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Feelings about breast cancer awareness month

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  • larkspur
    larkspur Member Posts: 19
    edited October 2015
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    Beyond all of the infantilizing pink and the cutesy crap that Barbara Ehrenreich and many forum members have documented: we're all farkin' aware of breast cancer already! So could we call it something more meaningful, like "Breast Cancer Education Month," and then proceed to provide better education about breast cancer? Perhaps we could hold rallies or just leafleting events with one-page handouts containing information about the different types of breast cancer, how having dense breasts hinders the effectiveness of mammography (I really loathe the simplistic and idiotic slogan "mammograms save lives," as I'm sure others do), the benefits of ultra-sound and MRIs as screening tools, genetic testing for women--and men--with a strong family history, &c., &c.

    Long before I was diagnosed with it, I knew many people who had been treated for it, including one man who lost his mother to BC when he was a baby and who probably has a genetic predisposition for it. But until my own diagnosis earlier this year, I had barely heard of DCIS, let alone its different subtypes; its relationship to invasive cancer; and lots, lots more.

  • spookiesmom
    spookiesmom Member Posts: 8,176
    edited October 2015
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    Travel, I'm interested in your opinion on the paper article? Pros, cons?

  • thepinkbirdie
    thepinkbirdie Member Posts: 24
    edited October 2015
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    A couple of things come to mind on what I've found in the past (have photos of them somewhere)....

    Breast Fest at a local nightclub. I think they caught so much hell for it that the club itself shut down.

    Walking through the ice cream section at Publix and seeing a frozen Carvel Cake full of pink ribbons. Like a birthday cake, "Happy cancer to you, happy cancer to you, happy cancer dear ......... happy cancer to you."

    Who in their right mind comes up with this crap?

  • traveltext
    traveltext Member Posts: 1,051
    edited October 2015
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    The article is fine, very basic, but makes its point - men need to be aware of breast health too. I like to draw the analogy between young women (those under the age of 35) diagnosed with the disease and males (of all ages). Each group represents about one percent of the total cases diagnosed each year. And both groups have poorer survival outcomes, perhaps because there is no public screening of these groups. Both groups are more likely to have genetics involved. Having the BRCA 1 gene gives women an 80 percent chance of getting the disease, while having BRCA 2 gives men a 7 percent chance. I have an unknown variation of the BRCA 1 gene, and my mum died in 1962 when she was 40.

    Men with BC have a couple of sites (HERE and HERE) which is good because, like with women, early detection is paramount for good survival outcomes. BCO has a section for males with BC, but it's not really very active. Guys generally don't support each other in the same way as women. And, of course, some men don't like to publicly acknowledge their condition.

    For guys, navigating the pink junk month is perhaps a bit different. Those of us who want to get the message out, have to join the media scrum and present ourselves as the blue among the pink. Hence the publicity material you see below.


    image

    image


    But, wouldn't it be good if we could ditch the pink and present a united message that anyone can get breast cancer.

    Cheers, Rod

  • 208sandy
    208sandy Member Posts: 582
    edited October 2015
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    I hate October - I call it Puketober - I hate pink - I am Stage IV and I'd like to see money donated for research YES, RESEARCH - sick to death of awareness!!!!!!!

  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,832
    edited October 2015
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    I'm not filled with hate about the pinking of October and refuse to let it upset me (stress is bad, right?) but I certainly don't support the pink washing. Although I find it irritating, I do my best to ignore it, however I find myself getting snappy and unkind when checking out at a store and being asked, "Would you like to donate to a breast cancer charity today?" On more than one occasion, I have pointed to the right and left sides of my chest and said "I've already contributed twice." I know this is wrong and unkind as the clerk is just doing what they're told to do. I need to learn not to take my frustrations out on the innocent.
  • ClaireFraser
    ClaireFraser Member Posts: 47
    edited October 2015
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    208sandy,

    First let me say, God bless you and I pray you will be healed.

    I am a survivor, but mine was caught early. Do I feel safe? Hell, no. Do I hate PINK, yes. Billions of money is raised in the name of breast cancer. Consumers buy "pink" because they believe they are helping. Corporations are getting rich, because of breast cancer. While I'm not saying awareness isn't important, what i want to know is... why is the mortality rate still high? Women have yearly mammograms (some bi yearly) and can still be diagnosed at a late stage. It is time to focus on research and prevention. This should be at the forefront. And don't get me started on fracking and the pink drill bit that Komen put their stamp on. Research, prevention.

