The battle to raise awareness has been won. So why aren’t more lives being saved?
I had scooped this article a few days ago but it was in the New York Times weekend magazine, so I am going to re-scoop it again for a more in-depth look at pink culture and following my last article on how Komen oversold mammograms and Gayle Sulik of the Breast Cancer Consortium talked about this.
What most important is that mainstream media is finally starting to wake up and see the whole problem with the overselling of pink culture.
Here's what I commented on this article before.
This article is a great read and covers lots of things about breast cancer. It looks at whether or not to get mammongrams at different ages, pink ribbon culture and how preventing breast cancer forgets the importance of research helping the 40,000 women dying a year of metastatic breast cancer, whether we are overtreating breast cancer, and so many other things that relate to what is happening with breast cancer.
For example when looking at educating young women about breast cancer, according to Dr. Susan Love, a breast surgeon and president of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation. “Some young women get breast cancer, and you don’t want them to ignore it, but educating kids earlier — that bothers me. Here you are, especially in high school or junior high, just getting to know to your body. To do this search-and-destroy mission where your job is to find cancer that’s lurking even though the chance is minuscule to none. . . . It doesn’t serve anyone. And I don’t think it empowers girls. It scares them.”
The article also quotes Gayle Sulik a sociologist and founder of the Breast Cancer Consortium, who credits Komen (as well as the American Cancer Society and National Breast Cancer Awareness Month) with raising the profile of the disease, encouraging women to speak about their experience and transforming “victims” into “survivors.” Komen, she said, has also distributed more than $1 billion to research and support programs. At the same time, the function of pink-ribbon culture — and Komen in particular — has become less about eradication of breast cancer than self-perpetuation: maintaining the visibility of the disease and keeping the funds rolling in. “You have to look at the agenda for each program involved,” Sulik said. “If the goal is eradication of breast cancer, how close are we to that? Not very close at all. If the agenda is awareness, what is it making us aware of? That breast cancer exists? That it’s important? ‘Awareness’ has become narrowed until it just means ‘visibility.’ And that’s where the movement has failed. That’s where it’s lost its momentum to move further.”