Breast Cancer Awareness

Think Before You Pink: Breast Cancer Awareness

In the past I’ve written posts about the fracture that has occurred within the breast cancer community over the issue of Pinktober. I’ve also written about companies who shamelessly use “pink” to drive business and affiliate with a cause.

My friend Alicia Staley is a three time cancer survivor and is far more qualified than I to address the challenges with Pinktober. Here’s a link to her blog post titled: “Lawsuits for the Cure.” This post was originally written in 2010, but remains relevant today. Here’s Alicia’s preface to the post:

“The following post was originally posted on December 9, 2010. Almost 2 years ago. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I’ve pulled this post from the archives to share with you. We still have a great deal of work to do – the Pink Ribbon has fractured the breast cancer community. It’s time to work as a collaborative community, ditch the cause marketing campaigns, and refocus on our energies on the real meaning of the pink ribbon: Hope.”

I also read an interesting article from Reuters last week titled “Stern Advice-How to shop during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.” (Reuters, October 2, 2103) Here’s a brief excerpt from that article:

“The “pink” campaign – started in 1990 by the then-titled Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, now called Susan G. Komen for the Cure – has been criticized by anti-cancer and consumer advocates such as Breast Cancer Action in San Francisco and in the 2012 Canadian film “Pink Ribbons, Inc.” Critics claim some companies “pinkwash” their products and contribute little to the fight against breast cancer. Others say that after 30 years of pink branding, everyone is aware of breast cancer and raising awareness further isn’t really going to help cure the disease.” (Reuters, by Linda Stern, October 2, 2013)

I’d like to hear your perspective on Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Susan G. Komen, and Pinktober. Please feel free to leave a comment. Meanwhile, here’s a blog post I wrote a year ago titled “Breast Cancer & Those for Whom Pink Doesn’t Apply.” There are many for whom Pinktober does not resonate, in particular women with met metastatic breast cancer. Within my post, I write about Laura Wells, and her experience with the Pink Movement when she was initially diagnosed with breast cancer. Then, having a recurrence of her cancer at Stage IV, she shares with us the perspective of those for whom Pink may have little relevance – “those beyond prevention, beyond cure, beyond survivorship, beyond pink.” As Laura reminds us, many women feel left out in October when everyone is celebrating Pink Power. Here’s a link to Laura’s powerful blog post on Occupy Healthcare blog.

4 comments on “Think Before You Pink: Breast Cancer Awareness

  1. Pingback: #$@*-Off For Breast Cancer Awareness | Cats & Cancer

  2. I just posted a piece #$@*-Off for Breast Cancer Awareness Month – and referenced your article. I’m a 15 year survivor of metastatic breast cancer currently going through treatment for the 6th time. I also act as a consumer reviewer for breast cancer research, mentor women with stage 4 disease, and have lobbied for breast cancer issues on Capitol Hill. Pinktober exhausts me.

  3. Pingback: METAvivor Won’t Go Quietly Into the Night | The Healthcare Marketer

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