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Influence of Celebrities on Breast Cancer Awareness

t of various activities such as runs, hikes, walks, and other fund raising events raise hundred of millions of dollars to conquer that dreaded scourge of the modern woman, breast cancer.

A breast cancer campaign would give more women the cure that can come from early detection; 80,000 new cases are diagnosed annually in India. The US has one of the highest breast cancer rates in the world. Fifty years ago the incidence of Breast Cancer for a woman's life time risk was one in twenty. Now it has skyrocketed to one in eight. Clearly the so-called war on cancer has not even made a dent in the breast cancer epidemic as the rates continue to climb at the rate of one per cent per year.

The motto of Breast Cancer Awareness Month is "Early Detection is Your Best Protection", since the National Cancer Institute stated in 1995 that "Breast cancer is simply not a preventable disease". The American Cancer Society in 1997 announced, "There are no practical ways to prevent breast cancer - only early detection." So mammograms are the front line of defense.

Celebrity Talk: When a celebrity develops a disease, it increases worldwide public awareness of the disease, but the campaigns following the disease should not mislead the public by activating the panic button regarding the disease prevention. The first celebrity to speak out was Betty Ford, wife of president Gerald Ford, who did a great deal to raise awareness of breast cancer in 1974, and detection rates rose immediately in a phenomenon that became known as the "Betty Ford blip." The daughter of Betty Ford has said that every woman should have mammography from the age of 35 onwards, a strategy not supported by most cancer experts.

Nancy Reagan, Wife of Former President Regan, had a Mastectomy surgery for her breast cancer and after her surgery, lumpectomy rates fell for six months, probably because women felt that the president's wife got the best medical advice.


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