An Alternative to “Pink October”

Filed under blog

Welcome to the new Think Before You Pink® blog!

Here, we want to provide an alternative to the dominant narrative about “Breast Cancer Awareness Month” and help provide information that can’t be found in the numerous aisles of pink products you’ll see this October.

Earlier this month, a BCA member wrote to us on Facebook, saying that she was dreading this October- her first after being diagnosed with breast cancer. For many, especially those living with breast cancer, October is a time to prepare oneself for “being bombarded with pink crap”. Races for “the cure” abound and consumer marketing agencies take the opportunity to dress products in pink in order to raise “awareness” for breast cancer. Do we need pink M&Ms to remind us about an epidemic that threatens one out of every eight women throughout their lifetime? These cause marketing opportunities are great for corporations who want to improve their image—but for women affected by breast cancer, they fail to address the source of the epidemic and are therefore a source of intense frustration.

Pink products do not tell us about the disparities that impact different demographics with cancer. Access to services, treatment and information unjustly varies among populations. Pink products do not tell us that 50% or more of cancer causes can be attributed to environmental factors. Pink ribbon products fail to address these issues, and yet often benefit the companies who make a profit by contributing to the breast cancer epidemic. There are things you can do right now, other than shopping, to help end this epidemic.

This blog is intended for you to write about anything from pink-ribbon campaigns that enrage you to ways in which you’ve taken action. We will also include insightful articles about pinkwashing—and what you can do about it. We look forward to your participation!


  1. Bethany
    Posted September 28, 2010 at 7:14 pm | Permalink


    I was diagnosed with uterine cancer three years ago and it happened to be in the month of October. Before my diagnosis I was all about the pink; however, once I was diagnosed with a different form of cancer I realized just how alienating pink can be, and must admit that yes, I am bitter.

    Thanks again for this web site! So happy!

  2. SoulSurvivor
    Posted September 30, 2010 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    Thank you so much. An island of sanity and true camaraderie in a sea of Pepto-pink. I dread October too, and it used to be my favorite month because of Halloween. I really wish everyone would get “pink fatigue” so we could all go on with out lives and get down to the real work of preventing cancer, holding cancer-causing companies accountable, and making humane treatment available to EVERYONE who needs it.

  3. Julia Chiappetta
    Posted September 30, 2010 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    my focus since being diagnosed in 2000, implementing a natural protocol and writing a reference guide for women and men is to educate on diet, lifestyle and thus environmntal factors. Pink is not a solution, it is part of the problem and I have believe this for many years.

  4. Posted September 30, 2010 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    Thank you BCA for this crucial campaign! I would just add that not only do pink products not address the fact that a huge percentage of cancers are caused by environmental factors, some of them actually make it worse. Cheap stuff made of PVC and other carcinogenic chemicals; pink beauty products containing endocrine disruptors, etc etc. These products cause cancer themselves.

    I know you already know this, but thought it was worth highlighting here.

  5. Sarah K.
    Posted September 30, 2010 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    I love the Cancer Sucks buttons and am handing them out to anybody who will take one. However, I wish that BCA would come up with a specific anti-pink ribbon sentiment we could wear in protest for the month of October. Perhaps a pink ribbon with an international “no” symbol (circled in red, crossed out.). People might ask about it and give us a chance to spout off.

    I am posting before I have even looked at this blog, so forgive me if this is redundant.

  6. Rachel
    Posted September 30, 2010 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    I have been pleased to see the NFL start their crucial catch campaign, promoting early detection. I think all awareness items should have to disclose the amount or percentage donated and to what organization.

  7. Sarah
    Posted September 30, 2010 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    I just want to say that I hate the color pink. OK – I don’t hate it, but I was a redhead when I had hair, and red hair and pink just don’t go together. When I was diagnosed, I dreaded the thought that people would be buying me pink everything! I carefully scrutinize where my fundraising money goes. I tend to donate mostly to local events that help people in my area (and consequently, me). I do as much as I can as I am going through treatments right now, and I help make people aware of the rip-offs that are out there. I have also been honest in all of the updates that I have published about the environmental factors that I believe have had a part in my cancer. My friends all know that I have changed all of my skin care and makeup products, buy organic milk and other products, and look at labels carefully. I hope that raising awareness will help them make better decisions, too. Thank you for your very real discussions on breast cancer. People like me, who were ignorant before diagnosis, are benefiting from your knowledge.

