Pink, Pink, You Stink

Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. I thought it would be appropriate to re-share this blog post.

What comes to mind when you see a pink ribbon? No, not the kind you wear in your hair. The kind you see as a pin, on an article of clothing, or as a decal on your automobile (no longer guilty). You think breast cancer, don’t you!?

The pink ribbon has become a powerful symbol to increase awareness of breast cancer. I believe that there is value to awareness. In this case, increasing awareness of breast cancer has led to more women getting mammograms and performing self-breast exams. This is wonderful, early detection of tumors is a very good thing! Unfortunately, the story doesn’t end there; there is a dark side.

When I received my first breast cancer diagnosis, I embraced pink, I embraced the pink ribbon, I embraced the mentality I was going to fight like a girl, I embraced various cancer walks, and I embraced items that had a pink ribbon. However…

One should think before purchasing pink ribbon products or donating to a cancer walk. Many companies that sell products with a pink ribbon donate a certain percentage of each sale to breast cancer programs and many fail to indicate which organizations will receive this money. As for cancer walks, please find out to what and where your donations are going.
Here’s the thing, the story of breast cancer should not be viewed through “pink”-colored glasses.

What gets me most angry about all this pink crap is…. well, quite a bit.
Pink is such a tame, innocent, cute color. We associate pink with sweet, happy thoughts. Our brains are so clouded with pink that we fail to think, how can anyone die from a disease that is associated with such a cheery color?

Well, guess what? Many women and men will die from this disease. Yes, die. Die from this pink, commercialized disease.

Some facts on breast cancer:

  • 40,000 women with breast cancer die every year.
  • Breast cancer is curable when it is contained to the breast.
  • 6-10% of new cases of breast cancer start off as stage IV or metastatic.
    30% of all breast cancers will become metastatic. (I contributed to this 30%.)
  • The median survival rate for metastatic breast cancer is three years.(Source: MBCN)

So, when I hear that the median survival rate for metastatic breast cancer is three years, I want to raise funds to FIND A CURE. Of all the funds raised for all types of cancer, only 5% of those funds are directed towards metastatic research (the research focused on finding a cure); most funds generated by pink ribbon products and walks only go to advertising and awareness.
Here’s the reality of it: We are well aware of cancer folks. We need research for metastatic cancers. We need to find a cure.

Pink, and the pink ribbon do not tell the dark side of breast cancer. Breast cancer, especially metastatic breast cancer is cruel. The surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation, bone scans, CT scans and MRI’s are frightening. The medication side effects are unpleasant. The effect it has on our families and friends is devastating.

We wonder how much “time” we have to spend with those we love.

8 thoughts on “Pink, Pink, You Stink

  1. Susan, It is so refreshing to hear someone else give a voice to the nagging little thoughts in my own head. Even before I was diagnosed with MBC,( I’m in the 6-10% that got that diagnosis from the start), I had my questions about the million dollar salaries being paid to companies raising money to “find a cure” . If you really wanted to find a cure they’d donate the biggest portion of that salary right back to the REAL cause for the charity. I’ve gotten so much smarter since being diagnosed! There are a dozen sites you can go to and see how much goes to the “Cause” and how much goes to Professional Fundraising Fees. So we not only get real smart about the latest, greatest drugs and treatments out there, we get smart about the charities that do and do not work to find a cure. Best wishes for Years and Years of keeping us informed and entertained with your informative posts!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yup, pink still stinks! Thank you for reminding us to be careful where we give money. Everyone has a good heart, but don’t give unless you know where you hard earned money is really going! Love you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Weekly Round-Up: The #BreastCancerRealityCheck Edition | Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer

  4. Pingback: Pink-Colored Glasses | Let Us Be Mermaids

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