Avon has launched a breast awareness campaign simply titled: What’s your Normal, which seeks to encourage women (and men) to detect the symptoms of breast cancer in the early stages, empower people to take control of their health, debunk some of the myths around breast cancer and reduce stigma around this silent pandemic.
What’s your Normal will be the flagship campaign that will be run under the hashtag #NormalforMe, throughout October, a month that is designated as breast cancer awareness month.
In the absence of the iThemba Walkathon this year, an initiative that has become a key calendar event during breast awareness month, What’s your Normal will serve as a placeholder and a reaffirmation of Avon’s commitment to champion breast cancer awareness.
What’s your Normal is a campaign that asks women to describe their breasts (and pecs) in three words in order to determine what their “normal” is. The rationale of the campaign is that if women know what their normal feels like, they will know when something feels different and therefore they can have their breasts checked by a healthcare professional when they detect something odd.
At the heart of What’s your Normal is the importance of encouraging early detection. Medical experts have attributed the low survival rates for breast cancer in sub-Saharan Africa to late-stage presentation.
Mafahle Mareletse, Managing Director of Avon Justine Turkey, Middle East & Africa, says the campaign is not only targeted at women, but to men as well. Professor Alicia Sherriff, Head of the Department of Oncology at the University of the Free State (UFS), says men constitute 1.8% of all the breast cancer diagnosed in South Africa.
“Since its inception 136 years ago, Avon has steadfastly championed causes that are close to women, such as breast cancer awareness. Our Breast Cancer Promise is to ensure everyone knows the signs, knows the risks and knows how to take action against breast cancer, whether by checking breasts or going for a regular scan.
As we head into breast cancer awareness month, it is important that we amplify the message of the importance of early detection and how that increases the chances of survival. This year, we are donating approximately R1 million to help raise the volume and bolster ongoing initiatives to step up breast cancer awareness.
Breast cancer remains one of the most common forms of cancer affecting women in South Africa. According to the National Cancer Registry, one in 26 women are at risk of developing breast cancer.
“We call upon our customers, Reps and Consultants to join this campaign and de-stigmatise breast cancer. It is only through an open discussion of breast cancer that we can drive education on the importance of early detection and encourage women and men to take a proactive stance on breast cancer. By participating in this #NormalforMe campaign, your contribution can affirm, encourage and educate millions of women and bring us a step closer to winning the fight against this silent pandemic,” Mareletse concludes.
Through its breast cancer promise, Avon has partnered with non-governmental organisations by supporting their initiatives to raise breast cancer awareness and to support those infected and affected by breast cancer.
The organisations that we have supported are Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA), Wings of Hope, Journeysys and Look Better…Feel Better.