  8. heather
    Posted September 30, 2010 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Okay, I’m not a fan of pink, and as the mother of 2 girls, I’ve definitely had my fill of it. But what’s wrong with pink ribbon products? MANY people don’t have or have never dealt with people who have/had breast cancer. Whenever somebody sees a pink ribbon, it brings awareness to them. Plus, whatever they buy helps donate money to research. Are you guys saying that I should start buying the cheaper yogurt rather than the kind with the pink lids? Do you prefer that I NOT donate money to a cause? Like I said, I have 2 girls and I would love it if there was some sort of deterrent or cure for cancer for their sakes! By the way, if there were products with blue ribbons and the proceeds went to looking for missing children, I would buy any product I could. The same goes for anything of that nature. Yellow ribbons for troops, March of Dimes, research for juvenile diabetes, etc. If the proceeds help one person, then that’s good. If they help tons of people, then it’s that much better. I would hope that instead of being bitter over a simple color, you would appreciate that you’re still alive and do your part to help future generations. That includes buying things for the cure AND spreading knowledge.

  9. Posted September 30, 2010 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    I run a small retail store and online store that carries truly all natural and organic cosmetics & body care. The shopping center is very close to a Walgreens. I was very irritated several months ago when I went in their store and saw one of the major makeup brands, Cover Girl I believe it was, doing a campaign for Breast Cancer where customers donated money and received a certificate to save on that their makeup. They also got their name posted on a cute little certificate like the March of Dimes, which were hung all over the place. To me it was quite the definition of “irony”.

  10. ats
    Posted September 30, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    GAHHH just read a comment on here that confuses me, as well as aggravated me. Why is it that people can advocate for a cause, but then not be aware of the causes of a disease like breast cancer. Yes, pink stuff proceeds the cause… but do you know what the percentages are and what organizations receive these proceeds? I don’t know them all, and I’m not going to pretend that I do either. The thing is, I am not going to just assume what I am being marketed to assume. It’s called critical thinking. More people, women especially should be advocating critical thinking. Know what you buy, know ingredients, know profits, know cost of taxes for a company producing pink, know how its made, and where its made. I have been standing in an isle, with a choice between one product and another. Maybe its a choice between my favorite face wash, or another favorite brand. One is “pink” and the other is not. Which one should I chose? It’s not a negotiation is it? The pink one right? NO, lets start thinking here women!! The purpose of this blog is to open your eyes to the facts. That’s all I ask, know the facts.
    I am guilty of a past of laziness on these investigations myself. But over time, it becomes easier and easier to learn about the facts. it’s takes awhile, and a lot of effort. So the thought should be, if you are devoted to helping a cause, then you be taking the time to know the ins and outs of the cause you are giving to? Do people still live in a world where they think the plants making products for “pink” initiatives are not releasing unhealthy carcinogens into the environment, and are the cows at the dairy farms being treated and fed properly so that the things we consume have a 0% chance of harmful carcinogens. The answer is No, not all organizations are fool proof. And Yes, we should all be taking the time to investigate if we really care about the future of our daughters breast health and other related health problems we may be advocating.
    My mom died of cancer and after reading her “sick journals” the main theme she fought for and wanted to let people know is that we need to pay more attention to the society in which we live and the complex ways in which we are effected by this society, globally, and even in your own family network.
    October should not just be about an influx of pink products, but also an awareness of what pink really is for each company that is advocating it. Then, and only then can you decide which companies product you should chose in the shopping isle.

  11. Julianne
    Posted September 30, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    I’m a survivor, diagnosed when my son was a little over a year old. I’ve spent the past several years educating myself and sharing that info with people I know. I would hope people could avoid extremes here. I don’t hate everything pink, it’s the unilateral assumption that all pink items go somewhere helpful. That’s the concept here, right???? I appreciate the fact that pink items, whether pro or con, can start a conversation. Can we please not behave in a way that alienates well-meaning people and treat them poorly? Ignorant is not stupid. I don’t appreciate when people get on their soapbox, I wouldn’t know what I know if I hadn’t been diagnosed.

