This Is What Breast Cancer Activism Looked Like Before the Pink Ribbon

Breast Cancer Awareness month comes every October, viagra 40mg and the display of pink ribbons is hard to miss. The contemporary fight against breast cancer has succeeded in promoting visibility of the disease, in honoring those who have died from it and in giving patients resources for navigating their diagnosis, as well as a sense of hope for the future. But this did not happen overnight, nor did it originate with the pink ribbon campaign conceived in the early 1990s.

That breast cancer garners an impressive amount of social awareness is no accident; it is the result of decades of committed activism beginning in the 1970s, and was driven in large part by the spirit of the women’s liberation movement. Until this point in time, breast cancer was an “unspeakable” condition that women experienced privately and silently, with shame rather than social support. It took the acts of individual women speaking out about cancer, as well as feminist organizing that targeted the relationship between female patients and the male-dominated medical establishment, for the issue to go public and become less stigmatized.

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