A Year After Bombings, Some Say 'Boston Strong' Has Gone Overboard - NPR Interview


The phrase Boston Strong emerged almost immediately after last year’s marathon bombings as an unofficial motto of a city responding to tragedy. But now some are wondering whether the slogan is being overused. It’s almost as if people are using the Boston Strong brand to brand themselves, which raises a whole other concern that Boston Strong is not actually a brand and isn’t trademarked — so anyone can sell it, regardless of whether any money goes to charity.

It may not be intentional, but . . . → Read More: A Year After Bombings, Some Say ‘Boston Strong’ Has Gone Overboard – NPR Interview

Time to debunk the mammography myth


Published on CNN by Gayle Sulik and Bonnie Spanier.

(CNN) — Recently some friends were discussing whether early detection via screening mammography may not be the key to surviving breast cancer. Several women argued that despite the studies, they believe in mammograms, echoing many women who were treated for a screen-detected breast cancer and are alive to tell the story. Some even support it when screening clearly failed to detect their cancers or prevent the onset of advanced disease.

For decades, belief in some . . . → Read More: Time to debunk the mammography myth

Mar. 18: Gayle Sulik Keynote at University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA

Sulik - PRB

I’ll be giving a keynote presentation on “Moving Beyond Awareness: A Changing Breast Cancer Landscape” next Tuesday (March 18, 2011)  at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA. If you are in the area, please come on by! There will be a reception prior to the talk at 5:30 pm, the talk at 6:00 pm, and a book signing afterwards. This event is part of the University’s Women’s History Month activities. For more information and directions, click here.

There will also be a . . . → Read More: Mar. 18: Sulik Keynote at University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA

Kohl’s Cash for the Cure Pretties Up Breast Cancer

Kohls Cares

From February 18th through March 8th, the Kohl’s Cash ® for the Cure campaign offers a $10 Pink Kohl’s Cash coupon for every $50 you spend. The coupon increases with every $50 purchase. Then at your next purchase at Kohl’s that amount is deducted from the total at checkout (so long as you make the purchase by March 8th). Spend $250 to receive $50 in Pink Kohl’s Cash, again not really cash but a price reduction on a future purchase. Kohl’s then donates $1 . . . → Read More: Kohl’s Cash for the Cure Pretties Up Breast Cancer

BCC Quarterly Is Out (2014, Issue 1)

BCC initials square logo 2-5-13

Rethinking Pink

The Breast Cancer Consortium entered its second year with no shortage of issues to analyze and report. On-air mammograms, celebrity spots, social media, another large study revealing limitations and harms of mammography screening, a new scandal involving the Komen organization, and ongoing efforts to rethink pink.

Jody Schoger was on Al Jazeera’s The Stream to discuss, “Grief and Death in the Time of Social Media.” I was interviewed about the politics of pink for a Rethink Pink Summit (have a listen), . . . → Read More: BCC Quarterly Is Out (2014, Issue 1)

The PINK White Elephant


According to Wikipedia, “the term “white elephant” refers to an extravagant but burdensome gift which cannot be easily disposed of, supposedly after the King of Siam gifted rare albino elephants to courtiers who had displeased him, that they might be ruined by the animals’ upkeep costs.” The term is also fitting for a recent campaign by Kohl’s department store in partnership with Susan G. Komen [for the Cure]. Apparently, thirty years after the donning of the age of breast cancer awareness there is now a . . . → Read More: The PINK White Elephant

Addition Of Screening Mammograms Adds No Benefit, But Causes Harm


Clamoring over screening protocols has started anew with the release of a Canadian study confirming earlier results that annual mammography screening did not reduce breast cancer deaths. Instead, it contributed to the diagnosis and treatment of conditions that would not have been life threatening in the first place. We’ve heard it all before, with varying degrees of belief, but there’s something different about this study and what it means for women. Not only did screening mammography fail to reduce breast cancer mortality, there is . . . → Read More: Addition Of Screening Mammograms Adds No Benefit, But Causes Harm

The Politics of Pink, Plus Recap

WISH ReThinkPinkSummit 2014-02-01 at 9.18.39 AM


Breast cancer used to be a tragedy, something that was not okay. There was no glory, or honor, or cuteness. Now, thanks to the commercialization of the cause, the disease has been glorified, a girly version of the hero’s journey. Run the race, wear the T-shirt, buy the teddy bear. And if you’re one of the survivors, you may even get your name printed on the back of a bucket of deep fried chicken.