  12. Elizabeth
    Posted September 30, 2010 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    I was just looking at a newspaper ad and have seen it all now . . .
    A Browning Buckmark .22 “BC Edition” Handgun.
    It features a pink handle with the pink ribbon insignia.
    It sells for $329.99 and the ad proudly states:
    “A Portion of Proceeds will go to Breast Cancer Research.”

    This handgun shares the page with a pink C2 taser, pink shotgun, pink prism knife, pink foam earplugs, etc. I’m not kidding–check out Academy Sports + Outdoors online. Their rotating photos show the gun and you can also click on the ad, which is this week’s ad, to see it online.

  13. Barrett
    Posted September 30, 2010 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    I love the idea of an anti-pink ribbon button! Here are some suggestions for phrases: “Stop Pink Fraud” ; “Buying Pink is Not the Answer” ; “How much more awareness do we need?” ; “Pink Marketing” -(circle this and slash thru). “I survived chemo but I might not survive Pink Products” ; “It’s an epidemic not a marketing bonanza” ; “Dead in Pink” ; “Cancer loves Pink” ; “Pink Stinks” ; “Pink Money = BS for BC” . I would love to know what others come up with.

  14. Posted September 30, 2010 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    i know the feeling… as a reformed pink ribbon abuser (now I just sport a survivor tattoo – pink ribbon with racing victory flags), there’s a point at which you have to draw the pink line. thank you for being such a resourceful site.

  15. ArgentoRose
    Posted September 30, 2010 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    I have no intention of supporting any fad that exploits and is an insult to females. I wear black during October because it is Samhain for me where I remember my ancestors like my mother who needlessly died from cancer. For all those who think that pink is just fine along with the toxic radiation therapy and chemotherapy, I suggest you take off the blinders put on you by this sexist society and really investigate the toxins in the companies’ that were mentioned products which they use the color pink to push onto ignorant consumers. There are actually cures for cancer out there, but the FDA keeps raiding the clinics in a vain attempt to shut them down, because the pharmaceutical companies don’t want us to know that there are cures out there that do not cost a fortune and are organic, so they pay off the FDA to do their dirty work. The ACS and other allopathic organizations like it, and allopathic doctors, have no intention of finding a cure for cancer, because it would cut into their huge profits that they make with Death.

  16. Posted October 1, 2010 at 4:41 am | Permalink

    Thanks Julianne for your compassionate and tolerant comment. It is so important to fully and gently explain what Pinkwashing is and help people to understand the implications of buying certain pink items.

    For example the choice between a “pink” yoghurt and another – are the cows who produce the milk for the pink yoghurt fed a hormone to increase their milk yield and is this hormone then a cancer causing agent when the milk is drank or yoghurt is eaten?

    Thankfully the dairy industry in Ireland does not (yet) use rBGH so the products that may be involved in Pinkwashing in Ireland are likely to be alcohol related, perhaps cheap pvc shopping bags (totes) and most of all – cosmetics.

    It is very sad to see women buying “pink” cosmetics in good faith, hoping that the proceeds will go towards helping and preventing breast cancer in their sisters, daughters, mothers etc when in fact the very cosmetic that they are buying and using is likely to contain some cancer causing chemicals.

    I think that this blog is a great idea and look forward to seeing more people becoming involved and talking with each other. I do understand the frustration and anger that some people feel on this issue however it is important that we are gentle with each other – you can’t see something until you can see it…..

  17. Posted October 1, 2010 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    First of all, thanks to BCA for giving us this forum and potentially very powerful tool in bringing some accountability and common-sense debate to the Pink Ribbon circus.

    Firstly to take issue with some of the comments. I am not bitter about the color pink, but I am bitter about having Stage 4 breast cancer at the age of 40. And I am bitter, that despite all the pink hoopla and pageantry, and billions of dollars of well-intentioned fundraising, that we are no closer to understanding why this disease is affecting so many and at younger and younger ages. I am bitter that all anybody, who doesn’t have breast cancer, seems to have been fed is the party-line that “Awareness Saves Lives”, all wrapped up in pretty pink ribbons.

