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Feelings about breast cancer awareness month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, which can be an overwhelming time for many women and men affected by breast cancer, but could also be seen as a month of hope and progress against the disease.

We want to hear from you about what you think and feel approaching this month.

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Comments

  • summerangel
    summerangel Member Posts: 182
    edited October 2015

    I hate it. Before my diagnosis I was pretty oblivious to BC, and even then I hated this month because everything was pink everywhere and it didn't really mean anything. My eyes just passed over all of it - I hate the color pink! Now I find it even more annoying because the vast majority of it is lip service. It seems that most companies feel like they have to throw a bit of pink into their advertisements this month. In fact, I got a couple of advertisements in the mail the last couple of days where companies made some of their items pink "for the cause" but nowhere on the ad did they list ANY donations to a BC charity. It's ridiculous.

  • ShetlandPony
    ShetlandPony Member Posts: 3,063
    edited October 2015

    Mods, I hope you are ready for a tidal wave of responses.

  • MusicLover
    MusicLover Member Posts: 777
    edited October 2015

    I think that awareness is important and I realize that we can all say that we are well aware and need a cure and I totally agree with that but I do think of the younger generation, I believe that is who this month is for. With that said, I would like to see things be more respectful - no more nicknames for breasts and no more scarfs, hats, tee shirts, etc. with breasts depicted on them. The narratives should be about saving lives and honoring those that have passed on from this disease. (If we had a walk for testicular cancer we wouldn't be walking around with testicles hanging from a scarf or shouting save the balls, or would we?) AND make sure that everyone realizes that 70% of those diagnosed have no history of breast cancer in their family, that would be a good t-shirt.

    Pink itself doesn't bother me, it's the disease that bothers me.

    I also hate when the word prevention is used, mammograms do not PREVENT breast cancer nor does following a particular diet or not using birth control or etc., etc. Show me a list of ways to prevent this and I'll show you a woman who has done all of those things but she still has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

    AND last but not least, there needs to be a real good set of guidelines for screening and a good method also, something that does not miss the cancer. We have all of the awareness we need but yet when a young woman is concerned about her health many doctors will say you're too young! That is just horse chit, why make people aware and then tell them, "Oh no, that can't happen."

    Hopefully a cure will be found soon but we can at least improve on how we raise awareness and certain doctors can improve on how they handle someone who is concerned about their health.

    I forgot this, if there are certain conditions that increase a women's likely hood of being diagnosed with this disease they should be made AWARE of that. For instance, recently I read on BCO that certain benign conditions put a person at a greater risk. I think there should be a form which the patient needs to sign which states you have been found to have a benign condition (they should state what it is) and this increases your likely hood of being dx with breast cancer. Some doctors are good at informing patients of this type of thing but MANY are not.

  • spookiesmom
    spookiesmom Member Posts: 8,148
    edited October 2015

    Mods, check out Pinktober Revolution thread. There has been some EXCELLENT posts there recently that sum up how a lot of us feel.

  • MusicLover
    MusicLover Member Posts: 777
    edited October 2015

    TheDivinieMrsM has a good thread too.

  • ShetlandPony
    ShetlandPony Member Posts: 3,063
    edited October 2015

    Here are the relevant threads I know about:

    Are You A Fan Of Awareness? (Divine's) https://community.breastcancer.org/forum/8/topic/8...

    Pinktober Revolution https://community.breastcancer.org/forum/102/topic...

    Looking for Pinktober Alternative buttons, shirts, charities https://community.breastcancer.org/forum/26/topic/...

    #pinkisnotacure Let your Voice Be Heard https://community.breastcancer.org/forum/110/topic...

    First Puketober sitings! [sic] https://community.breastcancer.org/forum/8/topic/8...

    (Not sure how to make these links work. Trying again.)

