Every October since 1993, Estée Lauder has painted the world pink while raising money for the Breast Cancer Research Fund; this year, more than 200 global landmarks will be lighted pink to raise awareness of the need for a cure. "Sometimes when we’re approaching BCA month, I think, 'Gosh, I hope the TV shows are going to have us on this year,'" Estée Lauder model Elizabeth Hurley recently said when asked what's changed since she began campaigning for breast cancer awareness. "I think that, but what never changes is that more and more people want to talk about it — because sadly, women are still being diagnosed with breast cancer." To find out what Elizabeth Hurley and the BCA campaign are doing to make 2011 different, just keep reading.
This year, in an effort to continue expanding recognition of the disease and the people it affects, the Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign wants to highlight a new community: men. One percent of those who battle breast cancer are men, so the BCA compact ($55) and Ribbon Pin ($13) each feature a blue rhinestone to support that group. Twenty percent of proceeds from these products' sales will, as always, go directly to the Breast Cancer Research Fund. "The most important thing I get when I talk with [BCRF leaders] is that they can find a cure," Hurley said. "The only thing stopping them is lack of funding."
For Hurley, helping women battle breast cancer is a personal endeavor. Not only did she lose her grandmother to breast cancer, she has three close friends who detected their own breast cancers during a monthly self-examination. "Fortunately, they all survived," Hurley explained. "If breast cancer is detected early, there's a 98% survival rate." If you're below 40, conducting a monthly self-exam is a good way to look for unusual lumps. After 40, mammograms are a must. And if you're looking for another way to support the cause, you could always look to your family or community. "If you know a person who can't afford a mammogram, how about giving it as a birthday gift or Christmas present?" Hurley suggested. "There are many ways you could give someone what could be a life-saving gift."