    The National Breast Cancer Coalition is working hard to end breast cancer.
    www.breastcancerdeadline2020.org

    Claire

  • HLB
    HLB Member Posts: 740
    edited October 2015
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    Caryn, my mom got snappy with someone on the phone asking for a breast cancer donation. They called the wrong person at the wrong time, as my mom is very nice and is loved by many many people. But she let that woman have it! "What are they doing with all this money?! Why is there no cure yet!?" Etc etc. Lol.
  • meow13
    meow13 Member Posts: 1,363
    edited October 2016
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    I guess I should just stay off facebook. My "friends" sharing puketober crap. I am so sick and tired of the pink crap I could just scream. Maybe I should pray more or make sure I have the right attitude. Never give up, just go away!

  • claire_in_seattle
    claire_in_seattle Member Posts: 2,793
    edited October 2016
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    Love Selena Wolf's list! Otherwise, I mostly ignore what's going on. Last weekend, we had a storm, I finalized my taxes and did the Office 2016 update. I am doing a 60 mile bicycle ride in the country tomorrow. Lots to do, and nary a pink ribbon in sight.

    After all, I don't waste my time with "Reality Shows" either. - Claire

  • dlb823
    dlb823 Member Posts: 2,701
    edited October 2016
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    While I certainly understand the emotional need of many survivors to minimize their exposure to Pinktober, I personally feel it's the best time to educate people and correct misconceptions about awareness and the fact that mortality stats haven't really changed since awareness programs began, and that while awareness has its place, at this point what we need is much more research funding, especially metastatic research for more and better tx options. I won't stick my head in the sand. Pinking needs to be exposed for what it is -- at best misguided folks believing they're helping "awareness" by making a pink product; at worst, corporations blatantly profiting from our disease.

    We must continue to change the dialogue and treat seriously a disease that will kill 40,000+ Americans this year. We can do better than the NFL selling pink gear or the military painting a fighter jet bright pink. Thankfully the tide is turning and people are waking up to the truth that finding your bc early is not an assurance it won't become metastatic in the future, and that being Stage IV is not an automatic death sentence, but with more and better meds it can be made a chronic condition. That's the message I will continue to share passionately during October and the 11 other months.

  • jelson
    jelson Member Posts: 622
    edited October 2016
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    getting towards the end of the month - had pretty much turned a blind eye to pinktober but today, 10/26 - plastered on every door of the community center at which I exercise is a flyer with the pink ribbon - saying wear pink on Oct 28 - SUPPORT BREAST CANCER ..and that is all. like we forgot all about it (thank heavens) but now we remembered (too bad) and what is that supposed to mean anyway? promote awareness? cure? spread? like I can't even start a conversation about this without screeching.

  • Merymete
    Merymete Member Posts: 3
    edited October 2016
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    Hahah Jelson, I completely agree. Thank Zeus the month is almost over.


    My dear friend gave me a whole ton of pink crap for my birthday. I'm like, gee, thanks, I needed to be reminded of this 24/7.

  • Artista928
    Artista928 Member Posts: 1,458
    edited October 2016
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    Glad it's almost over. I already said in the pinktober thread that moneys raised by charities should be put together to help people get the tx they need. I don't see a cure coming. At best maybe there will be a test that will stop cancer before it forms but the rest, I don't think so. It's too tricky and there is no rhyme or reason why this is for this person and not for that, etc. So let pharma and other large organizations fund research for the elusive cure and help those afford tx who are in financial distress because our insurances suck.

  • traveltext
    traveltext Member Posts: 1,051
    edited October 2016
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    Mostly in October pink charities are peddling the myth that our contributions will help raise awareness and perhaps find a cure for the disease. This tired old formula works year after year to raise bucket loads of cash that prop up charity market departments and their administration costs. Meanwhile, at the coal face bc patients struggle wth countless problems with little practical support. I agree with Artista, let's offer practical and financial support to those in need.


  • edwards750
    edwards750 Member Posts: 1,568
    edited October 2016
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    Me too Travel. I'm sick of the BIG push during the month of October. There are a lot of women who can't afford treatment. We don't need awareness we are all too aware. Put the money where it is needed most for a change.

