A Terrible Disease Kills Thousands Every Year. Let's Stop Pretending It's Cute.
There are over 200,000 new cases of breast cancer every year.
Despite what some organizations might want you to think, beating breast cancer has nothing to do with wearing pink and buying specially branded lemonade and perfume. It's going to take much, much more than that and many more people like these women.
The video is worth watching, but I want to pull out one quote in particular that addresses the language often used when talking about breast cancer: comparing it to fighting a battle or a battle to be won. The truth is, breast cancer isn't something you can "win" against. Emphasis mine:
I don't adhere to the belief that if you just fight hard enough that you'll live. Cause I know a lot of really strong people who have fought really hard and had great attitudes and hadn't lived.
We don't survive. I mean we're not survivors because for one thing there's always the fear of recurrence.
The truth is no matter how long a woman lives after a breast cancer diagnosis her body, her finances, her relationships, her psyche bare a lifelong toll of this diagnosis.
We need to make sure that we have more effective and less toxic treatments. So that fewer women are dying. And we need to end this epidemic so there are less diagnoses in the first place.
For some women, the pink ribbons and the battle metaphors and hopes for a cure are comforting and helpful, and that's fine. A breast cancer diagnosis can be scary, and the pink ribbon campaigns create a sense of community.
But this quote brings up a great point: Looking for a cure is important, but how many pink ribbon organizations do you know that talk actively about finding ways to prevent breast cancer? Pink ribbons are cute and marketable. A cure is marketable. Prevention is not cute, and it's not marketable. But breast cancer *can* be prevented. And pink ribbons aren't for everyone.
So where would you rather your money go? Toward making more pink ribbons? Or figuring out how to prevent more women from getting breast cancer in the first place? I know my answer.