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It's Breast Cancer Month, What Are You Buying?

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I believe cancer awareness is a good thing. Especially in considering the things that put you at high-risk for different types of cancer, such as:
• Smoking and other excessive breathing of harmful chemicals,
• Worshipping the sun or tanning booths too much,
• Excessive ingestion of harmful chemicals, and
• Family predisposition, to name a few.

It is the parts of illness that are uncontrollable, and the implied insensitivity to those who have been affected by the disease that lead me to my latest rant.

What is the deal with all the pink? It’s creeping into other months too, but this month especially, is awash in a Pepto-Bismol® hue. Seriously! I’m am pink’d out, and I’m willing to bet based on a recent article I found online, “Pink Overload: Are Companies Taking Advantage of Breast Cancer Awareness Month?” everyone else will be soon, if they aren’t already.

I now have my soup with pink ribbons on the package, pasta too, my Shane Company pink ribbon hat with the crystal pink ribbon on it, a breast cancer bracelet, my pink swim goggles, my pink ribbon’d cereal box, my pink running shirt, and have seen other pink ribbons on everything from NFL football game gear, to M&Ms, and office products. What do my office products care about my breasts? And buying something with a pink ribbon on it will not shield me from getting cancer, or give me a tax deduction.

Do all these things really need to be pummeling me about breast cancer until I’m looking for a red ribbon to comfort me so I can think about women’s heart disease and stroke for a second? And what are these things really accomplishing? I don’t exactly grasp my breasts and check for lumps every time I see a pink ribbon. Are people who have breast cancer living longer now than before everything came with a ribbon on it? And why isn’t there a cure for it yet, with the cash cow the disease has spawned? I realize these things take time, and I’m not trying to sound completely ignorant, just venting.

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HERWriter Guide

Hi Christine:
Loved your comments! I went to a local business recently and found a stunning display of pink products that on close examination had nothing to do with Breast Cancer Awareness Month except for trying to cash in. Out of curiosity I did some research to see if there were any similar marketing efforts toward predominantly male forms of cancer - there weren't. I wrote the following to provide tips on distinguishing between "pink" products that help women and those that just try to take advantage of us.


Thanks again, Christine!

October 22, 2009 - 6:41pm
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