    Diane

  • meow13
    meow13 Member Posts: 1,363
    edited October 2016
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    I do laugh at one pink item I received from a friend.

    I call it the pink puke bucket.

    image

  • traveltext
    traveltext Member Posts: 1,051
    edited October 2016
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    Good one Meow13. I'd like one of those to carry around in October. There's so much to puke about.


  • dtad
    dtad Member Posts: 771
    edited October 2016
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    Hate Pinktober!

  • meadow
    meadow Member Posts: 998
    edited October 2016
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    I respect you all, and your opinions of course. In my area, I have seen very little Pink this year, and I miss it. I have always liked the wash of pink, others thinking about this disease. I know there is a lot to fix, but this year, for me, not seeing it around, it is missed.

  • meow13
    meow13 Member Posts: 1,363
    edited October 2016
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    Meadow, I too notice less of a presence of the pink hype. It is important people know how many of us there are and the need for a cure. I want Joe Biden to start turning up the heat and encourage researchers to information share.

  • traveltext
    traveltext Member Posts: 1,051
    edited October 2016
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    Everyone is obviously free to do what they want as far as the pink events go. The five guys I know with bc (all diagnosed late, one now stage IV) hate the month since it reinforces the disease as one that only women get. I see no willingness from the pink charities to be more inclusive as I guess it disrupts their marketing plans or diffuses their message. This year I tried to condense my message into a simple infographic, so here it is.


    image


  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 6,071
    edited October 2016
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    As always, TT, you do a good job advocating for awareness of make bc.

    Imo, the presidential election completely overshadowed bc awareness in October. I saw so few people references to it in my local media such as newspaper and local tv stations. Even on the national news, the main event front and center was the campaign for president, Anything else has fallen to the wayside in 2016

  • Momine
    Momine Member Posts: 2,845
    edited November 2016
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  • sandcastle
    sandcastle Member Posts: 289
    edited November 2016
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    Just Hate the color Pink....Liz

  • traveltext
    traveltext Member Posts: 1,051
    edited November 2016
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    Never too late to draw attention to an excellent article, and this one really is a reality check post Pinktober. Thanks Momine.


  • cliff
    cliff Member Posts: 86
    edited February 2017
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    I have been interviewed on tv twice about mens breast cancer. I hope nobody gets mad, but I have contacted komen about trying to spread the word that men get breast cancer too. my second tv interview was on a local tv station just before Christmas. KAKE.com kake on your side, buddycheck 10, the old guy beside the Christmas tree. I realy hate cancer.

  • traveltext
    traveltext Member Posts: 1,051
    edited February 2017
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    Cliff's video can be found HERE at the top video in the right column.


  • cliff
    cliff Member Posts: 86
    edited February 2017
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    travel, thank you for posting that, I was having trouble with my old "what the dell" computer doing that.

  • chisandy
    chisandy Member Posts: 11,317
    edited February 2017
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    Is there anyone not living in a cave who isn't “aware" of breast cancer? What the public needs to learn is:

    1. It's not about "saving the breast." Early detection doesn't always mean being able to have just a lumpectomy. It's about saving a life.

    2. Not everyone diagnosed with breast cancer will die of it. Some will live out their allotted lifespan, living with it (knowingly or unknowingly) rather than dying of it.

    3. Not everyone diagnosed and treated will be “cured." 1/3 of early stage breast tumors come back at one stage or another, some of which will be metastatic, aka Stage IV.

    4. There is no cure for metastatic breast cancer. If no other cause of death intervenes, it will eventually kill its host.

    5. Some Stage IV patients have a shorter survival period than others. But many achieve a long “no evidence of disease" period (what in other cancers is called “remission").

    6. There are many kinds, not just stages, of breast cancers. There are subtypes as well. Breast cancer (just like heart disease or infection) is not one single disease.

    7. Everyone born with breasts is at risk. Men get it too.

    Leaving aside “pinktober" and the commercial exploitation thereof, I must confess I like the color pink. It looks good on me. It has a new significance (a certain shape of hat) which cannot be further discussed on these open threads without incurring the Moderators' (and many members') wrath. I wear pink whenever I wish, without regard to “awareness" events (to some fundraisers, I wear whatever is flattering, appropriate, in good repair, clean, and fits me. Usually not pink). We need to reclaim pink as just another discretionary color, without regard to its connotations—be they gender-specific or “awareness"-related.