As you likely know October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
It’s hard to avoid seeing all the pinkified products out there – from hydrofracking drill bits in 2014 (yes, this is a real thing!), to Kentucky Fried Chicken, to makeup, perfume, and hair curlers. Most of it is garbage and it commodifies a disease that is ruining lives and families left and right.
My question is how much more “awareness” do we actually need? Current statistics tell us that ONE in EIGHT women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and over 100 women die every. This is insane! For women in the U.S., breast cancer death rates are higher than those for any other cancer.
“Awareness” is not what we need – we’ve got that in spades. Seeing the wave of pink ribbon products during October makes me nuts because what I think we really need is increased discussion of the role that chemicals in our environment play in breast cancer.
Earlier this year the Endocrine Society published their Statement On Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals, pointing to chemicals role breast cancer.
The 2009 President’s Cancer Panel noted that over the past decade, more than 130 studies have linked BPA (the chemical found in plastics & canned foods) to breast cancer, obesity, and other disorders.
The Interagency Breast Cancer & Environmental Research Coordinating Committee released their report in 2013 in which they concluded:
“Prevention is the key to reducing the burden of breast cancer. Science must seek greater understanding of the environmental and genetic factors that influence risk, susceptibility, and the progression of the disease. Enhanced investment in prevention research — from the initial concept of studies, built on strong partnerships between breast cancer advocates and scientists, to the timely dissemination and translation of research findings — will ultimately reduce the incidence of breast cancer in future generations.”
Our attention and focus should be on looking at and reducing our exposures to environmental chemicals linked to breast cancer. So let’s do that and not buy, or support this “pink ribbon” business!
To learn more about all this “pinkwashing” stuff, watch the documentary PINK RIBBONS, INC.
What are your thoughts about Breast Cancer Awareness month and all these pink products?
Do you think this is a problem that will be solved, or a disease that will be cured through the purchase of a pink t-shirt, or pink socks?
Whether you serve cancer clients or not, is this a conversation that you’re actively having with your clients?