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Friday, October 1, 2010

Pink Ribbon Controversy?

I came across this article while researching breast cancer. It seems that some people resent the pink ribbon symbol being added to, well, pretty much anything. They aren't thrilled about October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, either. Some breast cancer patients feel reminded of the disease when they see the ribbon symbol, and patients dealing with other cancers feel the pink ribbon takes attention away from research and fund raising for other cancers.
Well, I guess I can understand their points but to me, money raised for any cancer research is beneficial. What may start out as a breast cancer treatment could end up as a viable treatment for other cancers. Or possibly research done to learn what can cause breast cancer might also help identify causes for other cancers.
Then there's the awareness. Breast cancer is a very treatable disease when it's caught early. I think women need to know about screenings. I'm a reasonably intelligent woman but I put off getting my first mammogram because I didn't think I need it: I had no family history, I did self exams, and I am under 50. Too young for breast cancer. Or so I thought.
As far as the constant reminder to those who have the disease: do you ever really forget? I'm new to all this, and my life is much more than cancer, but I can't say that I ever forgot I was a cancer patient from the first moment I heard the words, "This is cancer. You have cancer." Pink ribbons at the grocery store won't suddenly remind me.
October means a lot of things to me: football games, local festivals, family time, evenings toasting our tootsies around the fire pit, and yes: breast cancer awareness. I'll be wearing my pink bracelets with pride.


  1. I understand the annoyance of "pink washing" so to speak. My honest opinion on that is if you are an advocate for another cancer awareness program, perhaps you should take some notes from the BC advocates. I agree that no cancer takes precedence over another, but don't be angry at the ones who are successful in advocating their story. The squeeky wheel gets the juice, ya know and we're a loud crew of women.