The Language of Breast Cancer

These word magnets came in the mail from Susan G. Komen for the Cure, along with an appeal for donations. What I find striking, in addition to the words themselves, is the order. Do you see any interesting patterns?


21. Navigating the Charity World with IRS Form 990: Uses and Limitations

Form 990 is a publicly available tax return that certain federally tax-exempt organizations must file with the IRS. It provides basic information on the mission, programs, and finances of the filing organization, including: what the filer does, who its board members are, whether it is a public charity or private foundation, whether it takes part in lobbying, whether the form was provided to the board of directors before it was filed, if there are any self-dealing transactions or known fiscal abuses, and information about . . . → Read More: 21. Navigating the Charity World with IRS Form 990: Uses and Limitations

19. Birth of the Perpetual Fundraising Industry

On the first day of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (2010) GoComics published the comic strip Non Sequiter by Wiley Miller. It explains the “Birth of the Perpetual Fundraising Industry.” When approached by a dragonslayer, the dragon offers a rational explanation as to why sparing its life would be a win-win proposition. The dragon says:

“Look. You’re dead if you lose and out of a job if you win. So what I propose is a win-win that can be summed up in 3 words…Dragon-Slaying Research.”

. . . → Read More: 19. Birth of the Perpetual Fundraising Industry

Money, Marketing, and Ethics: Can They Work Together?

According to Breast Cancer Action Montreal the answer is YES…If there are sound guiding principles.

Breast Cancer Action Montreal (BCAM) is a non-profit group directed by women who have been sensitized to the trauma of breast cancer and who are committed—long-term—to eradicating the disease. BCAM believes that the focus of breast cancer research must move beyond its current emphasis on treatment to also embrace a serious search for the causes of the disease and its prevention.

In today’s essay Susan Hertzberg, Vice-President of the BCAM Board . . . → Read More: Money, Marketing, and Ethics: Can They Work Together?

“Komen By The Numbers: 2010 And Still No Answers”

Pink Ribbon Blues is pleased to republish the fourth essay about Komen’s financial situation by Anna Rachnel, titled “Komen By The Numbers: 2010 And Still No Answers.” The essay was first published on March 16, 2011 on her blog, The Cancer Culture Chronicles. Stewardship: the conducting, supervising, or managing of something; especially : the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.

In September 2010, Susan G. Komen for the Cure® (“Komen”), proudly announced they had received a four-star rating from Charity Navigator, a popular charity . . . → Read More: “Komen By The Numbers: 2010 And Still No Answers”

Komen’s Leadership In Question

Photo by Astrid Stawiarz for The Wall Street Journal

The fury over Komen’s official responses to the trademark debacle continues to mount as individuals, breast cancer advocates, journalists, bloggers, and the diagnosed raise numerous questions about Komen’s trademark policing, hubris, and financial allocations. Despite an ambiguous admission on the Nightly News with Brian Williams that Komen may have been “overzealous” in its trademark protection and that the organization is “not perfect,” Komen maintains its official response that it sees trademark protection as “responsible . . . → Read More: Komen’s Leadership In Question

Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Sells Out the Pink to Get the Green

This essay was republished with the same title by the Oxford University Press Blog on December 20, 2010, and by in June, 2011 with the new title “How Susan G. Komen for the Cure affects other cancer non-profits.”

In response to increased publicity surrounding Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s questionable trademark and marketing activities, the organization published an official statement on its website, titled: “Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Sees Trademark Protection as Responsible Stewardship of Donor Funds.”

According to the statement, Susan G. Komen . . . → Read More: Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Sells Out the Pink to Get the Green

The Battle “For the Cure” – The Phrase, That Is

Laura Bassett wrote a scathing essay in Huffington Post about Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s legal dealings to win control over the phrase “for the cure.” According to Bassett, “Komen has identified and filed legal trademark oppositions against more than a hundred…charities, including Kites for a Cure, Par for The Cure, Surfing for a Cure and Cupcakes for a Cure – and many of the organizations are too small and underfunded to hold their ground.”

Why would the largest, best funded, . . . → Read More: The Battle “For the Cure” – The Phrase, That Is

“Celebrate Life” Breast Cancer Support Fleece Jacket

Soft fleece with butterflies, uplifting message on back, embroidered ribbon on front, ribbon zipper pulls. Portion of proceeds supports the cause. Price: $99.00 US (Available in 4 installments of $24.75)

—– For only $99, we can celebrate life and support the cause in style? Sign me up! Actually, don’t. How narcissistic and naive does The Bradford Exchange think consumers really are? From this ad, I’d have to conclude that the answer is “very.” The feel good, lifestyle approach to fighting the good fight . . . → Read More: “Celebrate Life” Breast Cancer Support Fleece Jacket

Gayle Sulik On Oprah Radio’s “The Dr. Laura Berman Show”

Oprah Radio host Dr. Laura Berman talks with Gayle Sulik, author of Pink Ribbon Blues, about breast cancer awareness, where your donations for research are going and the downfalls of what Gayle calls “breast cancer culture.”

Here’s an audio clip of the first part of this live interview.

I really enjoyed this interview at JAZZ with Dr. Laura Berman. Dr. Berman and her listeners had thought provoking questions and comments that spoke to their own concerns about the cancer industry, cause marketing, pink . . . → Read More: Gayle Sulik On Oprah Radio’s “The Dr. Laura Berman Show”

"The Cause Marketing Dilemma" by Gayle Sulik on @PsychToday...

“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?

"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