October is the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which aims to educate the public about this invasive and often fatal disease, as well as raise funds for research into the cure.
You may be wondering what on earth does breast cancer have to do with hearing and hearing aids? For one, some chemotherapy drugs used to destroy fast-growing cancer cells can be ototoxic. This means that one of the secondary effects of these potentially life-saving medications is damage to the inner ear. Therefore, it is not uncommon that, while attempting to cure cancer, chemotherapy will cause an often-permanent hearing loss, balance problems, and tinnitus.
It goes without saying that finding a cure for breast cancer is a top priority for the medical, scientific, and pharmaceutical community. Many companies and organizations are supporting the research into the still-elusive cure, including a leading hearing aids manufacturer, Oticon, Inc.
An Invasive Disease
Before we talk about at the tangible input Oticon is making to help the research into breast cancer, let's look at the prevalence of this disease, one of the most common malignancies striking predominantly women (99 percent of breast cancer cases occur in women).
- In 2009 (the most recent year for which statistics are available), an estimated 192,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer were diagnosed in the US.
- About 40,170 American women were expected to die in 2009 from breast cancer, though death rates have been decreasing since 1990. These decreases are thought to be the result of treatment advances, earlier detection through screening, and increased awareness.
- As of 2008, there are about 2.5 million women in the US who have survived breast cancer.
- About 5-10 percent of breast cancers are caused by gene mutations inherited from one's mother or father. Mutations of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are the most common. Women with these mutations have up to an 80 percent risk of developing breast cancer during their lifetime, and they often are diagnosed at a younger age (before age 50)
Don't Just Sit There – Do Something!
One of the three largest providers of hearing care solutions in the world, Oticon Inc., is marking the Breast Cancer Awareness Month with a special campaign to benefit the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC), a grassroots advocacy group which lobbies, at the national, state and local levels, for public policies that impact breast cancer research, diagnosis and treatment.
Think Pink This October
with Oticon Agil Hearing Aids
In October, Oticon will launch its newest campaign, called Pink with a Purpose, to introduce Oticon Agil Think Pink, the newest addition to the Agil line of sleek, modern, high- performance hearing aids. All of the Agil devices are designed to preserve the natural characteristics of speech, while enriching the sound quality to enable the brain to use fewer of its resources for listening purposes. As a result, the end-user will have more residual energy for other important tasks such as full social interaction, the company says.
Helping In More Ways Than One
During the whole Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the manufacturer will donate a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the special edition of Agil Think Pink and all Agil hearing aids to the NBCC to support breast cancer research.
"This is the third year that Oticon has introduced a special edition of Think Pink hearing instrument to help generate breast cancer awareness and support," says Peer Lauritsen, president of Oticon, Inc. "This annual campaign resonates with hearing care professionals and patients alike - giving people with hearing loss the opportunity to choose the performance they need and the modern design they want and, at the same time, support a very deserving cause."
Besides donating money for cancer research, the company also encourages hearing care professionals and their clients to participate in the American Cancer Society's "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer" noncompetitive walks that will take place in cities across the country in October. Plans are already underway for a team of Oticon employees, wearing Agil Think Pink T-shirts, to once again travel from the company's Somerset, NJ headquarters to New York City's Central Park to participate in one of country's largest walks.
This October, "thinking pink" can save lives! Think about Oticon Agil to help make a difference.
To learn more about Oticon Agil hearing aids visit a hearing aid center near you.