  • SelenaWolf
    SelenaWolf Member Posts: 231
    edited October 2015

    It's the "cutsey" slogans that get me. I found the following list on my first Google sweep:

    A feel a day keeps the doctor away.
    Big or Small, Save them all.
    Big Or Small, Let’s Save Them All.
    Boobies Make Me Smile.
    Boobs, Sweat and Tears
    Boobs: They could use your support.
    Boobs: They Need Your Support!
    Breast In Show.
    Breast Power.
    Cancer Survivors Are Sexy.
    Check your bumps for lumps.
    Don’t Let Breast Cancer Steal Second Base.
    Feel For Lumps. Save Your Bumps.
    For Guys, Every Month Is Breast Awareness Month.
    I <3 Boobies.
    I Am A Breast Man.
    I’m Here For the Boobies.
    Put Your Breast Foot Forward.
    Save A Life, Grope Your Wife.
    Save Second Base.
    Save the Boobies.
    Save the Hooters.
    Stop the war in my rack!
    Thanks For the Mammories.
    The Breast Is Yet To Come.
    These Boobs Were Made For Walkin’.
    Walkin my buns off for boobs.
    We are fighting to keep a BREAST of the competition.

    Hate it-hate-it-hate-it. There are ways of getting the message out without being so insensitive and crass.

  • ShetlandPony
    ShetlandPony Member Posts: 3,063
    edited October 2015

    Here are the relevant threads I know about:

    Are You A Fan of Awareness? (Divine's)

    Pinktober Revolution

    Looking for Pinktober Alternative buttons, shirts, charities

    #pinkisnotacure Let your Voice Be Heard

    First Puketober sitings! [sic]

    (Sorry, I had a problem trying to add links above so here are the names again.)

  • sas-schatzi
    sas-schatzi Member Posts: 15,875
    edited October 2015

    sas-schatzi wrote:

    Cheerleading for BCO. They are our home, our resource, we gain so much by being here. They have costs. Let's help.

    They make periodic requests by email. They're is the donation link in the header. An easy way for those that do online banking is to set up a donation on a predictable basis.

    We need to do this. They take care of us. Let's make sure we take care of them.

    You don't have to send a check. Do it simply in your online banking. But if you are still stuck on checks.........

    To donate by mail, please send your check payable to Breastcancer.org to:
    120 E. Lancaster Avenue | Suite 201 | Ardmore, PA 19003

    link to BCO Our biggest advocate

    https://community.breastcancer.org/forum/110/topic/834331?page=1

    Link to the mainboard donation page

    https://secure3.convio.net/bco/site/Donation2?df_i...

  • meow13
    meow13 Member Posts: 1,363
    edited October 2015

    Put the money toward a cure. Most people think if you find it "early" that is the cure. The wrong message it is so frustrating to us. I hate the whole thing.

  • Partyoffive
    Partyoffive Member Posts: 53
    edited October 2015

    i am really disgusted hearing about prevention-prevention??? Like i could and should have prevented my csncer from being diagnosed at metastatic. If i see one more fake boob or men in tutu's what does that have to do with 40,000 people dying a year?? Do you see colons being paraded around or ovaries? I feel like they have trivialized this disease and it makes me so angry.

    Sorry I just walked through a major dept store and see they that they will put pink ribbons on anything and people buy it thinking tney are helping the "cause" i too was ignorant just a few years back and have learned the hard way. I dread October but hopefully i will have a few more to dread but you never know with this disease it's not all sweet and cutesy like people want to believe it's deadly and wearing tiaras and tutu's will not stop it from progressing inside of me

  • sbelizabeth
    sbelizabeth Member Posts: 955
    edited October 2015

    SelenaWolf, I love, love, love your list. A long list of incredibly insensitive, trivializing slogans.

    Hey, world, you can have my ta-ta's, boobies, 2nd base, bumps, hooters, rack. SAVE MY LIFE.

  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 5,893
    edited October 2015


    A few weeks ago, I started a thread asking

    "Are a You a Fan of Awareness?"

    It's very insightful, some for it, some against, and some neutral. Here's the link if you're interested in reading further:

    https://community.breastcancer.org/forum/8/topic/834968?page=1


  • watersup1
    watersup1 Member Posts: 2
    edited October 2015

    Thank you, breastcancer.org, the sanest website out there related to breast cancer.

    Many of the women here have expressed how I feel: I hate the commercialism and the sense that corporate entities have done their "duty" by offering pink products; I hate pink; I hate the language that's out there related to women's breasts (thanks for the list, SelenaWolf) and I want to focus on "cure," not just prevention. On the other hand, I'm glad breast cancer gets attention, as there are so many diseases that do not.

