Monday, October 12, 2009

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

AVRO presenter Chantal Janzen, Henk van der Mark (from Estee Lauder), Sylvie van der Vaart and Quinty Trustful. Photo: Marcel Antonisse/ANP

October is the international breast cancer awareness month in more than 20 countries. In the Netherlands the Koninklijk Theather Carre was lit in pink during a ceremony - Pink Ribbon Award Gala - in the beginning of the month. The presentation was in the hands of actress Chantal Janzen and there was a special guest in the party: Sylvie van der Vaart. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in the beginning of this year and was operated. Because of chemotherapy sessions she has lost all her incredible hair and is now wearing wigs. She has been very active and open in the Dutch press about her emotional ups and downs. Third lady from left to right is TV presentator and Pink Ribbon Ambassadeur Quinty Trustful - whose mother died of breast cancer years ago. The purpose of the Pink Ribbon Award is to stimulate openess and awareness about the subject "breast cancer" and therefore making a quick diagnosis possible.

Also Metro newspaper was in the beginning of the month printed in pink pages. When in a swimming club with my kids last week I have found folders about breast cancer prevention together with their usual reading stuff. I see pink everywhere now and think a lot about prevention. I sit many hours a day and move my legs only on Wednesdays and on the weekends. Soon, I will be changing that !

Teatro de Arame in Curitiba, Brazil.

In Rio de Janeiro, Christ the Redemeer was also lit in pink. Amongst buildings, landmarks and monuments that were already lit in pink are the White House and the Sydney Opera House.

Photo: O Globo

Sydney Opera House - photo: O Globo

The initiative about breast cancer awareness month started in Californina 11 years ago. In the whole world 1 woman in 8 will develop the disease. But there is much do to in terms of prevention: avoid a lazy life (=try to have a DAILY physical activity), change your eating habits (=prefer a diet rich in bio veggies and fruit), avoid overweight, hormonal treatments during the menopause, choose for moderate alcohol consumption. Using a deodorant after shaving your armpits does not lead to breast cancer. Breastfeeding your children does not prevent you from acquiring the disease - unless you bare and breastfeed enough children during one decade or more of your life. Better change your diet and reach the first gym on the corner. Or swimming club. Or drop your car and get a bike.

Irene Moors, photo from KWF Kankerbestrijding

If you are doing your prevention unfortunately your are not doing enough. Bring the subject to other women ! For example wearing a lucky bracelet from KWF Kankerbestrijding (see photo above)). The pink "armbandjes" can be purchased this month in the Netherlands in 112 shops of DIDI, 110 shops of ICI PARIS XL. Many other points of sale you can find at

For those who like art... On the 15th October in the Museumplein in Amsterdam there will be a unique exposition with 12 top Dutch photographers – Paul Blanca, Morad Bouchakour, Koos Breukel, Wendelien Daan, Willeke Duijvekam, Carli Hermes, Leo Hol, Miep Jukkema, Krijn van Noordwijk, Carla van de Puttelaar, Cornelie Tollens en Marcel van der Vlugt – who put their efforts into action for Stichting Bortbeeld. Each photographer had made a double diptych of models who had breastcancer and had to go through a breast reconstruction.

Photo: Krijn van Noordwijk

Wanna know more about the myths and truths about breast cancer ? Check then: Other cool sites are: and If you wish to colour your blog, site (or Twitter) pink this month go to:


Carlota said...


A prevenção é muito importante! Infelizmente ainda é muito pouco divulgada, e até nos meios onde as pessoas são extremamente esclarecidas.a prevenção não existe. As mulheres alegam falta de tempo , mas acho que acontece um pouco de má vontade. Acho muito importante toda essa movimentação . Ahhhhhhh, aproveitando a foto do Cristo , só pra lembrar, a estátua do Cristo completa hoje 78 anos ! Grande bj.

Aledys Ver said...

Great, Anita - you're helping to spread the word and make people more aware of this sort of cancer. More aware that more research is needed to find a cure. More aware that you can do things to prevent it. More aware as a doctor, that you need to emphasize the importance of screening and testing, too. I firmly believe that the age to get your "invitation" to have a mamogram done here in the Netherlands should be brought down from 50 to 40, and before that if you have a family history of breast cancer on your mother's side.