Waves of pink product messaging roll toward women year round now, then hit us with tsunami force in October. Everywhere we turn there are pink reminders to be “aware” of breast cancer, often telling us we can “save a life” or “find a cure” by buying something.
The legitimate and sincere efforts to help those affected by this disease are too often drowned out by the louder and better funded commercial bandwagon that has seized this cancer. Enough with the pink crap, where’s the focus on women’s health?
Don’t get me wrong. I would never want to go back to the days when breast cancer was a hidden disease no one talked about.
Too many women suffered in silence or died because their disease wasn’t detected or treated in time because they were afraid to seek help.
I truly appreciate the women (and men!) who are passionate about educating others. Many of those who have lived through breast cancer, or who love someone who had breast cancer, are standing up and demanding that the rest of us notice the disease and help others.
There are some great organizations, large and small, which go beyond just awareness and into action – supporting those facing this cancer, supporting researchers who are advancing treatments and helping meet other needs.
My issue is with those who are in it just for the money and see breast cancer “awareness” as a way to get into women’s minds and wallets.
The “side effect” of these commercial actions is they are scaring girls and young women into thinking their number one health concern is breast cancer. This does little to put focus on taking care of ourselves as whole human beings.
The cold hard facts show that heart disease is the number one killer of women, followed by cancer and stroke.
The cancer that kills most women is lung cancer, followed by breast cancer and colorectal cancer. Those three cancers are also the most common in women.
One of the most significant areas of health concern, one we rarely hear about, is chronic disease, even though it accounts for the majority of health spending in the US and impacts women’s daily life and quality of life.