    All the sports teams at my daughter's high school raise money during October for Play for the Cure. This year, I suggested to our field hockey team boosters that we raise money instead for a local organization in northern New England, My Breast Cancer Support, that provides tangible, practical and emotional support to breast cancer patients and their families (things like helping with transportation or fuel oil costs, groceries, an evening out, etc.). What's weird (interesting? insulting?) is that, as the token breast cancer survivor in the group, they were more than happy to hand this effort over to me to organize and publicize. I guess having had breast cancer makes me an expert now!

  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 5,893
    edited October 2015

    watersup, i applaud you for speaking up and asking that the funds raised go towards actual assistance, not just some education pamphlets. What's even better, is the money stays in your community. It's a great way for the students to see their hard work in action. Of course, organizing the event is another matter, yet who knows? You may find people more willing to give when they know the money is staying in their own community and they may even know people who benefit from it.

  • spookiesmom
    spookiesmom Member Posts: 8,148
    edited October 2015

    This will help how?

    image

  • Lily55
    Lily55 Member Posts: 1,748
    edited October 2015

    My heart sinks when we get to October.......its all one big commercialised CON. There is no real info out there about types of cáncer, most people still look for a lump but us lobular girls know differently. The campaigning is dis-respectful, sexist, demeaning and mis-leading and mis represents the reality for those of us who have survived so far..........I also HATE that there is no escape from reminders of cáncer day in and day out...............

  • Lily55
    Lily55 Member Posts: 1,748
    edited October 2015

    THe post above shows what I mean, it makes the bloke look like a good bloke and demeans breasts, they look like cupcakes fgs................

  • dlb823
    dlb823 Member Posts: 2,701
    edited October 2015

    The emphasis is all wrong. No change in dx or survival stats in 30+ years, since Komen starting telling us that breast cancer is pretty and pink, and that an early dx is the simple solution.

    Pinktober has become a marketing holiday with every business imaginable slapping a pink ribbon on their product or advertising and believing it is somehow helping with awareness, while (how convenient) also giving their bottom line a boost while sometimes not even actually donating to anyone. And tasteless photos and programs emphasizing boobs or tatas or bras are obnoxious on a whole other level and need to be called out for what they are.

    I am angry. We are all (at least in the US) aware, unless we've been living under a rock. Tasteful reminders are fine. Wearing pink is fine if it makes you feel good or feel like you're honoring someone fighting bc, as the nurses and office folks in my local onc's office do this month by wearing pink scrubs. I don't object to that kind of pink. But we absolutely have to shift the emphasis from awareness being the answer -- which the dismal stats totally disprove -- to demanding more funding for metastatic bc research.

    Thankfully, I believe the tide IS starting to turn! But we must all speak out to keep the momentum going, and keep pushing for more research funding. Deanna


  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 5,893
    edited October 2015

    Yes, dlb, a pink marketing holiday is what it's become. I've been dealing with bc since late 2010, and in these five years, the emphasis on all pink has gotten that much worse. It's really bothering me this year.

    I object because they are once again stereotyping women. Why, women can'thandle the rough stuff, so make it all pretty, pink and about shop shop shopping and buy buy buy. Swap out the pink with red and green and what do you get? Why, Christmas, of course. Btw, do you ever see men wringing their hands during the holidays, vexing over shopping, getting presents wrapped, stressed about all they have to get done for the holiday? I don't. It is atrocious that we have so many women feeling that they have to buy their way to good health, buy their way to a happy holiday, the only way to have fun is to shop and look pretty. And maybe if you do, the breast cancer bogey man will see your good deeds and skip over you.

    Much of the info given out seems superficial. The Facebook page for a breast fest at a local hospital yesterday had an article about prevention, you know, eat your veggies, exercise. They had people decorate bras in a "Bra'dway Theme". All this hoopla. Let's stay in the happy place and maybe the cancer bogey man won't find us

  • queenmomcat
    queenmomcat Member Posts: 2,020
    edited October 2015

    Free and easily available screening? Great. Now, how about financial and practical help for those who get diagnosed? Don't wait until we ask you. We may not know we can ask for a lot of the help that's already there.

