With October coming to an end, we say goodbye to National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. NBCAM was established in 1985 by the American Cancer Society and Imperial Chemical Industries (now part of AstraZeneca) to encourage women to get mammograms during a time when cancer was not a hot topic like it is today. Now, everyone wants everyone to be aware of breast cancer–you can buy a pink Kitchen Aid stand mixer with proceeds going to the Susan G. Komen foundation. You can buy pink and white NFL gear, proceeds going to the American Cancer Society. Ford (not clothes designer Tom Ford, automobile manufacturer Ford) has a collection of scarves and tee-shirts under the brand “Warriors in Pink.” Wendy Williams has been featuring a group of men called “Pole Dancers for Breast Cancer” on her daytime talk show.
While all this is good and nice, is it really helping cause awareness of breast cancer, or is it just marketing pink and white products designed to make the consumer feel good about shopping? Many groups are torn on this issue. On the one hand, visibility is key. On the other, do the profits really go to a worthy charity, or just to the marketing of a charity/foundation? How much visibility is too much? Yes, we should be aware of breast cancer every month, but it’s one thing to know about something and one thing to be actively doing something besides purchasing a pink egg beater and calling it a day. (Ed. note: For information on purchasing pink responsibly, check out Think Before You Pink.)
So, the question is this: what else can one do? What are your suggestions? And with breast cancer becoming more common among younger women, what can we do to prevent it and to make sure we don’t ever get it?!