pitch in by donating giveaways or helping out during the event. It doesn’t have to be anything big; you can hold the event in your front yard if you like. The best part is, you don’t have to be a baker to participate. The event allows participants to bring in their favorite store bought treats to the event as well. If you’ve always wanted to try your hand at baking, doing it for the benefit of others is a great way to start!

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So what do you say? Are you up to the challenge?

If you’re a business owner who wants to participate in a Breast Cancer Bake-Off Event, check out these edible treats from Custom On It.They can customize cookies, pack candies and other snacks with your company logo for you to giveaway during events.  

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Warning: These are NOT Your Usual Pink Giveaways

posted by:
ErikaM

Are you sick and tired of giving away the usual items at your yearly breast cancer event? You know what? We are too! In an effort to attract more participants and raise more money and awareness, we must come up with really cool giveaways.

Like you, we here at Breast Cancer Gear are already planning our own little shindig this October so we’re also on the lookout for the perfect event giveaways. We’ve listed down out Top 5 picks and we hope that you would help us pick the winner! Here are the contenders:

Custom Breast Cancer Themed Tote Bags

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These are really cute! You can choose from three different color combinations –black/white, pink/white and black/pink.

Pink Wayferers

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If you want your both voted most popular at your event, we suggest these stylish wayferers. You can put your company’s name or the name of your chosen charity on the rims or on the lenses. We love the hot pink!

Foldable water bottle

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Make it easier for participants to rehydrate with this foldable water container. It is highly customizable and even comes with a carabiner for easy transport. Great for outdoor activities.

Breast Cancer Awareness Tumbler

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Reusable tumblers are quite popular nowadays and pairing it with the ‘Keep Calm’ adage will ensure that the campaign will go on until the participants put the tumblers in good use.

The Pink Awareness Bag

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Drawstring bags can be used for sports, travel or for storing items in your car. This bag is not only cute, it’s a great way to promote your business or your cause as well. You can put in some really creative lines such as “Get Your Mammo Now”  or “Think Pink”.

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Making Fundraising Fun: Creative Ideas For Breast Cancer Awareness Campaigns at Schools

posted by:
ErikaM

Thousands of children around the world are affected by breast cancer. Although not directly, their sisters, mothers, aunts, teachers and role models are being diagnosed every day. This is why it is very important to educate children about the importance of working together towards a cause. If you are a school teacher, a concerned parent or just a passionate volunteer, the folks from The Breast Cancer Campaign have a lot of great fund raising ideas for a school setting. Our favorites include:

Breast Cancer Awareness Week

With the school’s approval, you can get students and the faculty to dress up in their pink best for a day or wear something pink for a week in October.

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You can also sell raffle tickets to students, parents or teachers and get local businesses to join in the fun by donating small prizes to the winners.

Walk/Bike to School Week

Instead of taking the bus or their cars, encourage students and faculty to ride their bikes or walk to school for a week. This activity also promotes a healthy lifestyle which is key in preventing breast cancer. Participants can wear pink gear or hold up signs to support early detection methods as well.

Local businesses can pitch in by donating arm sleeves or pink head bands such as these:

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The Breakfast Club

Participants can donate baked goods and coffee to sell on school grounds to raise money for your chosen breast cancer charity. Cupcakes, coffee and an opportunity to help tohers? We’re sold!

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Mammogram Sign Up booth

Team up with your local hospital or mobile mammogram unit and set up a booth at school where students can nominate anybody to get a mammogram.

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