    The message that has become clouded, and I fear all but forgotten, through pink-ribbon cause-related marketing and resulting consumer fatigue, is this. Breast Cancer is NOT a treatable chronic disease, but still a killer and one in which mortality rates have not significantly diminished since the early 70’s. To me “Awareness” simply means that breast cancer is being detected earlier, and rightly or wrongly being treated longer, with the outcome still not largely different.

    Do I sound pessimistic ? Sure, but can you blame me ? Am I thankful to be alive ? Yes. Do I need to walk around festooned in pink-ribbons being eternally grateful to the mighty benevolent corporations for raising money for a cause that I believe has gotten off track ? No I do not.

    Let’s take the fundraising back to grassroot causes (like BCA!) , demand some accountability and get to a situation where the average person can make an informed decision as to where their money is actually going and what it is being spent on, rather than hiding behind the vagaries of the “Pink Ribbon” culture and thinking that it is enough.

  18. Heidi
    Posted October 1, 2010 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    It IS about awareness, but with true awareness comes responsiblity and accountability. To utilize the “power of pink” in it’s true meaning is to educate. To contribute to responsible parties who are totally transparent with where each and every dollar goes. The retail world has jumped on the bandwagon for the profit it generates, women have the shopping power in this country and with an epidemic like breast cancer it goes hand in hand to capitalize on that! Stores are offering special shopping hours in the name of breast cancer, special buys, special treats etc. this is what disgusts us victims of breast cancer! The millions of dollars raised each year in the name of “finding the cure” while nothing is being done to stop the production of all the products that have been proven beyond a doubt to cause the dreaded BC. The concept of sell, sell, sell items that cause cancer while all the while the other hand donates to “the cure”! This is henious in of itself! The “nonprofits” are cleaning up on this. To accept monies from corporations who promote products that cause cancer should be unacceptable! These corporations should be held accountable for their actions and not be allowed to cover it up with a donation that goes to a large “non profit” for misuse and for private individuals profit! We need to wake up Breast Cancer is HUGE money( profit monies!) in this country for many, many wrong reasons!!

  19. Posted October 1, 2010 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    The pink ribbon marketing ploys are endless. I think the comment about the gun advertisement and the post about the alcohol companies pretty well sums up where the pink ribbon culture has gotten to. It’s a topic very close to my heart.

    I believe the pink ribbon movement is at a watershed. We need a big idea to bring “us” and “them” together to make the money that is undoubtedly pouring in work in a way that’s cohesive, beneficial AND inclusive to the entire world of cancer. Pie in the sky maybe, but I honestly believe there is something to be learned from the micro-financing initiatives (e.g. that are popping up all over the world, having successfully harnessed the power of the Internet. Can’t we do the same for cancer research ? Why can’t we cut out the pink-washed middlemen and go direct to the researchers and feel satisfied that our hard-earned dollars really are working in the war on cancer.

    Thank you marketers, we have the “awareness”, now cue the entrepreneurial and technological visionaries please.

  20. Posted October 1, 2010 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Who Profits from Pink?

  21. Posted October 1, 2010 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    You can’t believe the crap I got from gun lovers after I posted my blog titled “Pinkwashing Turns on Itself with Breast Cancer Awareness Gun” on Take a look!

  22. AM
    Posted October 5, 2010 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    As a survivor I too dread October’s “pink party.” As a mother of 2 girls, I was particularly disturbed by the mailing I received from Brighton to promote their Power of Pink bracelet. It pictures a mother and daughter with the quote “No one else can take my place in her life.”

  23. Anita Fiessi
    Posted October 5, 2010 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    I was in my local Safeway the other day and all of their aisles are filled with pink ribbons, everywhere you look. They even raised the price of cut green beans, their own brand so that they could make more money off of pink. It was infuriating, I bought Del Monte’s instead, no pink ribbon sign there. I volunteer at WCRC in Oakland and we have gotten money from the Safeway Foundation for our nutrition classes and cooking club. This display in Safeway made me sick. Stop with the pink washing. My mother died of breast cancer in 2006 and I hated the pinking of October then too.

  24. Posted October 6, 2010 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    So happy this blog is here! I am re-posting the following segment from my blog at, “Go Pink, or Go Home!” that really speaks to the current cultural environment.

