Hockey India marks ‘Pinktober’ with breast cancer awareness drive

Pinktober, or World Breast Cancer Awareness Month, is an annual international health campaign observed across the world every October.

By Utathya Nag ·

Hockey India and Aaroogya – a non-profit engaged in cancer research – have come together to spread awareness about women’s cancer detection and prevention.

The initiative is part of the World Breast Cancer Awareness Month, or Pinktober, observed globally in October every year.

As part of the awareness drive, Aaroogya co-founders – Dr Priyanjali Datta and Dr Dhruv Kacker – conducted a session with the members of the Indian women’s hockey team to educate the players about breast, cervical and oral cancer.

The attendees were also instructed on how to perform self-examination, detect early symptoms and take preventive measures against cancer.

“The session on the awareness about cancer was very helpful. It was great to be made aware of the common symptoms and causes of cancer and the steps to detect it early, which is critical. I am sure that this session will help us,” India women’s hockey team captain Rani Rampal said.

“Hopefully, Aaroogya can reach out to many more women and help them understand the early detection steps and preventive measures for cancer. We can also pass on the knowledge we have attained today to our own family members and friends,” she added.

Indian women’s hockey team players were instructed about breast cancer awareness and prevention. Photo: Hockey India

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women around the globe, impacting over 2.1 million individuals yearly.

Though very much treatable if detected early, lack of awareness about the disease caused 627,000 deaths in 2018 with the numbers only going up every year.

The cause has especially been close to the heart with the global sporting community. US high jumper Chaunte Howard Lowe, a 2008 Beijing bronze medallist and a breast cancer survivor, has emerged as a global symbol in the fight against breast cancer.

Cricket Australia has been hosting annual Pink Tests at the historic Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) every January since 2012 to commemorate former Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath’s wife Jane – who passed away after a four-year battle with breast cancer.

The matches also serve as fundraisers for the McGrath foundation – a breast cancer support and education charity – created in Jane’s memory.

Similarly, Cricket South Africa hosts Pink ODIs at the Wanderers to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer charities.