The breast cancer awareness season was busy for Breast Cancer Consortium partners and contributors as we work diligently to change the breast cancer paradigm.
Cathie Malhouitre’s Au Sein De Sa Difference offered two events in France, a screening of “Pink Ribbons, Inc.” and a colloquium on living with cancer. Grazia de Michele organized a screening of “Pink Ribbons, Inc.” at the University of Sussex, Brighton (UK). Oncogrrrls and Marimachos cancerosas, organized by Ana Porroche-Escudero, held a public event on ‘Breast Cancer and Dissident Corporealities,’ a first of . . . → Read More: Breast Cancer Consortium Quarterly is Out (2013, Issue 4)
“Good Morning America’s” Amy Robach (Ida Mae Astute/ AP Photo/ ABC)
Good Morning America correspondent Amy Robach announced on November 11th that the on-air mammogram she had in front of millions as part of Good Morning America’s month-long breast cancer awareness promotion, ended up getting her a breast cancer diagnosis. Although there are no details about the diagnosis (biology, staging, potential spread), Robach says she “got lucky by catching it early” and hopes her story will “inspire every woman who hears it to get a mammogram, to take a self . . . → Read More: The Mammogram Myth, Alive and Well on “Good Morning America”
Breast cancer is not one disease, but involves different breast cancer subtypes that result from a combination of genetic, hormonal, and environmental factors. In fact, there is a strong body of evidence suggesting a balance among protective factors, susceptibility, exposures over time, genetic changes resulting from exposures, disease heterogeneity, and differing mechanisms of action brought upon by chemical compounds that, together, set the conditions for cancer to develop or not. What, among these factors, is most likely to be modifiable? Protective factors and exposures. However, the majority of . . . → Read More: On this last day of breast cancer “awareness” month, know this:
The month of October fills the marketplace with pink-ribboned products and breast-cancer-awareness-themed events and fundraisers. Many people ask, “Where does the money go?” No one seems to know, including me. There are simply too many companies, organizations, and promotions to track, and very few of them are transparent enough to evaluate. In the midst of it all, cause marketing is cast as everything from the saving grace, the necessarily evil, to the pinkwashing pilferer. There is probably some truth in each characterization. Like everything, there is . . . → Read More: Cause Marketing Is Not Philanthropy
Over the years “Pinkwasher” has become a common term used to describe the hypocrisy and lack of transparency that surrounds Breast Cancer Awareness Month and fundraising. Coined by the group Breast Cancer Action, it is technically defined as a company or organization that claims to care about breast cancer by promoting a pink ribbon product, but at the same time produces, manufactures, and/or sells products linked to the disease. Today, with the ubiquity of cause-marketing and breast cancer promotions, many use the term to . . . → Read More: “Just Say No” to Pinkwashing!
Posted on The Cancer Culture Chronicles Facebook Page on May 13, 2011.
Rachel Cheetham Moro, blogger at The Cancer Culture Chronicles posted the photo above in May 2011, of a collection of ironic pink products she received after winning the coveted MAAM (Mammogramatically Challenged And / Or Also Metsters) Award. The satirical award category, created by Katherine O’Brien, blogger at I Hate Breast Cancer, honors disruptive bloggers who daringly challenge the pink status quo. Rachel, still blogging under her pen name Anna Rachnel, won O’Brien’s J.K. . . . → Read More: Thinking About Rachel, Always Resisting Pinkwashing
Kroger Print Advertisement, October 2013
I’ve been getting a slew of emails this month lamenting the onslaught of pink ribbon products and superficial breast cancer awareness campaigns.
A woman currently in treatment for breast cancer sent me photos of the multi-page advertisement she received from her local grocery store chain in an email with the subject line, “Overpinked.” The Think Pink circular she shared — replete with fun ideas for hosting a pink potluck fundraiser, recipes for Pink Lemonade Frosting and Think Pink Cereal . . . → Read More: Hooked on the “Pink Sizzle”
Handcrafted tank top from a “Komen Bandit” demanding support for Metastatic Breast Cancer
October 13th is National Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day, an official day of recognition to encourage all people to become more informed and aware of metastatic breast cancer.
Metastatic (Stage IV) breast cancer is cancer that has spread from where it originated to elsewhere in the body, usually the bones, liver, lungs, and brain. It is the initial diagnosis for about 5 percent of breast cancer cases . . . → Read More: Today is Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day
I’ll be talking live about #pinkwashing on @AJAMStream Friday at 7:30EST. Join the conversation using #AJAMStream
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month so you’ve probably noticed more pink products on the shelves as companies promote awareness campaigns. But many businesses are accused of “pinkwashing” – plastering pink on their products to make a profit, while some are reportedly using cancerous chemicals. So, why is there a lack of transparency and is the purpose of Breast Cancer Awareness Month getting lost in the pink? Join the conversation at . . . → Read More: Buying Pink? I’ll be on Al Jazeera’s The Stream Friday, 7:30EST to discuss.
The iconic pink breast cancer awareness ribbon — once a consciousness-raising symbol — now functions primarily as a logo for the breast cancer brand.
The breast cancer brand, like any other brand, is comprised of a “set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose” the breast cancer brand over something else. It draws from a collection of recognizable symbols, images, and meanings within, in this case, mainstream breast cancer culture (i.e. pink ribbon culture) to encourage people to . . . → Read More: Riding the tails of the pink ribbon