    “Last year, NASCAR fans at at Lowe’s Motor Speedway cheered, “Go Pink or Go Home” as five pink cars raced around the track in support of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The president and CEO of Komen served as the honorary race director, and Candy Coburn performed the song “Pink Warrior” during the pre-race celebration, which was written for Komen and for breast cancer survivors. Komen includes a write-up about the event in the organization’s website.

    The cheer unequivocally reinforces the us/them scenario that is so prevalent in pink ribbon culture. If you’re not with us, you’re against us. Go pink, or go home. Message received. And this message is so strong that many people try to avoid any kind of confrontation with the pink monolith. Even though scientific controversies, policy disagreements, modes of survivorship, and different ways of dealing with breast cancer are common in reality, there is no room in the dominant pink ribbon culture for anything other than cheerful agreement.”

    We will not go pink, and we will not go home!

  25. Valerie
    Posted October 6, 2010 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Pink ribbons only reminds me of the torment, pain and suffering I went through to beat cancer. It reminds me that it might come back. It brings me to tears to be reminded store after store, product after product.

  26. Jackson Pratt
    Posted October 6, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Everyone knows that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. But not everyone knows that Oct. 13 is metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day.

    We are all well too aware of breast cancer which to paraphrase the late Molly Ivins, is massive amounts of no fun. (“First they mutilate you; then they poison you; then they burn you. I have been on blind dates better than that.”)

    Metastatic breast cancer patients are often overlooked during October. Treatment is for life and some stories don’t fit the Triumphing Over the Odds template beloved of many journalists.

    As someone with MBC, I’d like people to know that:
    >Metastasis refers to the spread of cancer to different parts of the body, typically the bones, liver and lungs.
    >Treatment is lifelong and focuses on control and quality of life vs. curative intent.
    >About 6% to 10% of women like me are Stage IV from their initial diagnosis.
    >Early detection is not a cure. Metastatic breast cancer can occur ANY time after a woman’s original diagnosis, EVEN if she was initially Stage I, II or III.
    >Only women with Stage 0 (noninvasive breast cancer) aren’t considered to be at risk for metastatic breast cancer.
    >Between 20% to 30% of women initially diagnosed with regional stage disease WILL develop metastatic breast cancer.
    >Young women DO get metastatic breast cancer.
    > There are many different kinds of metastatic breast cancer.
    >Treatment choices for MBC are guided by hormone (ER/PR) and HER2 receptor status, location and extent of metastasis (visceral vs. nonvisceral), previous treatment and other factors.
    >Any breast lump, thickness or skin abnormality should be checked out. With inflammatory breast cancer, there’s no lump-the breast can be red and/or itchy and the skin may have an orange-peel like appearance.
    >Women shouldn’t use the recent mammogram controversy to postpone their first mammogram or delay a regularly scheduled exam, especially if they have a family history.
    >Mammograms can’t detect all cancers. Trust your instinct. If something feels “off” insist on further diagnostic testing.
    >Metastatic breast cancer isn’t an automatic death sentence-although most women will ultimately die of their disease, some can live long and productive lives.
    >There are no hard and fast prognostic statistics for metastatic breast cancer. Every woman’s situation is unique.
    >There are many excellent online metastatic breast cancer resources. Examples include and

  27. Lily
    Posted October 7, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    I am so glad I stumbled upon this website.

    My mother died two years ago (“interestingly”, not because of the breast cancer that she had but through her heart being so weakened by the numerous rounds of chemo and radiation she underwent…).

    Throughout the 3-year ordeal, she kept asking “why did this happen? What caused it?” and, maybe not in these words, “Why do the treatment options suck so bad?”

    She didn’t want a pink bandaid on the disease, she didn’t want a thousand people posting their bra color or “where [they] like it” on facebook in the name of so-called awareness. (is anyone really “unaware” of breast cancer? Really?)

    She wanted answers, and so do I.

  28. Pastor Kaos
    Posted October 9, 2010 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    I am writing in response to the comments about the pink branding on S&W pistols. The company doesn’t explain what percent goes towards research and education, however it says: “Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women after lung cancer and over two million women have been treated for it in the United States,” said Julie Goloski, Smith & Wesson Consumer Program Manager and Champion Shooter. “This is a tragic statistic, but one that can be changed. The money raised from this new pistol will help support research, increase education and promote early detection
    among both women and men.”

    When purchasing a new M&P for carry, I opted for the pink. It gave me a chance to talk prevention with others at matches. Lots of things kill women: including cars with save the ta ta bumper stickers

  29. sarah
    Posted October 9, 2010 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    thank you think before you!
    for years i have been angered by the various commercial entities that have capitalized on breast ca and other diseases. those stupid pink ribbons and products trivialize the memories of those who have been lost to the disease and to the people currently fighting and surviving.

  30. Zinfandel
    Posted October 9, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    The PINK campaign is a reminder to all of us of the millions who have suffered from breast cancer. Perhaps we should take it a step further, in that, PINK should instill in everyone to be proactive about his/her own health. Do you know how many billions of dollars are profited each year from chemotherapy treatments.. by pharmaceuticals, medical schools, research labs, doctors, hospitals? Do you know how much of your donation to the American Cancer Society is actually spent on research? Do you know how important good nutrition is to your overall health? Do you know how many toxins we are exposed to each day via our food and environment? If we would take personal responsibility to be informed about our health and work towards being more healthy just by improving what we eat, perhaps there would be much less need for the Pink Ribbon reminder.

  31. Doe
    Posted October 11, 2010 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    I too am so happy to be here!! I have been doing one day at a time for so long, I find no refuge in it anymore. It feels instead like being locked into a prison of ‘just now’. What about our tomorrows? Have they been stolen from us? What about the truth of what treatment can do; the truth we were never told to expect? What about that tomorrow? Didn’t we have the right to make an informed decision? When I look back at my treatment decisions, it feels like my doctors were like salesmen. Like I was being asked to make a decision on buying a new car! I bought a new car all right and it’s a lemon! And please just allow me to vent without shaming me for not being grateful I am alive! Don’t do to me what doctors do. I am not grateful to be alive. Not today! Today I wish I would have done more research and trust me I did a lot! Today I wish I never would have chosen radiation and just taken my chances. Today I wish I never would have chosen chemo and saved my brain from strokes. I know I can’t go back and change my mind. But OH MY GOD how I crave to be able to.

    Let’s face it! My brachial plexus got fried! Microwaved! How do you reverse that? I kept complaining to my rad onc from day one that my jaw, neck and shoulder hurt. I got that canned response, “it’s because you have to stay in the same position on the table with your arm up.” Really? Then how come people sleeping in that same position every night don’t end up in horrible pain? Who makes this stuff up? Do they think we are idiots? I just got ignored. I burned straight through to my back. They just kept radiating me and giving me pain meds. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that if my back was just as burned as my front that maybe I wasn’t a candidate for 33 days of rads! That any one with any amount of common sense could only conclude that everything between that sandwich was fried too!

    So if I’m one of the 2% for this, then what else lies in store? Radiation induced sarcoma? I am angry as you can see. I have always been so careful with my body and medical decisions. But let’s face it, when you get the big C diagnosis, caution is no where to be found and you are so vulnerable and you will do anything to be free of it!

    I feel like a fool. I feel like I betrayed myself, because fear had the upper hand. I, Doe, the cautious careful person I normally am was no where to be found. She was saturated in terror and just dove in to the same treatment that killed my mother. Treatment kills. Where are the statistics on that!!!

  32. Posted October 12, 2010 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    All that pink really makes me sick. Did they ever do anything about PREVENTION of breast cancer? NO, just “awareness” to secure more patients, profit before people. Glad to find this site thanks to Natural News.
    Those bra colors and purse places – how exactly do they help – by scaring more women into cancer screenings?

  33. Kathy
    Posted October 12, 2010 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    The post from Lily really moved me. I have these questions, too. I normally walk around not saying anything on the topic, though, because to have the conversation is to seemingly negate the cancer experience of so many women. I’m not that callous so I keep it to myself. We know what causes cancer and there are ways to live to prevent cancer. We do need different treatment options but those treatment options will not come from the same health care industry that relies on drugs to treat the body instead of eliciting the body’s own healing power. Also, until we are honest about our food source, using chemicals instead of humane treatment of farm animals, and not feeding our bodies the food we need to repair; and as long as we take the environment for granted, we will be looking for cures in all the wrong places and the status quo will continue to get rich on cancer.

