Pink: cute, feminine, sweet, playful, tender
Cancer: a disease in which abnormal cells destroy body tissue. There are more than 100 types of cancer.
NOW WHAT IS CUTE, FEMININE, SWEET, PLAYFUL OR TENDER ABOUT CANCER?! NOTHING!
Pink also means Pink Ribbons, which we are attacked with every October – to celebrate breast cancer awareness and “honor” survivors… I do not support the pinking of cancer.
I like the color pink – it looks great on me, but you won’t catch me wearing a pink ribbon. Couldn’t pay me enough. And before you get your skirts in an uproar or your pants in a bunch, I am a two-time cancer survivor, and I did not find my experience cute, feminine, sweet, and there certainly nothing about it that was playful or tender about it either. Cancer was a disease that I had to learn to cope with, and work with, and work through. Cancer caused me one too many sleepless nights because of side-effects from treatments, but mostly from worrying about WHAT IF? Not only did it affect me, it affected my family because they also worried about WHAT IF.
Since my dance with cancer, I have lost several friends to breast cancer, and there is NOTHING cute about this.
According to the Center for Disease Control, “In 2014 (the most recent year numbers are available)—
- 236,968 women and 2,141 men in the United States were diagnosed with breast cancer.
- 41,211 women and 465 men in the United States died from breast cancer.”
(Source: https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/statistics/index.htm. Want to see how breast cancer stacks up against other cancers: https://nccd.cdc.gov/uscs/toptencancers.aspx.)
Now with this many people getting breast cancer and dying from it, I think we are way beyond “awareness.” It is time for action and demand that funding goes towards supporting those who are facing cancer with financial, medical, and psych-social services AT A LOCAL LEVEL FOR ALL PEOPLE WHO HAVE CANCER. Demand that the money goes towards cancer survivorship services, towards patient navigators who help those who are facing cancer. Demand that the money goes towards to stopping breast cancer from taking another life!!!!
We need an anti-breast cancer campaign, not a pink campaign, not an awareness campaign – we need ACTION NOW!
So, don’t ask me to wear pink for breast cancer or support a pink cause. I provide support by being an anti-cancer advocate, a cancer story facilitator, a survivor advocate, and providing and interpreting cancer information from medical sources to share with others. I also provide financial support to organizations who are beyond awareness. Please think about why you are supporting a certain organization before you donate, and please, please think about not supporting the pinking of cancer.
Gunalchéesh, Quyana, Bassee, How’aa, Taikuu, Tsin’aen, Igamsiqayugvikamkin, Qagasaakun, Chin’an, Thank you.
Sharing Knowledge About (not using) Pink:
Think Before You Buy Pink: Critical Questions for Conscious Consumers
History of the Pink Ribbon
Pink October’s Predecessor – “Before there was breast cancer awareness, there was tuberculosis advocacy. It was a lot more effective.”
Want to help someone who is facing cancer directly? Adapt the tools from Share the Care or Meal Train: