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Breast Cancer Awareness: A Guide To Pink Since the late 1970s when Penny Laingen tied yellow ribbons around trees to bring awareness to her husband who was a hostage in the Iran Hostage Crisis of 1979-1980, ribbons have been used as powerful symbols of awareness and hope. In the 1990s AIDS activists used red ribbons representing people fighting AIDS and breast cancer activists handed out pink ribbons.
In the years since Laingan_s use of the yellow ribbon, it has become a symbol most associated with supporting the safe return of deployed American troops. In large part to celebrities_ support and display of the ribbons and media coverage, The New York Times declared 1992 _The Year of the Ribbon._
Since the 1990s the use of the red ribbon for AIDS awareness and fight for the cure, as well as other colored ribbons for other causes, has skyrocketed. Now _awareness ribbons_ as they are collectively known, are used in the U.S., Canada and Australia, to represent a statement of support for a cause or an issue. So many groups have adopted the symbolic representation that colors represent more than one cause or issue. Ribbons are most often worn on jacket lapels but larger ribbons are also tied around things like trees, car antennas and poles. There are also sticker and magnet versions of the ribbons.
In 1985 an organization called National Breast Cancer Month designated October as _Breast Cancer Awareness Month._ This designation now means each October store shelves are filled with pink products_everything from pink nail polish to pink tennis balls-- to promote awareness and raise research dollars.
Many women_s magazines like InStyle, Real Simple and Self run special breast cancer awareness articles and pages filled with pink ribbon product recommendations.
InStyle magazine features an article on actress and breast cancer activist Halle Berry and her participation in the 15th annual Entertainment Industry Foundation_s Revlon Run/Walk for Women in Los Angelous, which has raised more than $50 million to find a cure and treatment for the disease since 1993. More than 50, 000 people, along with Berry showed up at the breast cancer awareness run.
InStyle magazine also featured two pages of pink ribbon products including cooking utensils for Cook for the Cure and beauty products. For its October issue Real Simple magazine features a breast cancer awareness service piece the that answers magazine readers_ questions about breast cancer detection, treatment and prevention. The magazine also reports that death from the disease has decreased by approximately 24 percent in the last 16 years.
Self magazine, which boasts being the founder of the pink ribbon, publishes the Self Women_s Cancer Handbook every year. This year the features in the cancer handbook include _Quiz: Your risk demystified, _ _My Mother, My Cancer Fears, _ _Slash Your Cancer Risk in Minutes a Day, _ _Cancer in a Can, _ _Fighting Back with Fun and Fitness_ and more. Self magazine also devotes three pages to _Pink Power, _ a feature on new pink ribbon products available this year.
While pink ribbon product campaigns in stores provide significant amounts of money to breast cancer charities, consumers should be aware that just because a product is pink doesn_t mean that buying it helps fight breast cancer. The breast cancer advocacy group ThinkBeforeYouPink offers consumers helpful tips, including six critical questions to ask before purchasing.
profile/Jessica-Vandelay/54466>Jessica Vandelay

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