I’ve been spending much of my time working with the Breast Cancer Consortium to develop plans, projects, and analyses. One of my roles is to edit the Quarterly newsletter, which has just been released.
Table of Contents The Breast Cancer Consortium, Gathering Momentum! “Our Feel-Good War on Breast Cancer” Patients, Patents, and Profits “Cancer and My Marriage” “Topsail” — New Video by Angelo Merendino, My Wife’s Fight With Breast Cancer The Making of a Peaceful Death The Pink and the Black Rights or Rhetoric? . . . → Read More: Breast Cancer Consortium Quarterly, Second Issue
This article was edited since its original publication.
It is now widely known that the benefits of wholesale mammography screening were overpromised. Rates of overdiagnosis (i.e., when a diagnosed tumor lacks the potential to progress to a clinical stage, or is so slow-growing that the person would die from other causes) are higher than previously realized. We still do not know what causes breast cancer, how to prevent it, or why it recurs. The breast cancer that kills (i.e., metastatic) continues to strike hundreds of . . . → Read More: The trouble with Komen: Misusing statistics/Generating false hope
No one has captured a glimpse into the largely invisible world of metastatic breast cancer more compellingly than photographer Angelo Merendino. Angelo began documenting his wife Jen’s illness photographically shortly after her diagnosis in 2008. It was just five months after they had gotten married that Angelo and Jen entered the world of cancer. After a double mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation treatment, and reconstructive surgery the couple celebrated their first anniversary with the news that Jen was cancer free. Two years after that, Jen had a . . . → Read More: “The Battle They Don’t Want to See”
Pink Ribbon Blues Contributor Lisa Valentine has written two essays for the PRB Blog: “What Lies Beneath,” which examines cultural expectations about women’s breasts, and “I Didn’t Know Then What I Know Now,” which shares how Lisa went from being an avid Komen supporter to a new kind of breast cancer advocate. Earlier today (Jul. 12) Lisa published an article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune highlighting the exploitive character of much of today’s pink ribbon culture.
In “Keep the Race Moving Toward the Cure,” Lisa Valentine . . . → Read More: “Keep the Race Moving Toward the Cure”
Don’t say “breast cancer.” Because breast cancer is SUPER SEXY. If you’re not convinced, check out the Pink Ribbon Blues photo gallery. It includes common breast cancer “awareness” images like these.
A Boobfest features sleek women in black cocktail dresses to raise funds for breast cancer. KK Temptations holds a bikini contest to increase awareness. Fox News uses an alluring image of a woman cupping her pink bra in an article about lymph node removal for those with early stage breast . . . → Read More: You Know What’s NOT Sexy?
I was inspired by the Pink Ribbon Blues Poetry Jam this summer. If you haven’t read the winning poems, check them out. They were chosen by popular vote and over 250 people participated in the voting. None of my own poems were included, but I did write poems during the jam. It seemed only right. As an avid researcher and writer, it was fun for me to use words in a new and creative way. After the contest, a friend of mine announced a poetry contest . . . → Read More: 30. “Pink Ribbon Blues” – A Poem
After Pink Ribbon Blues came out, Bill Noren periodically sent me photos, news items, and other tidbits about pink ribbon culture that concerned him. Several of the images and photos that are sprinkled throughout the Pink Ribbon Blues Blog and in the ever-expanding photo gallery came from him. Last Spring, Bill sent me some news stories about Heather Beyer and told me how it represented, for him, a turn in public culture that not only glorified survivorship but actually hid the real difficulties people . . . → Read More: 16. Loss and Remembering: A Story of Heather Beyer
One of my readers emailed me to ask why so little discussion of cancer is focused on morbidity? In epidemiological terms morbidity is typically calculated, either in terms of incidence (i.e., how many people are diagnosed with a disease in a given time period) or prevalence (i.e., how many total people in the population currently have the disease). These are important things to know from a public health standpoint, but my reader is also referring to what it means to live day to day in a . . . → Read More: 11. “After the Cure”
The day I saw an advertisement in Harper’s Magazine for Samantha King’s book, “Pink Ribbons, Inc.: Breast Cancer and the Politics of Philanthropy,” I gasped. Not because of the title. I had been researching the social aspects of breast cancer for five years and was about to begin the next phase of my analysis into the industry and consumption side of pink ribbon culture. When I saw the ad I wondered if King had already written my book! I ordered Pink Ribbons, Inc. and was relieved to . . . → Read More: 9. Pink Ribbons, Inc.