Sunday, September 20, 2009

I'll Begin bracing myself now *gulp*

grumble grumble, growl growl...

So I realized today after a stop in walgreens to grab a bottle of water, that I should really begin to ready myself for the onslaught of Breast Cancer promotional collaborations every where I look. From pink-ribbon shaped cranberry bagels at Panera to pink-ribboned batteries from Duracell, the omnipresent pink ribbon will be infiltrating even more aspects of my consumer life during the month of October.

October, friends, is of course, Breast Cancer Awareness month. Now, I am all for dedicating months to various different issues in which awareness should be gently nudged forward. Buuuuut, in my humble observation, Breast Cancer Awareness is never over. It lasts all year round. I know for certain that in Chicago there are plenty more walk/runs for Breast Cancer throughout the year than are just in October. And I am rarely far from some sort of pink-themed product in almost any given store I frequent.
I suppose the reason I really get so irritated is not that I feel Breast Cancer is not an important issue. I think any and all cancers are evil, horrid, and awful. As far as I am aware every cancer there is can kill you. People should definitely be aware, vigilant, and proactive in their health in general. I guess that I worry how much breast cancer awareness campaigns focus on that one specific cancer as if its the only cancer that a woman can get.

Or is it that I fear the possibility that breast cancer awareness campaigns have gotten so incredibly large and successful that it could be detracting potential funding for research on other types of cancers? I do not want to try and imply that Colon Cancer should be getting the same recognition as Breast Cancer (I mean, theoretically, I could stick to that argument purely based on my own personal experience and based on the fact that colon cancer is a possibility in both men AND women, young AND old, bbuuuuuut, i digress).
Do any of you guys readily off the top of your heads know what the ribbon color or designated awareness month for Lung Cancer is?
Answers: Pearl and November. Learn something new every day. I believe it has also surpassed Breast Cancer as the number 1 leading cancer-related death in women. So maybe we should have some more walk/runs and fundraisers for lung cancer awareness and patients? It'd be lovely to have pretty pearlized frying pans where 10% of proceeds of my purchasing them will go towards Lung Cancer awareness.
Rightfully, the whole designated months for various causes can get out of control, there's a day for absolutely everything. from "National Health Care Professional Day" to "National Root Beer Float Day", it begins to not have any real meaning at some point. But I use that more just for example.
Why am I whining about it anyway?
I don't really know. It all just seems to irk me. Maybe its not right that I'm agitated by it. Maybe I'm just over sensitive due to my own experience with cancer and far too many times having the assumption or misperception if I'm a "cancer-survivor" it must've been Breast Cancer (or even more commonly, lymphoma or luekemia). Maybe it doesn't matter. Who knows. Ideally I'm not sure if there is an answer that would make me get off my soapbox and just shut my trap about it. More walk/runs for more causes? Seem like it'd be overkill. Maybe just less focus on one cancer in particular and more evenly distributed funding towards all cancers? But then, the argument could be raised that they can't equally fund every cancer b/c some are indeed so incredibly rare, that the time and expense would be better served for those cancers that are more prevalant? (heh, which just may be breast cancer). A short fairly interesting article about the top myths concerning cancer would suggest that funding should maybe go towards making sure people who are "ignorant about cancer" are better educated.
Needless to say, I mean no slight towards any one particular person battling cancer, no matter what part of you its affecting. Like my very first post in this blog, it's not a matter of "my cancer is better than your cancer". But rather that I'm just sick to death of the color PINK!! sorry


  1. Super ditto. The assuming that because I'm a woman with a cancer diagnosis it must be breast cancer and the fact that many of the women that I've met that do/did have breast cancer actually hate the pinkwashing. Over-saturation is never a good thing, and I'll be able to lighten up if they could add to their promotional materials how many mammograms they have given to women that need them...

    GAH. Add the pinkness showing up around Labor Day to the fact that I saw CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS in Target the other day just makes me feel like life is speeding up way too much!

