BCC Newsletter (2013, Issue 3)

BCC initials square logo 2-5-13The Changing Breast Cancer Landscape

The past three months have seen significant changes not only in the breast cancer arena but in science and medicine more generally.

  • Barbara Brenner, one of my personal she-roes, who led the group Breast Cancer Action, died on May 10 at her home in San Francisco. She was 61.
  • Angelina Jolie surprised the public with an op-ed revealing her genetic mutation on one of the so-called breast cancer genes and her subsequent decision to have preventive surgeries to reduce her future risk of breast or ovarian cancer.
  • With cancer prevention at the forefront of public discussion, there was a new and overzealous push for chemoprevention drugs for women at high-risk for breast cancer but who have not been diagnosed with the disease.
  • Yet a working group from the U.S. National Cancer Institute published an article citing “overdiagnosis” and “overtreatment” of some cancers. To quell the problem, they suggest a change in nomenclature, arguing that certain indolent breast, lung, prostate, and thyroid tumors should no longer be called “cancers.”
  • The U.S. Supreme Court, in the case of the Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, ruled that it is illegal to hold patents on natural human genes.

The Breast Cancer Consortium actively engaged these issues on radio, in the news, and in our communities.

BCC’s Beyond Awareness Campaign is also building momentum. The Beyond Awareness Workbook and Booklet Series will be part of our campus outreach this academic year. Talks at Colgate University, Texas Tech, and University of the Pacific are already on the calendar. Two of these lectures are sponsored by Sociologists for Women in Society as part of a Distinguished Feminist Lectureship Award program. Participants in the Geography, Archaeology, Biology Research Activities Forum (GABRAF) conference at the University of North Texas also generously donated proceeds from registration fees to support BCC’s Beyond Awareness campaign. We deeply appreciate this support.

If you would like to plan a Beyond Awareness campaign or event in your community, we can help. Please email me at: gayle.sulik@breastcancerconsortium.net. In the meantime, please browse our website, book reviews, and resources. If you like what you see, please forward our newsletter to your colleagues and friends. Thank you for reading, and for helping to change the breast cancer paradigm.


Gayle A. Sulik, PhD (founder and executive director, Breast Cancer Consortium)

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“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