Behind the Breakthroughs
The Your Stories Podcast

Hear candid conversations between people conquering cancer — patients, their family and friends, and doctors and researchers working to help us all.

From left to right: Dr. Judy Garber, Athena Jones.
Dr. Clifford Hudis headshot
Behind the Breakthroughs
Thinking Pink and Beyond
You’ve almost certainly seen them: the pink ribbons pinned to your senator’s suit jacket. Runners dressed in head-to-toe pink athletic gear, racing for a cure. The football players, streaking down the field in their pink cleats.

It started in October 1985, when one of the nation’s largest cancer philanthropies partnered with a drug company to raise awareness about breast cancer. In the years since, what started as a week-long campaign has evolved to a full month of awareness, with people around the world donning their pinkest attire to raise awareness of a disease that can affect almost anyone, regardless of gender—including one out of every eight U.S. women and one out of every 830 men.

It wasn’t always like this. Long before people began thinking pink, breast cancer remained fairly stigmatized, a taboo subject only discussed behind the closed doors of a doctor’s office. The consequences resembled those of any disease that lacks proper awareness, education, and support: worse outcomes, higher fatality rates, and, for survivors, significantly lower quality of life.
Your Stories
Thinking Pink and Beyond

Today, the conversation around breast cancer has reached a level of nearly unrivaled ubiquity, thanks in large part to a huge collective of philanthropists, advocates, physicians, scientists and patients around the world who, more than 30 years ago, decided it was time—perhaps even long past time—for a change.

In this episode of Your Stories, Conquer Cancer’s executive vice chair and ASCO chief executive officer Dr. Clifford Hudis is joined by Dr. Judy Garber, scientific director of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and CNN reporter and two-time breast cancer survivor Athena Jones. Together, they talk about the history behind the advocacy movement for breast cancer, what it is that keeps the conversation going, and what everyone—including those trying to conquer other cancers—can learn from this rise in breast cancer advocacy.

Everyone knows when it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. You see football players wearing pink shoes, and I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that people have, over time, been more willing to be vocal. [And] so many people have been touched by breast cancer.
Athena Jones