“Shortcut October”:Donate or Go Short, but don’t keep silent about Breast Cancer

The hurdles in beating breast cancer lie across all stages, starting from awareness to diagnosis, and from counselling to treatment in our country

The incidence of breast cancer in India is stands at 1 in every 22. With the alarming increase rate, it is estimated to cause more deaths among women than any other cancer by 2030 .The hurdles in beating this particular cancer lie across all stages, starting from awareness to diagnosis, and from counselling to treatment in our country.

This year, , the Breast Cancer Awareness month, Cancer Patients Aid Association (CPAA) has undertaken an initiative, Short-cut October to create widespread awareness regarding breast cancer, while encouraging people to show their support for those battling the crippling condition. People can show their support by either cutting their hair short, and donating it to make wigs for those who lose their own hair (and a crucial part of their identity) as a part of their Cancer battle, or by simply making a donation towards building a corpus of funds to help patients who need it.

In its second week, the campaign has already gotten people talking, from big and small celebrities, educational institutes and many others on social media.Support has already been garnered from renowned artists like Harsha Bhogle, Vivek Oberoi, Jonty Rhodes, Aahana Kumra, RJ Archana Pania, Aparshakti Khurana and Varun Sharma.

Anoj Viswanathan, President and co-founder, Milaap said, “Cancer-care as an insurance product has only emerged over the past couple of years. Crowdfunding is emerging as a promising route to tackle medical emergencies for financing healthcare emergencies, especially in tertiary healthcare. Cancer-care is one of the major causes people raise funds for on Milaap. Initiatives like Shortcut October deserve attention and support, and the digital world is a great place to reach out to like-minded people across the world for support. After all, a donation is only an explicit expression of support.”

While there are shortcomings on every stage of this disease, reports suggest that 60 per cent of breast cancer cases in India are diagnosed at stage 3 and 4. Despite good medical facilities, 4 out of 10 women don’t complete their treatment due to their financial and emotional burden. The campaign goes one step further to address this as well.
They have partnered with Milaap, India’s largest crowd funding platform, to raise a corpus of INR 1 Crore to address the impediment of financial constraint at least 2000 patients and their families face in battling Breast Cancer.

Popular cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle said, “About 2.5 million people in India suffer from cancer. Among women, breast cancer is the most commonly occurring form of cancer in India, at 27 per cent. In Urban areas one in 22 women runs the risk of being affected by breast cancer. For every 2 women diagnosed one succumbs to the disease. Join our initiative Shortcut October,if you have long hair, donate 8 to 12 inches of your hair which will make a lot of difference.Cancer also financially paralyzes the life of people so donate how much you can as every little donation counts”

On the other hand, educational institutions are supporting the cause wholeheartedly.Mithibai College, for instance, is doing so through its cultural annual festival Kshitij with over 1000 student brand ambassadors who host a social media challenge to raise awareness and show their support, while nominating friends to take the cause further.

Anita Peter (Executive Director CPAA) said, “A change is always made great by the contribution of the people.This is your chance to be the driving force behind the cause that as a crippling effect on women.”

SRK Universe, the world’s largest online fan club for Shah Rukh Khan has also shown their support by taking the cause to their online audience of over 20 Million. SRK Universe’s contribution for Shortcut October was also awarded in London at the Society Icon Awards.

Kevin Martyres, Founder & CEO, The Benefactors, who were solely responsible for planning & executing Shortcut October for CPAA said, “It’s all about the sacrifice, we as humans can make for the greater good. The movement sheds light on a much overlooked disease. One in every 22 women in India suffers from breast cancer; let’s try to put an end to this”

The campaign ends with the month of October on the 31st. Being a festive season, it could be a great time to spread awareness and get more people talking about the cause, given it’s crippling nature, and rapid growth in the country. The battle against Breast Cancer is real, and thus must the people fighting it be!