This Article is About
breast cancer
smiling faces
deadly disease
risk factors
The Pink Washing Of America: Where Breast Cancer Marketing Really Fails
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The Pink Washing Of America: Where Breast Cancer Marketing Really Fails

Breast cancer is a frightening and often deadly disease, make no mistake about it. But, if you see the smiling faces of the survivors in the charity brochures, resplendent in pink everything, their bald heads tastefully hid behind a dainty scary (pink, of course) you kind of get the notion that it is a winnable fight and that, for all the scariness, it is actually kind of adorable. Lookie at all the pink, you think. Pink clothes, pink jewelry and pink banners all claiming that we are all together in this fight, we are all the breast cancer warriors or whatever they call themselves at that charity. But, ask anyone who is fighting the disease or the family of those who have lost the fight and see how "cute" they think breast cancer really is. Ask them if they think that buying a pink tee shirt is helping anything.

Lea Pool has create and released a movie that highlights the exact problems that are facing breast cancer victims and their families. That movie, Pink Ribbons, Inc, highlight that the marketing and over commercialization of the movement are the reason that more people are not afraid of the disease- because they have made it approachable, like a Disney monster. You know you are supposed to be afraid, but you can't help yourself because of how cute the whole thing is. Pool calls this process the "pink washing" where nothing is grim and statistics involving death rates are often swept under the rug in favor of more positive numbers. But, it is important to know that one in every eight women will develop breast cancer during their lifetime, even if they have no real risk factors or family history. In the 1940's, the numbers were one in twenty two.

Pool also points out that there are a number of problems with the money that is being raised by the wide ranging charities. First, there are literally thousands of researchers at labs across the United States as well as in other countries around the world but there is no communication or coordination between all of them. Experiments are often duplicated, needlessly wasting money that could be better spent. The treatment, referred to in the community as "slash, burn and poison" has not changed in the last few decades, leaving many women with little choice but to submit to invasive, body destroying surgeries followed by painful radiation and chemotherapy that often makes them sicker than the cancer had.

The cancer community needs to find new ways to approach the research, treatment and care of patients, never losing sight on the fact that every woman, at every age is at a potential risk for breast cancer.


Street Talk

Amie, I've shared before that I'm currently breastfeeding. A few weeks ago, as I was hand expressing, I felt a pebble like, small bump. I thought perhaps it was related to breastfeeding. Now it no longer feels like a pebble. So I've been wondering, do I make a dr. appointment just to make sure, or do I not? Any of your thoughts here would be helpful.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

When in doubt, check it out. That is my rule, always. I lost my sister on Sunday morning to breast cancer, so please get it checked out. It is more than likely a blocked milk duct, but that can turn into an infection and it HURTS so much! Please, have it checked and then if you think about it, let me know how it turns out.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Amie, thank you for this encouragement . . . I'm sorry to hear about your sister. I need to give my midwife a call and schedule an appointment. Thank you, Amie. Again, I'm very sorry to hear this.

  
  about 7 years ago

Amy, I went ahead and made an appointment. However, the bump is now gone, so I cancelled it. Likely, it was a duct issue. I'll continue to keep an eye on it. Thank you for the encouragement. I love the motto; it's helpful, "when in doubt, check it out." Thank you.

  
  about 7 years ago

Seems the waste of duplicate research is silly. Men are also at risk, and that puts me in the picture.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

The problem is there really isn't a central facility that looks at the research plans and the progress that is being made. There are some research grants that have so many rules that it makes no sense at all to even try to do them. For instance, I read one grant which kept the researchers from testing the ingredients of no less than 50 different common household prodcts. If you follow the money back, you see why. These companies use ingredients that they know increases cancer risk and then fund grants so tht they can control the information that iscoming out. As a huge added bonus, they get to write the whole thing off on their taxes as "charity".

Reply
  about 7 years ago
Joan S  

They don't want to cure cancer. It's too lucrative. Don't waste your money on "pink ribbons." It'll always be out of reach. Instead, do research on your own. There are wonderful things being done to "cure" cancer, but not by traditional medicine. Chemo and radiation are barbaric. In a few cases, these therapies may be useful. Better to focus on making the body healthy. More people are getting cancer because of all of the pollution and food tampering: genetic modification, pesticides, fungicides, hormones.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
Amy4  

I totally agree. I've seen those rubber bracelets, like the "livestrong" ones, but they are pink and say "I love boobies". Some teenage boys were wearing them as a joke and they were sold as "supporting" breast cancer research. Yeah, it is completely exploited, and I'm not thrilled to be part of the "pink" parade. Anything to make a buck for some people. Look at the adds attached to the top of your article...bet they don't give a dime to breast cancer research. Just randomly generated.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
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