Bring Out the Pink Ribbons!

Aaahh October. Fall is officially here, Halloween is just around the corner, and everything is decorated in autumnal colors of orange, red, yellow, brown, and….pink? That’s right — pink!

Since 1985, October 1st has marked the beginning of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual international health campaign organized to increase awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and cure. In 2009, male breast cancer advocacy groups joined together to globally establish the third week of October as Male Breast Cancer Awareness Week.

The goal of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month from the start has been to promote mammography as the most effective weapon in the fight against breast cancer. This still rings true thirty years later, when it’s estimated that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Most doctors still acknowledge that early detection tests for breast cancer save thousands of lives each year, and that many more lives could be saved if even more women and their health care providers took advantage of these tests.

So, what’s with the pink?

The pink ribbon represents fear of breast cancer, hope for the future, and the charitable goodness of people and businesses who publicly support the breast cancer movement. Derived from the popular red ribbon for AIDS awareness, the first known use of the pink ribbon in connection with breast cancer awareness was in the fall of 1991 when the Susan G. Komen Foundation handed out pink ribbons to participants in it’s New York City race for breast cancer survivors. It was adopted as the official symbol of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month the following year. In 1993, Evelyn Lauder, Senior Corporate Vice President of the Estée Lauder Companies and breast cancer survivor, founded The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. When choosing the foundation’s symbol, she decided to use the pink ribbon, giving it national recognition. In 1996, a pink and blue ribbon was designed by Nancy Nick, president and founder of the John W. Nick Foundation, to symbolize awareness for breast cancer in men.

Today, it’s hard to think of Breast Cancer Awareness Month without imagining the pink ribbon. So this October, think of the pink ribbon as reminder: every time you see it, remember that many people can survive breast cancer if it’s found and treated early. Talk to your doctor about your risk for breast cancer, especially if a close family member of yours has or had breast cancer. If you’re 40-49 years old, your doctor can tell you when and how often you should receive breast cancer screenings; if you’re 50-74 years old, you should be getting screened every 2 years, or more often if necessary.

But wait…what’s that got to do with Express990? Well, to be honest, not much. Unless, that is, you’re a tax-exempt breast cancer awareness organization looking to e-file your Form 990-N, Form 990-EZ, or Form 990 Long Form with us (in which case, you probably already knew all of this). But that’s one of the beauties of the internet: a variety of information, sometimes where you least expect it, to help battle the “ignorance is bliss” mentality. Especially in the case of breast cancer, ignorance is most certainly NOT bliss. At Express990, we want you to take care of yourself so that you can continue to help others through the charitable organization that brought you to our site.

We’re not doctors, but we’re here to help any way we can with your tax-exempt filing needs. Give us a call Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 704-839-2321, or live chat us at; and you can always email us, day or night, at

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