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Breast cancer awareness can be promoted in the workplace

One of every eight women will receive a breast cancer diagnosis during her lifetime, according to the National Cancer Institute. Every woman diagnosed is someone's mother, aunt, best friend, neighbor or co-worker. Every day is a great day to step up and fight this deadly, yet treatable, disease, but an especially good time is during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.

"Office communities are great places to generate awareness for the various charities that need support to keep the hope for a cure alive and strong," says Mike Patriarca, the president of, a leading business-to-business online and direct marketer of office products.

Mr. Patriarca suggests the following ways to motivate and mobilize your workplace colleagues to join the fight against breast cancer in October:

BUY PRODUCTS WITH A CONSCIENCE: Many companies have partnerships with breast cancer charities.

For example, a portion of proceeds from the sale of pink products at benefit breast cancer research foundations such as City of Hope, a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center dedicated to research, treatment and education. Visit for more information.

Encourage employees to wear jeans and their favorite pink t-shirts each Friday

Everyone is happy to observe casual Friday and most are happy to make a donation for the privilege of doing so.

Collect small contributions from each participant to benefit a charity such as City of Hope or the American Cancer Society.

ASSEMBLE COLLEAGUES TO PARTICIPATE IN A CHARITABLE EVENT: Create an office team and sign up for the nearest Walk for Hope to Cure Breast Cancer, Avon Walk for Breast Cancer or 2-Day Walk.

Train together and ask your company to match dollars pledged.

Invite employees to share stories about friends and family who have battled breast cancer

Create an "Inspiration Collage" of survivor photos and profiles on a bulletin board in a communal area of the office.

ENCOURAGE FEMALE WORKERS OLDER THAN 40 TO GET SCREENED: Breast cancer is most effectively treated with an early diagnosis.

Work with your human resources department to distribute a reminder e-mail that encourages workers to schedule their annual mammograms.

Take a "day off" to volunteer at a local breast cancer organization or hospice

Many companies sponsor volunteer days for employees. Find the perfect opportunity that fits the interests and skills of your coworkers through a search engine like

Make your clicks count by visiting Web sites that promote breast cancer awareness

Visit TheBreastCancerSite. com and click to help fund mammograms for low-income women through the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Starting in October, follow on Twitter or "friend" the company on Facebook to learn more about its efforts to raise money for breast cancer research and treatment.

For more ideas on how to make a difference during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, visit

Web posted on Thursday, October 01, 2009

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