vious activity is the pink ribbon signifying support for the fight against breast cancer. Breast Cancer Awareness Month is now sponsored by a variety of partners, including the American Cancer Society, American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Academy of Family Physicians, CDC, and NCI.
During the past decade, breast cancer became an appealing cause for many corporations to adopt as “good citizens.” Avon has been one of the most notable. In 1991, it launched its pink ribbon campaign, selling pink ribbons through its catalog and sales representatives to raise funds for local community efforts such as mobile mammography vans and local education. In its first year, Avon raised $6 million. Avon continues to sell pink ribbon products today and supports a variety of breast cancer-related activities through its an annual 3-day walking event. General Electric, a manufacturer of mammography equipment, and Kellogg’s were also among the early participants, running breast cancer awareness advertising in the early 1990s in support of their corporate positioning. Today, countless corporations involve themselves in breast cancer promotions and cause-related marketing. American Airlines, American Express, and Yoplait are only a few of the corporate partners helping the Komen Foundation to support its annual run.
The issue of mammography also has been kept alive by scientific disagreement over the benefits associated with screening. In 1993, debate occurred over the recommendations of when women should start getting mammography. For example, the American Cancer Society recommended baseline mammograms at age 35 in contrast to NCI recommendations. Scientific debates continue to play out in the media today, as researchers debate mammography and its ability to reduce mortality given new screening procedures and advanced forms of treatment (e.g., high-dose chemotherapy procedures).