  • MaggieCat
    MaggieCat Member Posts: 315
    edited October 2015
    image

    Yep, a different organization.... I think both groups BCA and BCO are amazing!

  • thepinkbirdie
    thepinkbirdie Member Posts: 24
    edited October 2015

    I haven't been on this site for a while and I tend to come back when Pinktober hits. I may also post these questions in another forum...

    What has come to mind about this month is, do any Komen locations facilitate breast cancer SUPPORT GROUPS? If not, why not? Aside from the fact that there is no money to be made from support groups.

  • spookiesmom
    spookiesmom Member Posts: 8,148
    edited October 2015

    This was in the Tampa Bay Times this morning. I thought it was nicely done.

    image

  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,640
    edited October 2015

    selenawolf,

    Thank you for that list. I had heard some, but not all of those slogans. Simply appalling.

    Caryn

  • Bliss58
    Bliss58 Member Posts: 938
    edited October 2015

    Couldn't agree with you more, Deanna and DivineMrsM, you both saved me a lot of typing. Personally, I am especially angry with Komen, just seems like a big money making machine and where is it all really going? They used to donate only 19% of funds to research, now it's down to 17%. And, my understanding is only 7% goes to MBC which is the killer. How is that finding a "cure?" #pink-is-not-a-cure

  • GetSmart1996
    GetSmart1996 Member Posts: 1
    edited October 2015

    I am a survivor for 18 years . I was fortunate that my breast cancer was caught in its very early stages by an annual Mammogram. I had known others who survived breast cancer, but truly did not understand the devastation women (as well as men) suffer from this disease. At the time of diagnosis, I was working for Governor Gary E. Johnson of New Mexico. Working with several groups of survivors, aided by First Lady Dee Johnson, we set up a showing in the State Capitol Building's Governor's Art Gallery with works of art whose artists were all breast cancer survivors to honor these survivors and all survivors by the Governor's Proclamation of October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month on New Mexico. It opened on the first day of October. I would be remiss if I did not mention Sabina, a survivor and artist, who located many of our artists in and around Santa Fe, NM. More survivor events should be held all over the country to raise awareness, especially among younger women.



  • traveltext
    traveltext Member Posts: 1,050
    edited October 2015

    I was a newbie BCer last October, having just finished treatment, I was invited by the committee of my small town's pink fun run to address the crowd about males getting breast cancer. I wore a blue t-shirt, and amongst the sea of pink it made my point that, while rare, males get the disease too.

    Now, a year later, I've come to see that Pinktober really is a monster out of control. Not at the grassroots level, but as the corporate level, where dollars are made and donations to effective organisations are not very transparent or even accountable.

    I can now also see that the whole Pinktober breast health campaign is bad for males. Because pink has been chosen to denote breast cancer, it is reinforcing the common perception that males don't get this disease. They are hence diagnosed later, since they and their health practitioners are not suspecting the disease and therefore not recognising symptoms early enough.

    As well, since there is a lack of male-specific clinical research, and even basic collation and analysis of treatment meta data, the treatment for males is based on what has proven effective for women.

    Consequently, men's survival rates are lower than for women.

    As a man who is happy to talk about his breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, I am always quick to point out that the care I received was first class and equal to that of the many women I was treated alongside. And I'm pleased to see from the posts on BCO that many women also hate the pink-washing of breast cancer.


  • traveltext
    traveltext Member Posts: 1,050
    edited October 2015

    The Tampa Bay Times story on male breast cancer can be found HERE

  • labelle
    labelle Member Posts: 134
    edited October 2015

    It's become like a holiday, totally commercialized and it has begun to seem almost like people are celebrating breast cancer. Not something I'm willing to celebrate, shop and decorate for. Thanks, but no thanks.

    I will be glad when this month is over. We are all aware of BC, with so many women being diagnosed with it, I'm pretty sure everyone knows someone who has dealt with or is dealing with BC. We don't need more pink shirts, pink scarves, pink ribbon stickers or jewelry or any other pink shit. We need a cure or a way to prevent BC (not just generally good diet/exercise stuff). For me, and many of us I guess, October sucks hard, you can't go shopping or out to eat or even go to work without pink being shoved at you. Enough already and it's only 10/03.