May we all “Think Before we Pink!”

img_9987It’s October. Leaves are beginning to change color. It’s the season of hot apple cider, pumpkin spice lattés… and everything PINK! While there are certainly breast cancer survivors who embrace and enjoy the focus on “breast cancer awareness month,” there are many of us who dread it. Breast Cancer Action has coined the term “Pinktober,” and urges us all to “Think Before You Pink.”

FACT- Unless you are living alone in a cave somewhere, or on a solitary, drifting iceberg, there is no need for “breast cancer awareness.” We are aware about breast cancer. That’s not the issue.

FACT- Buying everything pink (including items with pink ribbon designs) does not guarantee that these companies will contribute to breast cancer organizations. It is often a gimmick that is used to attract sales. Read the fine print on labels and ask questions! Find out where the money goes from your purchase.

FACT- When these pink purchases actually do contribute a portion of their sales toward breast cancer organizations, it often goes to large companies that use most of their donated funds to go toward “awareness.” Many of these organizations raise large amounts of money through breast cancer walks, and most people have no idea that they are raising money for “awareness” and not a cure. If you want to make a difference, research how a company spends donated funds.

FACT-If you truly want to do something useful to help stamp out breast cancer once and for all, please make a donation to one of the few companies where 100% of your donation goes toward funding research for metastatic breast cancer—the only breast cancer that takes lives. 30% of all who are diagnosed with breast cancer become metastatic. There is no cure for metastatic disease. It is estimated that only 2% of all money raised for breast cancer research goes toward finding a cure for metastasis. Shocking as it is, most research funding is still earmarked for early stage breast cancer.

If you want to make a difference this October or any time of year, these are two organizations that I completely endorse:

Stand Up For Suzanne—Local Long Island, NY organization that funds cutting edge breast cancer research at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories.  http://www.standupforsuzanne.org

About CSHL research: http://www.cshl.edu/Research/Breast-Cancer.html

Metavivor—An organization run almost entirely by those with stage IV, metastatic breast cancer patients, or “lifers.” They are dedicated to raising the important public awareness about living with metastatic breast cancer.  http://metavivor.org

About research Metavivor funds: http://www.metavivor.org/research/grants-awarded/

For more information on “Pinkwashing:”

http://bcaction.org/site-content/uploads/2012/02/2012-Think-Before-You-Pink-Toolkit.pdf

© Rebecca Pine

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