  34. nancynancy
    Posted October 13, 2010 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    I detest pink ribbons and Breast Cancer Awareness Month for all of the reasons many of you have outlined above. And yes, that disease runs in my family and I had a bilateral prophylactic mastectomy seventeen years ago.

    I’d like to point out an article called Breast Cancer Fatigue that’s been published on the NY Times blog. Please feel free to post your own comment on it. I posted two. It’s good for us to go ahead and make a lot of noise.

    Incidentally, our outrage is not just about breast cancer but about all environmentally caused diseases including cancer that affect women, men, and children. Yesterday I learned my friend’s seven year old grandson has an inoperable form of cancer. This poor kid has had to have a colostomy and begins chemotherapy this morning. Unfortunately, the death rate is a staggering 80%.

    In the 30 years between 1974 and 2005 (the latest year for which statistics are available), the incidence of childhood cancers increased by just short of 30%. Thirty years — thirty percent. That increase is clearly due to toxins in the environment.

  35. Joanne
    Posted October 13, 2010 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    MY BC survivorship coming up 5 years in April 2011, glad & lucky I’m alive, thanks. Mine was stage zero DCIS, biopsy, lumpectomy, five weeks whole breast radiation, no chemo.
    No, didn’t find it on my own but in yearly mams at 47 years old. Yes, it was hellish surprise (NEVER get my mams on my birthday like that year, and was my 25th wedding anniversary to boot!!!) Glad I verbally kicked some doctor’s a** going through it, and my good hubby helped alot too. Now 51, still get yearly mams, have had good checkups, will maintain for the rest of my life. OK, I wear pink and pink ribbon pins, trying to educate myself more about just actually how much these companies donate to the cause from their pink what-have-yous. Education, communication and common sense really matters the most here, no matter what you decide to do. Just trying to get THIS particular conversation started to begin with is often THE VERY hardest to do for most people. Start from whereever you are, and work from that to where you want to be. If it’s this forum, or another, or yet another, fine. If it’s negative, positive, whatever, OK fine, just get it started!!! So good thing this forum is here. Whatever I don’t know, I can learn. Over the years I’ve had people stop me to ask if I’m a survivor. I’m quite comfortable talking about my experience to anyone, anywhere, anyhow. Education, communication and common sense should matter here, no matter what you or I decide to do. It’s all about taking better care of oneself, finding out what REALLY matters in one’s life. Life is too short as it is,
    live and love fiercely well,
    make room for and have more fun,
    love really does matter & conquers all,
    and eat dessert first! :-D

  36. Vito
    Posted October 13, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    About Susan G. Komen:
    From their 2009 annual report: they spent 20% on administration costs, 59% on Education,Treatment and Screening – and ONLY 21% on research. Of the 21% spent on research its questionable as to how much of this is to actually find a CURE for cancer. Enough said, while it’s a great market…ing/fund raising strategy to use the word CURE in your name – it’s misleading.
    More Shocking insight about Susan G. Komen
    1. They endorse KFC – something wrong with endorsing junk food while trying to find a “cure” for cancer.
    2. Where they spend their money. They spend the majority of their budget on Detection and Treatment, very little on prevention. So in other words they are basically implying that only only way to cure cancer is to detect it using various detection devices, then to treat it using various toxic drugs. What ever happened to the cure? What ever happened to understanding how to prevent it in the first place? What’s more interesteing is the shift in their budget from 5% detection in thier early years to now 18%, and from 6% for treatment to now 35%. There is something wrong here for an organization that is trying to convince women that they are fighting for a cure, when all they are really doing (follow the money) is advocating detection devices and toxix pharma drug treatments.

  37. meagan dixon
    Posted October 13, 2010 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    i agree, pink products do not offer us any of these important statistics. what they do offer is the opportunity to write articles like this one – and the incentive for people to read them, because it is breast cancer awareness month. and although one month out of the year may not be enough given to such a horrible disease – if there wasn’t a month dedicated to it – breast cancer would be the victim of much less attention, funding, and awareness. many women fought and lost their lives so that women today could benefit from the very awareness that you are complaining about in this article – how exactly do you think it came about?

    im not pro consumerism, nor do i believe in corporate america, but i do think when they take 3.5 seconds out of the trillion dollar day to do something for the working woman it should be acknowledged – im not saying we shouldn’t fight for more, but i am saying that we should recognize that it’s better than nothing!

