17. Excerpt from “Being Sarah”

Following press coverage of Sarah Horton’s honest, opinionated diaries during her treatment for breast cancer in 2008, Sarah then began writing a book about her experiences. Being Sarah is a true story that brings into sharp focus society’s perception of breast cancer, the politics of the disease, and the need for prevention. Opinionated, outspoken, and life-affirming, her book is also . . . → Read More: 17. Excerpt from “Being Sarah”

“Whose Life Is It Anyway?”

Kathleen Kolb is a physical therapist, artist, breast cancer survivor, and writer of the blog The Accidental Amazon. With her permission, the Pink Ribbon Blues Blog republishes her recent essay “Whose Life Is It Anyway?” about the untidiness of breast cancer, the power and emptiness of symbolism, and the realities of living and dying with the pink ribbon disease.


. . . → Read More: “Whose Life Is It Anyway?”

What Good Is Awareness If…

…the root causes of breast cancer remain unchanged?

…the information disseminated is inaccurate, incomplete, or decontextualized?

…the messages trivialize, misrepresent, or marginalize the disease or the diagnosed?

…the campaign uses sexualized language and imagery to sell itself?

..the campaign intentionally or inadvertently supports products or services that contribute to the total cancer burden (i.e., pinkwashing)?

…the campaign shifts attention and . . . → Read More: What Good Is Awareness If…

Unfashionable Diseases and Less Glamorous Cancers

“Cancer charities which work with less glamorous cancers, bowel, lung, pancreatic for example, let alone charities working with distinctly unfashionable diseases…mental health charities and Alzheimers… envy the ease with which consumers spend on pink products, though some cancer charities may welcome the ‘trickle down’ effect.” –comment to The New York Times article Pink Ribbon Fatigue

What is it . . . → Read More: Unfashionable Diseases and Less Glamorous Cancers

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


An Excerpt from Pink Ribbon Blues—

In the early 1990s, it seemed as though society was ready to confront breast cancer. Breast cancer activism was starting to gain momentum in extending public outreach, increasing research funding, and gaining a seat at the public policy table. In August 1993, the New York Times Magazine published a story about the achievements of . . . → Read More: Remembrance

“Fatigue Indeed” – NY Times Well Blog

Barron Lerner MD published a review of Pink Ribbon Blues in The New York Times yesterday with the title “Pink Ribbon Fatigue.”

The title captured the reality that many of us warily and wearily march through Pinktober as we try to discern whether all of this pink is doing any good. Lerner rightly points out that breast cancer events do . . . → Read More: “Fatigue Indeed” – NY Times Well Blog

Swimming in a Sea of Pink

Talking about gender, says Sociologist Judith Lorber, is for most people the equivalent of fish talking about water. It is so common, routine, pervasive, and normal– that “questioning its taken-for-granted assumptions…is like wondering whether the sun will come up.” It seems natural and predictable. The same is true for pink. Pink ribbons are so commonplace that we’ve just gotten used . . . → Read More: Swimming In A Sea of Pink

Pink Kitsch, Brought To You By NBCAM

During National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM, which is co-sponsored by the American Cancer Society and pharmaceutical company, AstraZeneca), pink ribbons and products abound. Supermarkets, shopping malls, television shows, billboards, and workplaces brim with products and inspirational stories from pink ribbon culture. The media-friendly interplay of femininity and cancer culture provides a light, entertaining depiction of breast cancer that obscures . . . → Read More: Pink Kitsch, Brought To You By NBCAM

Go Pink, or Go Home!

Last year, NASCAR fans at at Lowe’s Motor Speedway cheered, “Go Pink or Go Home” as five pink cars raced around the track in support of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The president and CEO of Komen served as the honorary race director, and Candy Coburn performed the song “Pink Warrior” during the pre-race celebration, which was written for . . . → Read More: Go Pink, or Go Home!

"women urged to get screened because it might save their lives. But that’s only 1 possible outcome, and it’s the least likely one" @cragcrest cutt.ly/jei8WJr

“Pink Ribbon Blues”

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

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"Seeing clearly through the pink haze" Toronto Sun

*Sad face*: Being happy does not help you live longer" New Scientist

How should we address breast cancer when norms continually change? The Guardian

Your Fun 'No Bra Day' Photos Are Overshadowing Terminal Breast Cancer Patients Broadly

Backlash against “pinkwashing” of breast cancer awareness campaigns BMJ

Breast Cancer to Rise 50 Percent by 2030? Hey, Not So Fast! Health News Review

Breast Cancer: The Flaws in the Cause iafrica.com

How to Make the Biggest Impact With Your Breast Cancer Donations Money

The Very Pink, Very Controversial Business of Breast Cancer Awareness Racked

NFL, Pink Ribbons Not Enough to Win over Women CNN

3 Questions We Need to Answer for Breast Cancer Awareness Month Chronicle of Philanthropy

The problem with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month Women's Health Magazine

Pink Ribbon Envy: Living with an Uncool Cancer The Nib

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

Canadian Mammogram Study KCRW, NPR Affiliate

Time to Debunk the Mammography Myth CNN

Breast Cancer: Awareness, Activism & Pinkwashing NPR Charlotte

Buying Pink Al Jazeera's The Stream Watch »

The Pink Backlash Orlando Sentinel

Why Jolie's Test Costs So Much CNN

Preventative Mastectomies: Disease and Deception BlogTalkRadio

Angelina Jolie and the 'Breast Cancer Gene' 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