10.12.2006

Another Perspective on Thinking Pink

Before I leave for the Leadership Summit tomorrow morning (thanks for your supportive and kind words, Cursing Mama! You're right. I'm going to be fine. I have some wonderful sounding helpers in my corner, Becky and Keith... I'm looking forward to meeting both of them when I arrive at the Dells tomorrow.) I thought I would leave you with another perspective on the whole deluge of pink product placement at this time of the year...

(Nobody argues that awareness is a wonderful thing. Especially me.)


Awareness Outweighing Education in the Battle Against Breast Cancer
Written by Beth Lunow, Pewaukee, Wisconsin.

Every October, it seems, we begin to see a lot of information pop up regarding breast cancer. For one month out of the year, companies, for-profit and not-for profit, large and small, align themselves with organizations that raise money for breast cancer research by creating a portion of their products in pink and donate the proceeds.

While it is good to see efforts that increase breast cancer awareness, we can’t afford to let the education of the disease get lost among the cause-marketing flurry. Breast cancer does not take a vacation the other 11 months of the year.

So before making pink an October fashion statement, the facts need to be shared. Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women, and this year alone, more than 212,00 women in the United States will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. Nearly 41,000 of them will die from the disease. So where can people get educated?


The American Cancer Society is seen by millions of people as their primary source of information about breast cancer.

Should breast cancer become a part of your life or the life of a loved one, you can turn to the American Cancer Society. They offer many programs and services that not only educate, but empathize as well.

The Society is also working to reduce breast cancer in other capacities.


The American Cancer Society plays a leading role in cancer research and advocacy.

Since 1972, the American Cancer Society has funded more than $290 million in breast cancer research grants. They also take active roles in helping pass laws and put public policies in place that secure investments in research and prevention, give greater access to care, and improve quality of life for breast cancer patients. In fact, the American Cancer Society is responsible for instituting strong quality standards for clinics to provide mammographies and ensure patients receive timely and accurate information.

However, there are still a number of people that are not getting the education and care that is needed to deal with breast cancer.


The American Cancer Society is dedicated to reducing disparities in breast cancer diagnoses and deaths among minority and medically underserved populations by educating those communities about the disease and improving access to critical cancer screening and treatment.

A positive trend is taking place. Earlier this year, the United States celebrated news of the first decline in the actual number of cancer deaths since 1930. However, the decline in breast cancer mortality has not been experienced equally among all sectors of the population. Racial and ethnic minorities and medically underserved populations have higher rates of breast cancer mortality, are less likely to be diagnosed early or receive optimal treatment, and have lower survival rates. Factors contributing to this gap include poverty, little or no health insurance, lack of access to health information and services, language barriers, and low literacy rates.


The American Cancer Society continues to play a key role in achieving success fighting breast cancer. But, the fight is not over and it won’t be easy.

Numerous studies have shown that early detection saves lives and increases treatment options. The five-year survival rate for breast cancer is 98 percent among individuals whose cancer has not spread beyond the breast at time of diagnosis.

Through your generous donations and our programs and services, research funding and advocacy efforts, the American Cancer Society will continue to battle breast cancer every month of every year until it is a thing of the past.

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