World Breast Cancer Research Day on August 18 is a cause that we’re proud to celebrate. Breast cancer is a complicated disease, there’s the physical and emotional suffering for those who are afflicted, and then the emotional turmoil for those who stand with their loved ones, through that life-changing journey. We honor those who have gone through this harrowing ordeal, but today is more about those men and women who are doing everything in their power to combat this deadly disease.
History of World Breast Cancer Research Day
The first recorded signs of breast cancer date back to around 3000 B.C., where in ancient Greece people made offerings in the shape of a breast to the god of medicine, Asclepius.
There has been a lot of experimentation throughout history to understand and neutralize the threat that is breast cancer. In ancient times and today, people find themselves turning to their faith and a higher power, as they feel their ability to control their fate slip away. But since the 1970s breast cancer research and breast cancer treatments have become increasingly more effective, resulting in positive diagnoses and incurring fewer fatalities and a more manageable treatment plan.
From a relatively undefined standpoint in the 1960s, breast cancer has undergone a massive awareness campaign since then, and across the globe, both men and women now understand the importance of regular health screens as a result of this consistent and strong message that has been and continues to be broadcast internationally.
In May 2021, The Dr. Susan Love Foundation officially pinned this day, as World Breast Cancer Research Day, to not only bring attention to the disease but also to the amount of work and effort that has gone into understanding and treating this disease that affects so many people on our planet.
The Dr. Susan Love Foundation is hopeful that World Breast Cancer Research Day will be a pivotal day in history that will allow us to achieve a breast cancer-free world.
World Breast Cancer Research Day timeline
William Halsted performs the first radical mastectomy and this surgery remained the standard operation to treat breast cancer until well into the 20th century.
Marie and Pierre Curie discover the radioactive elements radium and polonium, and shortly after their groundbreaking discovery, radium is introduced as a cancer treatment.
Doctors begin to tackle cancer more pragmatically, using both radiation therapy and surgery to spare the breast where it can be done.
The four major subtypes of breast cancer are defined as HR+/HER2 (“luminal A”), HR-/HER2 (“triple-negative”), HR+/HER2+ (“luminal B”), and HR-/HER2+ (“HER2-enriched”).
World Breast Cancer Research Day FAQs
If I find a lump in my breast what should I do?
There is nothing normal about a lump in the breast, seek medical advice urgently.
Someone in my family has breast cancer, what do I do?
It’s easy to feel powerless in a situation like this, but there are things you can do, simply being there is enough. Your presence makes them feel less alone.
How long can I live with breast cancer?
Breast Cancer is ultimately a fatal disease to suffer from, and the reports of some individuals managing to survive upwards of twenty years with the condition do not speak to their quality of life. Living without Breast Cancer is far more attractive an option than living with it. Seek medical advice.
How to Observe World Breast Cancer Research Day
Tell your family you love them
Your family is all you’ve got, make sure that they know how you feel about them, especially today. Life is short so make the most of it.
It's a worthy cause and you never know how you may personally be impacted by breast cancer. Donate, and support the fight for a cure.
Go and get yourself checked out
While you’re never too old to get checked out, your chances of surviving breast cancer are better the younger you are. Use this as a moment to make sure that you’re clear.
5 Facts About Breast Cancer Research
Desperate for a cure
In 2020, 167 billion U.S. dollars were spent on cancer research, and each year that number increases dramatically.
Hope is not lost
Statistically, there is a one in 39% chance that a woman will die from breast cancer.
Thousands live with it
Each year around 255,000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in women.
It’s not just about getting older
Only 80% of women who suffer from breast cancer are over 45; women and men are at risk no matter their age.
Men get it too
Each year about 2,300 men in the U.S.A. are diagnosed with breast cancer.
Why World Breast Cancer Research Day is Important
It spreads awareness
Any day that supports a good cause and spreads awareness is worth getting behind. This day, for the men and women who rely on this vital research, is particularly important.
It normalizes the disease, removing the stigma
The more awareness of a disease there is, the more supportive a community and family can be for those who suffer from it. We love to support a noble cause here at National Today, and so should you.
It reminds us of what's important in life
This dreaded disease gets all the right attention for the right reasons, and a positive diagnosis has the potential to change more than just the patient’s life. We should all lean into the idea that nothing is guaranteed, take a moment and connect with those around you that you care for.
World Breast Cancer Research Day dates