It’s . . . → Read More: The Politics of Pink

Review of “A Breast Cancer Alphabet” by Madhulika Sikka

Sikka Cover

A Breast Cancer Alphabet (soon to be released) is straight-forward, concise, and honest book by news executive Madhulika Sikka that breathes new life into a breast cancer world too often drowning in symbolism, cliche, and product placement. The short (2- to 5-page) entries offer 26 personal reflections — from A (“anxiety”) to Zzzz’s (meaning, “sleep”) — that speak to the contours of her diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer, uncertainty amid mountains of information, and how none of the signposts in Cancerland really prepares . . . → Read More: Review of “A Breast Cancer Alphabet” by Madhulika Sikka

Are there ethics to tweeting your illness?


Updated Jan. 16, 2014 There is a major kerfuffle in mass media right now about two journalists, and a blogger with metastatic breast cancer. Guardian columnist Emma Keller and her husband, former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller, wrote opinion pieces about Lisa Bonchek Adams, a Connecticut resident living with metastatic breast cancer who writes about her life on her blog and via Twitter.

Lisa Adams was diagnosed with breast cancer six years ago, and in October 2012 she learned that, despite seemingly successful . . . → Read More: Are there ethics to tweeting your illness?

"The Cause Marketing Dilemma" by Gayle Sulik on @PsychToday... fb.me/3jBZP1dG2

“Pink Ribbon Blues,” Book

Paperback includes new Introduction on fundraising controversies and color insert with images of, and reactions to, the pinking of breast cancer (2012).

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Recent Sulik Interviews

A Year After Bombings, Some Say 'Boston Strong' Has Gone Overboard NPR, All Things Considered

Canadian Mammogram Study KCRW, NPR Affiliate

Breast Cancer: Awareness, Activism & Pinkwashing NPR Charlotte

Buying Pink Al Jazeera's The Stream Watch »

The Pink Backlash Orlando Sentinel

Preventative Mastectomies: Disease and Deception Listen to BlogTalkRadio »

Angelina Jolie and the 'Breast Cancer Gene' Listen to KCRW »

Our Feel-Good War on Breast Cancer. The New York Times Magazine.

The Story Behind the Pink Ribbon Campaign Sisters Talk Radio

WISH Interview Women's International Summit for Health

Making Cancer About The Patient, Not The Body Part CBS Pittsburgh

Sexy breast cancer campaigns anger many patients USA Today

The perils of pink The Daily

Komen pink campaign creates breast-cancer blues for some Dallas Morning News

A yellow flag for the NFL's pink New York Daily

Gayle Sulik named #7 in SharecareNow’s Top 10 Online Influencers in Breast Cancer

"Breast cancer cancer causes so easily derailed" Philly Inquirer

"Komen Charity Under Microscope for Funding, Science" Reuters

"The Fight Against Cancer - And Abortion? Salon.com

"Susan G. Komen For the Cure defunds Planned Parenthood." In Deep with Angie Coiro

"Amid Breast Cancer Month, Is there Pink Fatigue?" NPR's All Things Considered

"How is Breast Cancer Culture Undermining Women's Health?" America’s Radio News Network

"Pink Ribbon Culture and Breast Cancer" The Kojo Nnamdi Show

"The Big Business of Breast Cancer" 
Marie Claire

"Does Breast Cancer Awareness Month Crowd Out Other Diseases?" Slate

"Pink Inc. Has Many Starting to See Red" The Sacramento Bee

"Get Your Pink Off" Ottawa Citizen

"Komen Pink Ribbons Raise Green and Questions" USA Today