How to Support Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Paris

How to Support Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Paris

Eiffel Tower in Pink

Five years ago one of my best friends was diagnosed with breast cancer, as has someone close to me every year since. To show our solidarity, my family and I participate every year in Octobre Rose.

Spearheaded by the Ruban Rose association (formerly Cancer du Sein Parlons-en!), Octobre Rose (Pink October) is part of the global Breast Cancer Awareness Month campaign, which aims to increase attention and support for breast cancer, early detection (dépistage), and palliative care of this disease. The aim is to mobilize as many people as possible to join the fight against breast cancer and to raise funds for breast cancer research.

This month’s activities were kicked off at the Eiffel Tower, illuminated in pink for the occasion. Although several annual events had to be cancelled due to COVID-19, there are still many ways to show your support!

© Wavebreak Media/Shutterstock

“Breast cancer is the top cancer in women worldwide and is increasing, particularly in developing countries where the majority of cases are diagnosed in late stages.”

– World Health Organization

Walk or Run for the Cause

Breast cancer awareness month - Odyssea
Author with family at Odysséa event


Since 2002, Odysséa’s sports-oriented events have raised over 5 million Euros for over 50 associations and organizations which work to help fight breast cancer through prevention and research. Although this year’s race had to be canceled due to the ongoing health crisis, you can still shop in their boutique. Who doesn’t want a snazzy new gym bag or an adorable pink rabbit that raises money for a great cause?

La Ligue Contre le Cancer

Another unique way to take action is by participating in La Ligue Contre le Cancer‘s “virtual run” October 24 & 25. You pledge how far you will walk or run – outside or around your living room – and mobilize your entourage to donate in support. Upload your time and photos at the end, compare your results and download a personal diploma. It’s a fun way to challenge yourself while raising money and awareness about the benefits of early screening.

Shop for the Cause

Shopping solidaire team

Shop in Solidarity

Not too sporty? Then you can still shop for the cause! Throughout the month, Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche has a dedicated space on the first floor featuring brands raising money for research and prevention, as well as talks, workshops and other activities. Participating brands include: Estée Lauder, Jo Malone, Isabelle Marant, Chocolat Bonnat and many others.Ruban Rose

Evelyn Lauder (daughter-in-law of Estée Lauder and creator of Clinique) was one of the co-creators of the pink ribbon as a symbol for breast cancer awareness, an energetic campaigner in the fight against the disease. Continuing Lauder’s philanthropic efforts, Estée Lauder France and Marie Claire magazine sponsor the Ruban Rose prize, which raises money for breast cancer research by partnering with brands like the following:

  • Bobbi Brown: throughout October, 20% of sales of the Vitamin Enriched Face Base will go to the association.
  • Kusmi Tea and Chantal Thomas: the two Paris icons have teamed up for a limited-edition peppermint and rose tea, with all profits going to the association.
  • Wolford: the lingerie company will donate 10% of sales of its 3W collection and its classic face masks to the association.

For a full list of participating brands, visit the WEBSITE.

Creativity for the Cause
Pink Ribbon Photo Award

Since 2012 Estée Lauder France has run the Pink Ribbon Photo Award to help make more people aware of the importance of early detection. Now partnered with female-focused TV channel, Teva, this year’s contest theme is “Resilience.” Entries have closed, but you can vote for one of the 40 finalists through Oct. 15.

Pink Bra Bazaar

Writer and activist Kathryn Kemp-Griffin is celebrating 10 years of her association dedicated to breast health and breast health education. Her body-positive activities include her annual Bra Toss on October 11, which anyone can join. Just grab a bra, toss it in the air, take a photo, and post it on Instagram with the hashtag #ilovemyboobs.

To help you learn more about breast health, Kathryn has also created My Boob Book, which teaches you step-by-step how to perform a breast self-exam and how to reduce your risk for breast cancer. Download a free copy HERE!

Gillian left the States two years out of college to follow her not yet husband to Korea where she continued her work as a consultant, and then a teacher on the American Army base. After 6 years, a wedding and two children later, the family arrived in Paris home of her French husband. An avid tennis player, this mother of three can be found on the courts in the 17th, or on the streets of Paris where she loves to explore the off the beaten path boutiques of the City of Light.



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