Power of Pink 2017




Although breast cancer affects everyone in different ways, all people have the power to take various actions to reduce the impact it has on individuals, families and communities.



And The Power of Pink campaign in support of needy breast cancer survivors illustrates the power of individuals and committed companies to make a difference.


The campaign partners,  SAMFA (the South African Mushroom Farmers’ Association), with Pick n Pay and thousands of South African consumers, have worked together over the past 8 years to raise almost R3.5m.

In 2017 alone R559700.00 was raised in support of the work done by Reach for Recovery (R4R). All the staff of this formidable NGO are not only volunteers; they’re also breast cancer survivors. (For more information on R4R please read Addendum 2 below).


95% of the funds raised go specifically to the funding of silicone prostheses for women who cannot afford to purchase them. The remaining 5% is used to provide care bags containing support items and information leaflets. R4R volunteers hand these out when they visit post-operative breast cancer patients in hospital - a particularly important aspect of the work R4R that allows them to extend their work further into underprivileged communities where they are able to help thousands of women throughout South Africa.


 “Women in low-income categories, diagnosed with breast cancer,” says Reach for Recovery’s Management Board Chairperson, Stephné Jacobs passionately, “deserve the same access to support services as anyone else as these services could be life-saving; literally and figuratively. No-one can understand the self-esteem, financial and family challenges these breast cancer survivors face unless they have walked a mile in the shoes of our volunteers.”


And the link between mushrooms and breast cancer? All due to ever increasing international research studies says SAMFA’s, chairperson Ross Richardson. “There is great public awareness of the link between a healthy diet, that includes an increased consumption of vegetables and whole grains, and cancer prevention.


However there is less awareness of the body of international research developing around the link between breast cancer and mushroom consumption. The Power of Pink campaign assists in increasing awareness of the protective properties of mushrooms as indicated by the research. Combining the campaign with a fund-raising drive to assist Reach for Recovery, SAMFA, PnP and MPact, with ordinary South Africans, are making a real difference to the well-being of breast cancer survivors.” (For detailed information on how mushrooms can play a protective role against breast cancer, please read ADDENDUM 1 below).





Mushrooms  are rich in anti-oxidants wich aids the good for immune system and they also contain selenium in quantities much higher than any other plant food. Selenium has been found have an anti-cancer affect on prostate cancer particularly. These elements work together to protect the body against cancer by getting rid of free radicals and defending the body against invading organisms.

We can again just mention the fact that mushrooms are a low energy dense food that can help lower calorie intake to help prevent obesity which is a risk for BC


On top of all of this mushrooms contain phytochemicals that are found to specifically supress BREAST & PROSTATE CANCER:


Mushrooms contain a fatty acid namely conjugated linoleic acid that has the ability to inhibit two enzymes called AROMATASE & 5-ALPHA-REDUCTASE that are involved in these cancers.


Many mammary tumors are hormone sensitive and the estrogen hormone is a major factor in the development of breast cancer, especially in post menoposal women. One of the reasons is that although the ovaries stop producing estrogen other cells (fat & breast cancer cells) continue to do so.


The enzyme α-Aromataseresponsible for the production of estrogen : converts androgen to estrogen which in turn promotes the development of breast cancer in post menopausal women. However mushrooms contain conjugated linoleic acid that inhibits aromatase and thus inhibits cancer. Aromatase has been linked to breast, ovarian, uterine and prostate cancers.


The same applies to the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase which converts testosterone that plays a role in the development of prostate cancer.  As in the case of aromatase, conjugated linoleic acid is inhibiting this enzyme thus preventing or controlling prostate cancer.


Tamoxifen is a widely used prescribed drug which works by competing with the estrogen on the same receptor on the tumor cell and obstructs the active estrogen. It is effective but has unpleasant side effects and especially in remission it cannot be taken forever. That’s where mushrooms can act as a natural substitute for controlling the production of estrogen.


Research behind the protective role of mushrooms:

It was found that the occurrence of breast cancer in China was 5 times lower than in developed Western Countries. Whilst also bearing other factors in mind, it is a fact that China is a world authority when it comes to mushroom consumption. And it was the huge mushroom consumption per capita that sparked the research.


The leading groups researching the cancer fighting potential of mushrooms are:

  • The Beckman Institute at the City of Hope Cancer Centre in California under leadership of Prof Chen
  • The University of Australia in Sydney in collaboration with the medical faculty at the Zhejiang University in China


While the research is ongoing and clinical trials are continueing, one clear fact has come to light:  Women who eat an average of 1 mushroom per day (10g) reduce their chances of breast cancer by 64%



Reach for Recovery (R4R) South Africa receives no state funding and is registered as a Public Benefit Organisation (P.B.O No 930 011 568) and as a Non-Profit Organisation (N.P.O. 043-723-NPO).  R4R is affiliated to Reach for Recovery International (RRI) which is a comprehensive non-medical programme created to help women with breast cancer.


The aim of the Reach for Recovery programme is to supply practical and emotional support to breast cancer patients and their families, to enable them to make relevant personal decisions and to find the motivation for recovery with an optimal quality of life.


Breast Cancer Awareness: 
Volunteers actively work for breast cancer awareness through talks to encourage breast cancer self-examination and outreach programmes into all communities.


State Hospitals: 
Volunteers attend the breast clinics at state hospitals to offer emotional and practical support.

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