When my childhood friend reached out to me about an initiative that aims to improve the early-detection of breast cancer in countries where literacy and taboos get in the way of educating women, I had to learn more. It’s a topic that hits close to his heart and one that I need to share with the Femme & Fortune community.
Introducing The Pink Bra – a bra designed to help women self-test and save their own lives.
The Pink Bra is a bra that’s specially designed for women from lower socio-economic backgrounds where there tends to be a lack of education with breast cancer awareness and prevention. The product itself will be launching first in Pakistan, which alarmingly is known for the highest incidence rate of breast cancer in Asia and very low survival rates. Over 40,000 Pakistani women have lost their lives to breast cancer from 2014-2015 itself. With knowledge of prevention and techniques, the survival rate of cancer could increase to 90% if detected early – a statistic that the Pink Bra aims to improve upon.
Doctor Rufina Soomro, one of Pakistan’s leading breast cancer experts says, “Most women think it’s immoral and inappropriate to speak about breast cancer. These cultural taboos are hindering breast cancer awareness in Pakistan.”
In an effort to respect the cultural norms of Pakistan, the Pink Bra was created to reach women in the comfort of their own privacy. Unlike most of us women who tend to carry purses or wallets for our money, women in countries like Pakistan are custom to tucking their money inside their bra to keep it safe. Based on this observation, the team behind the Pink Bra created strategically-placed pockets so that when women slip money inside their bra, the raised tactile guides inside the bra tell these women where exactly to press to self-examine for any lumps or irregular breast changes.
The bra also comes with easy to understand illustrations, inside the cups of the bra, which explains each step of the self-test in detail. When women spot something unusual they can call the Pink Ribbon hotline number for a free expert advice.
The easiest way to tackle breast cancer is by detecting it early, and the Pink Bra helps do just that.
So how can you help? Follow the movement on social media at #GiveAPinkBra or visit GiveAPinkBra.com to know how you can join the cause!
Pink Ribbon Pakistan is a non-funded, self-sustained campaign, mostly supported by donations and driven by a large number of volunteers all over the country. It was founded in 2004, with a mission to become a Centre of Excellence for Breast Care Information. They create widespread awareness throughout Pakistan and empower women and female students with knowledge and techniques to detect breast cancer at an early stage. The survival rate of cancer increases to more than 90% if detected early, Pink Ribbon Pakistan aims to spread this hope to the maximum number of people in the shortest possible time.