    Hope your week is off to a good start. :)

  2. I TOTALLY understand and stand on the same soap box each October. Nothing against breast cancer, but I see it more as a successful marketing gimmick of most companies (since women are usually the household shoppers) than a true push for cancer awareness. If it were a true cancer awareness push, we'd see all of the ribbons and colors out there.

  3. LOL! I literally posted about this last night, because I saw pink tampons. REALLY?!?! Is this necessary? Check it out - I have so much animosity towards PINK, not because I don't agree with the fact that it's an awful disease or that it needs to be funded, but that it causes people to flock to it like shepp and make purchases that don't have much effect on the overall research and disease prevention at all. There's a comment on my posting athat gives good information on where the money goes, etc. Worth checking out (how's that for a shameless plug for my blog!!!). :-)


  5. To the anonymous link to flickr (Karim??)
    YES! I actually know someone here in the states that works for a waste disposal company and they have a pink garbage truck (i suppose it probably goes out and collects garbage, but i think mainly they use it in parades, etc.) actually, maybe it was a one time thing they did. But nonetheless, I wasn't much impressed ;)

  6. I am SO sick of pink! Thanks for putting my thoughts into words!

  7. I was recently diagnosed with BC, and chose the blog name "But Doctor, I hate Pink" for this reason. :) Instead of Breast Cancer Awareness month, we should just have a Cancer Sucks Month. Unfortunately, our cultural fascination with breasts makes this marketing tactic an easy sell and so yes, for the next month we will have to put up with pink detergent, pink hamburger helper, pink swiffer dusters...but, it'd be a lot harder to make the color purple and prostate cancer sell in grocery stores. It's just not the visual that people want to see.

  8. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates nearly 150,000 men and women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer this year, and one third of these patients will ultimately succumb to the disease. HELLO!!

  9. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates nearly 150,000 men and women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer this year, and one third of these patients will ultimately succumb to the disease.

    And, all we see is PINK!


  10. I was thinking of you this weekend watchng NFL football and all of the players with pink shoes (which were kinda cute) and gloves (which were kinda weird). My mom's a breast cancer survivor so I appreciate the support but agree we've divided it up into "trendy pink" cancers and "other not so cool" cancers. As you point out it all sucks and shouldn't just be a fashion statement. Peace.

  11. I wanted to thank you for your blog and I echo the pink madness. I am 26 and I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and stage IIIC colon cancer last month. I have felt very alone, until now. I had leukemia as a child, which was easy because I didn't know any better and there were plenty of waiting room buddies. Now when I look around I see grandparents all around me. If I had my choice I guess I wouldn't want anyone else to have cancer, but it's also nice to know there's someone out there my age on the same journey. So, I guess I need 3 shirts: Cancer Sucks, Cancer Still Sucks, and Cancer Really Still Sucks.

  12. If we lobbied hard enough, we might get a month for Colon Cancer Awareness. But no-one wants to talk about cancer of the ass, so they would give us February, the shortest month.

    And why is the colon cancer ribbon blue? Shouldn't it be brown?

  13. To EVERYONE...for whatever reason, I guess i wasn't getting updated when someone left a some of these I'm just reading now, but THANK YOU! it helps knowing i not only am not alone in my thinking, but that i'm kinda...well...kinda justified.
    (and to "I-270, Exit 1" There actually IS a designated colon cancer awareness month, March. but you'd be hard-pressed to know that, since not much ever 'happens' for awareness in that month. And I totally agree with you, i would have naturally assumed BROWN would be the color...ah well, blue looks better on my skin (since i have the colon cancer awareness star tattooed on my wrist).

  14. Love your blog. As a lung cancer survivor who isn't old, I often become frustrated with all the Pink madness. I say try having a cancer that people automatically want to know if you brought upon yourself!Now THAT is stigma!

    Keep strong, it's tough for anyone who receives diagnosis of cancer at any age.

  15. Don't stop posting such themes. I like to read stories like that. Just add some pics :)

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