“The Emperor Has No Clothes”: Komen for the Cure Exposed

I’m pleased to have written a guest editorial for KomenWatch about the recent scandal involving the Komen organization.

KomenWatch (www.komenwatch.org) is a public service website aimed at “sharing information and generating critical discussion about the largest breast cancer fundraiser in the world, Susan G. Komen for the Cure®.” The KomenWatch website includes a large, searchable database of news sources and other articles that highlight public concerns about the Komen organization and/or its role in contributing to the splintering of the breast cancer movement and to the overt commercialization . . . → Read More: “The Emperor Has No Clothes”: Komen for the Cure Exposed

29. A Portrait of Cathie Malhouitre: Uncompromising, Unembellished Reality

October 2008 – to – October 2009 © MMM PH

Cathie Malhouitre of Paris, France is a designer and artist who is committed to “the real” when it comes to breast cancer – realistic discourse, realistic expression, realistic portrayal, and realistic engagement. Cathie’s attention to realism is the culmination of her deep desire to find acceptance, peace, and fulfillment after having two breast cancer diagnoses and subsequent treatment. Before sharing Cathie’s creative work, I’d like to share her diagnosis story.

Cathie was first . . . → Read More: 29. A Portrait of Cathie Malhouitre: Uncompromising, Unembellished Reality

28. The Intervention Begins With Us!

Earlier this month, I purchased a dozen of Egglands Best organic eggs only to find out the next morning that each one had a trademarked running ribbon stamped on it. There was no indication on the packaging that this particular dozen eggs was part of a cause marketing relationship. My husband laughed and said, “They got you!”After I finished my breakfast, I felt a bit nauseous. Should I have skipped breakfast and returned the eggs? I didn’t.

A friend of mine with breast cancer wanted to . . . → Read More: 28. The Intervention Begins With Us!

25. Being a “Change Agent” with Clinical Trials

Lori Marx-Rubiner is a social worker, writer and breast cancer coach. On the national level, she is involved in advocacy and serves on peer review for the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Project (a Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program). Locally she coaches women through their diagnoses and into treatment, and has led in-treatment support groups. She is particularly interested in working with young mothers who are parenting through cancer. Lori was first diagnosed with lobular carcinoma in 2002, at the age of 35, . . . → Read More: 25. Being a “Change Agent” with Clinical Trials

Heading to Washington! NBCC’s Advocacy Training Conference

This weekend breast cancer advocates, activists, researchers, educators, policy-makers, and other concerned citizens will be making their way to Washington DC to learn, connect, and transform at the National Breast Cancer Coalition’s Annual Advocacy Training Conference. This will be the 19th year that NBCC has hosted the conference, always with the goal of bringing together a diversity of people, ideas, and agendas to further the ultimate goal of eradicating breast cancer.

The issues and actions have changed over the years to address the specific needs, . . . → Read More: Heading to Washington! NBCC’s Advocacy Training Conference

Pinktober, and a new era

Now that we’ve made it through another Pinktober, it’s time to take stock of what we’ve accomplished.

Most importantly, there is a new form of awareness in the public discourse. It has been bubbling up for a number of years, but this year people came forward in greater numbers to voice their concerns about the marketing of breast cancer, the exploitation of the illness for commercial gain, superficial messages of awareness, stereotypical advertising in the name of the cause, the lack of real progress, . . . → Read More: Pinktober, and a new era

Another Voice from the Breast Cancer Movement

Caitlin Carmody, membership coordinator of Breast Cancer Action, wrote a thoughtful and insightful post on BCA’s Think Before You Pink blog. She notes that many awareness campaigns focus on individual choices, lifestyles, and behaviors (which can be personally empowering), but they tend to forget about “the context in which breast cancer risk and diagnosis occurs.”

The context might include language barriers, access to healthy food or adequate health insurance, safe working and living environments, and the kinds of protections that guarantee the safety of . . . → Read More: Another Voice from the Breast Cancer Movement

Run If You Want To!

When trying to untangle thorny social problems, people need to work within existing social institutions. As we all know, these institutions are flawed. They work for some and not for others. They produce intended and unintended consequences. Some of those consequences are positive, and others are negative. Inadequacies, inequities, and rewards are built into the system. But even though social institutions shape what individuals can do, individuals also influence the system. The interplay between these forces is the essence of status quo and social . . . → Read More: Run If You Want To!

Runaway Ribbons and De Facto Cause Support

Paula’s thinking pink, are you? Regardless, you may be supporting pink cause marketing by default. Pink products are so ubiquitous  – especially during breast cancer awareness month – that you might have to go out of your way to avoid pink ribbons when you purchase your favorite products.

One woman, Maria, told me that she does not believe in cause marketing. Instead, she chooses to support the cause in more direct ways, (i.e., being a member of a grass roots advocacy organization and reading . . . → Read More: Runaway Ribbons and De Facto Cause Support

On the First Day of…

Breast Cancer Awareness Month… My True Love Gave To Me…Some Lotions That Were Paraben Free.

Parabens are chemicals that are added to cosmetic products to act as preservatives. If you check the ingredients of many commonly used cosmetics, moisturizers, sun screens, baby lotions, hair care products, hair dyes, and shaving creams you’ll often find parabens: ethylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben, isopropylparaben, butylparaben, isobutylparaben, or benzylparaben. They are everywhere, and often often you’ll find more than one type of paraben in a single product.

With the exception . . . → Read More: On the First Day of…

“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).

Order the Paperback » 

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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