For the past 30 years, the Estée Lauder Companies has made it their mission to help improve the lives of the global breast cancer community.
Motivation is what drives us to do what we do, and the same goes for business owners through their respective businesses. Guided by their brand ethos, businesses champion a cause or social issue that is closest to their hearts by giving back in the form of support, donations, or even programs and projects. That is what businesses call Corporate Social Responsibility.
Often abbreviated to CSR, Corporate Social Responsibility is defined as a “self-regulating business model that helps a company be socially accountable to itself, its stakeholders, and the public.” Through this, businesses are not only conscious of how they affect all aspects of society, but they too find ways to enhance and contribute positively to them.
The same applies to Estée Lauder Companies. While the world has changed over the last 30 years, their driving force remains the same: their commitment to helping create a more beautiful future for the breast cancer community and beyond.
Breast Cancer, in Numbers
As the most commonly diagnosed cancer worldwide, female breast cancer has surpassed lung cancer with an estimated 2.3 million new cases diagnosed in 2020 alone! What’s more, breast cancer has caused the greatest number of cancer-related deaths among women globally, and studies have shown that 1 in 8 women in the US will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.
While breast cancer is commonly associated with women, surprisingly, men can also get it—with studies showing a ratio of approximately 1 in 833 men in the US developing breast cancer in their lifetime. And this isn’t an isolated case, too, as men can pass down breast cancer-associated mutations in genes (such as BRCA1 and BRCA2) to their children.
Just when people think they have fully understood the disease, research has shown that breast cancer is not just an isolated case. In fact, it’s made up of several subtypes—Luminal A, Luminal B, HER2-positive, and triple-negative, among many others.
With all these variants, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to curing the disease. Thus, many organizations seek to classify what they can into sub-categories with distinct patterns of progressions and therapy responses, in order to open the door to more individualized treatment plans.
Where it All Began
Many years ago, breast cancer was an unfamiliar concept—there was no Pink Ribbon, research was underfunded, and there was no understanding of the complexities behind this disease. In fact, many people around the world were dying from breast cancer without knowing what to do about it.
With that, Austrian American businesswoman, socialite, and philanthropist Evelyn Lauder co-created the Pink Ribbon and launched The Estée Lauder Companies’ Breast Cancer Campaign in 1992—inspiring a global movement to help create a breast cancer-free world for all. One year later, she founded the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF)—a non-profit organization partner that aims to eradicate breast cancer.
How? by advancing the world’s most promising research.
“The Campaign is a true testament to Estée Lauder’s legacy as a beauty-inspired, values-driven company that places people, positive impact, and inclusivity at the heart of everything we do,” Estée Lauder said in a statement.
Through the company’s efforts, the Breast Cancer Campaign and The Estée Lauder Companies Charitable Foundation have funded more than $108 million globally for lifesaving research, education, and medical services, while more than $86 million funding was allocated to medical research grants through BCRF.
The support from the campaign has allowed BCRF researchers to make significant breakthroughs in studying breast cancer—from its prevention to its diagnosis, and treatment. What’s more, they’ve even gained an understanding of triple-negative breast cancer and identified new therapeutic targets to improve the quality of life for patients.
To date, the campaign continues to support more than 60 organizations around the world—likewise facilitating real change that is aligned to the diverse needs of local communities.
30 Years of Inspiring Hope
“We live our shared values by promoting inclusion, diversity, and equity for all and the campaign is at the forefront of these efforts,” the company explained. “Through the tireless work of the campaign, our partners around the world have been able to help address disparities in breast cancer research, advocate for equitable access to quality care, advance life-saving education and provide medical services.”
All throughout, many have supported Estée Lauder’s campaign and endeavors. Likewise, the campaign has done countless actions that help address breast cancer and its many facets. These include convening and amplifying diverse points of view, educating and spreading awareness, inspiring action, and facilitating critical fundraising initiatives in order to provide valuable resources for organizations around the world.
With the campaign celebrating its 30th anniversary, the results are clear—with breast cancer patients leading better, healthier lives due in part to early detection and improved treatment. Breast cancer mortality rates have also decreased in the US by 42% among women since the late 1980s!
“We’ve made monumental strides, but our work will not stop until no one loses their life to this disease—one that is as diverse as our global community and does not have a single story,” the company added. “Today, we are more united than ever in our mission.”
Estée Lauder’s Global Impact
Going beyond its efforts in the US, Estée Lauder’s programs and campaign to eradicate breast cancer have impacted other countries, too. With Evelyn Lauder’s efforts, the Pink Ribbon has become synonymous to breast cancer, and the company has likewise expanded its programs to a more global scale.
Through the invaluable efforts of employees, consumers, and company partners, Estée Lauder’s campaign supports research, education, and medical services worldwide in many ways, including:
- Funding medical research and fellowships worldwide
- Identifying and addressing disparities that exist across the entire breast cancer landscape
- Advancing conversations on the importance of breast health education and early detection by facilitating discussions between the breast cancer community, medical experts, and key opinion leaders, as well as creating informative materials
- Supporting the building and updating of various care centers to treat and support breast cancer patients
- Funding medical resources and services including access to mammograms and screenings for vulnerable groups with limited access to healthcare
- Distributing more than 180 million Pink Ribbons across the globe to spread awareness of the disease
- Positively impacting the lives of people with breast cancer and their families by helping to provide support, therapy, and counseling programs
“As long as breast cancer remains a life-threatening disease, there is meaningful work that must continue. The dedication to our mission will not waiver,” said Estée Lauder. “Together, we are united to help end breast cancer for all.”
Photos from Estée Lauder
To learn more about the breast cancer campaign by The Estée Lauder Companies, you may visit the website at ELCompanies.com/BreastCancerCampaign.