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Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Pink is beginning to stink

I'm not happy this month. I'm so freaking tired of Breast Cancer Awareness month. It's terribly overdone and the commercialism behind it bothers me. No, I don't think breast cancer is anything to take lightly. My mother is a survivor. My BFF is a survivor. But honestly, enough is enough. The news has a new segment every time it's on, sometimes 7 or 8 times a day. Really, do we need this much information about breast cancer? It's not like it's the major killer of women. It's not even close to heart disease, which is the major killer of women, and yet you don't see a bazillion segments on heart disease, do you?

The deal is, 25% more women are surviving breast cancer than they were 10 years ago. The survival rate for Stage 1 and 2 breast cancer is up to 98%. It is now a curable disease. Although many women get breast cancer, statistics now say 1 in 6 women, the fact of the matter is that women survive breast cancer in larger numbers than any other cancer.

So what about the other cancers? Women get all sorts of cancers. Ovarian, cervical, stomach, pancreatic, lung, head and neck, bone, and blood cancers. Why don't we hear about them? Why is breast cancer so freaking commercial? What is with the pink blenders and the pink rolling pins? Does this really help in raising money for breast cancer research? Or does it raise just enough to make a fat profit for the companies selling the products?

I'm not trying to belittle breast cancer. I know it's a serious and debilitating disease that does, when not caught in time, kill women. I've got that. But I can't abide the fact that every freaking program on TV is discussing breast cancer when, at the very same time, women are dying of heart disease in much larger numbers. Why aren't we focussing on what actually kills women instead of commercializing a disease that most women survive?

There are so many other chronic diseases that are continually ignored. I don't understand how we let breast cancer become such a 'hip' cause when there are so many other illness to focus upon. I don't think I'd mind Breast Cancer Awareness Day or even Breast Cancer Awareness Week, but do we really need a whole month of these special reports? Honestly, aren't you feeling overdosed by all the pink?

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8 Comments:

Blogger Not a Granny said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for finally saying what I have been afraid to say! Sorry, came here via Simply Sassy. You really do have to wonder how much $$ is really going to research and how much is being spent on marketing, etc. By the way October is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month. We don't see alot of purple out there from corporations do we?

12/10/07 5:49 PM  
Anonymous bethany actually said...

It's all about BREASTS, and you're asking why everyone is so interested in it?

I agree, it's a shame this disease (which is terrible, no doubt) is highlighted at the expense of other, more-lethal and underfunded-for-research diseases.

12/10/07 10:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe the reason the survival rate and "curability"* rate is because of all the exposure.

As for women who have heart disease... I see just as much red dress stuff as I do pink ribbons these days. Ovarian cancer is spoken about in commercials where they inform you about the vaccine that can help prevent some occurances.

Perhaps I'm a little more sensitive about this because of my family history, just like you'd be more sensitive towards heart disease because of your situation.

*I don't like saying any cancer is "curable." You can go into remission, and that can end up being a permanent state but that does not constitute as it has been cured.

13/10/07 4:45 PM  
Blogger moon said...

I,m so glad u put into words exactly how I have felt lately...I am all for mobilizing as many ppl and funding to fight CANCER... period, why not CANCER MONTH.. there are so many cancers out there ..and so many we know little about...Amen to not a granny said...I have yet to hear that it's also Domestic Violence Awareness month,
Great post, thank you for writting it.

13/10/07 5:30 PM  
Blogger Major Bedhead said...

I had this exact conversation with my husband tonight, while at the grocery store, where every third freakin' item has a pink ribbon on it. It's enough to make me boycott those products.

14/10/07 12:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are belittling it, and are displaying your sour grapes...

14/10/07 1:11 AM  
Blogger margalit said...

Anon,

I almost never allow anon comments, but this one totally cracked me up. Not only am I NOT showing sour grapes, but while I was writing this post, I was on the phone with the BFF I mentioned, the breast cancer survivor from just last year, because I was warning her about posting this. She TOTALLY agreed with me. It's too much. Maybe it isn't where you live, but there has not been ONE day this month where the news, any news, local, national, whatever, hasn't had a BC piece. It's everywhere. The overexposure is ridiculous and the commercialism is taking away from the seriousness of cancer and illness in general. When you can adequately explain the correlation between a Pink kitchenaid mixer and breast cancer, then maybe I'll accept the rampant commercialism. Until then, I stand by my words. It's enough.

14/10/07 9:59 AM  
Anonymous char said...

You're absolutely right. I work in a hospital, and none of us are going all gaga over the pink ribbons. There are many worse things out there that are killing women and we witness them every day!

LOL, Bethany! Perhaps that's the reason.

15/10/07 2:22 PM  

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