  38. nancynancy
    Posted October 15, 2010 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    It is October 15th and the mont-long hype fest is half over. I’m pleased to say that word is beginning to spread about the insidious effects of the highly profitable Breast Cancer Industry. Check out Dr. Samuel Epstein’s insightful posting in the Huffington Post and post your own comment, as I did.

  39. Rara4me
    Posted October 26, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    I am a 10-month breast cancer survivor at 37 yrs old love pink. I always tried clear of foods and products that contain hormones, high-fructose, carcinogen…..for myself and my two children and am appalled when the “pink ribbon” is used to promote the sale of items that in my opinion should be taken off the market or at least become more health-friendly instead heatlh hindering. KFC??? Seriously??? I seriously doubt all of the proceeds raised are getting to the hands that really need the financial support and assistance. What would be great is if they teamed up with a place like Whole Foods or other “natural” retail outlets to allow those battling cancer a percentage off items purchased or something…:)
    But I can say that this month, with all the talk on tv and pink promotion going on has provided a great foundation for an awareness campaign that I kicked off in my office and has opened the lines of communication with friends and strangers alike about the perils of cancer and how simple lifestyle changes can make huge differences. I say keep all of the “pink-talk” in perspective and embrace the opportunity, as the wonderful site has, to take awareness a step further and share all that you know from experience

  40. Posted October 27, 2010 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    I posted 2 days ago about the “wear to scare” pink campaign as I called it. I linked to a great letter published on the FOOD site. Please go to my blog to catch the thread and read what they had to say. I also asked the principal of my son’s school NOT to indulge in the “everyone wear pink” day until he learn more about what this event really stands for. I’m hopeful that an educator given the correct information will find it difficult to perpetuate the mis-information that the public has been given no matter how much “good PR “the school thinks it is recieving.

  41. Uptoherewiththiscrap
    Posted November 3, 2010 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    Dear Doe — I have to tell you this: I get it.

    Heather — None of this has to do with “a simple color.” This “simple color” is the color of deceit; the color of profiteering in the name of breast cancer; a diminishing of the seriousness of all the types of breast cancers — putting on the pretty pink.

    “Awareness” and education have not succeeded. Women are not taught what ‘Doe’ and other women have had to learn by going through the fire that is diagnosis and treatment.

    There are no national standards for diagnosis and treatment. There are still no physicians being trained as breast specialists. A woman’s choice is a gyn and a surgeon. The gyn I just saw said that it’s best to see a surgeon because they know breasts. This gyn is a woman.

    Honey, if you think this anger is bitterness, consider coming home to learn that your daughter has suspicious areas shown on her first mammogram and ultrasound, as happened today, and knowing how little these people know. And that ‘prestigeous’ even medical facilities screw up all the time.

    That there is zero psychological support for women before, during, and after even what might turn out to be a benign process. WHERE ARE THE BREAST SPECIALISTS who know all about breasts, even healthy ones, after millions upon millions of dollars have been raised by all the walking, running, and ribbon-buying? WHERE?

    Women need to be ‘bad’ girls – wild women – in order to save ourselves from corporate brainwashing…from the fear of our peers, who feel so powerless that buying pink makes them feel better.

    How many books are there — definitive books – about breast health and breast disease. There’s only one? Dr. Susan Love’s book? She’s gone over to the other side now. Read Barabara Ehrenrich’s words. Read Susun Weed’s.

    This isn’t bitterness. It is rage. Justified rage. And a very real nightmare. I know what my daughter is now up against, and the process is far more frightening than anything you could possibly imagine. But we have to use our fear to our advantage, even while we are at our most vulnerable.

  42. Posted December 8, 2010 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Pink Schmink. We have awareness. Just like the war on Drugs. It’s there & we’ve been bannered to death.
    Do you think people were wearing gray and gathering during the Bubonic plague? Just “say no” to cancer!
    As if it were that simple.
    I wonder about the financials of the ACS. So much money is in their purse. How much of the drug industry do they support?
    I’d like to know if anyone has done research to reveal how much money is spent on and what kind of programs & affiliations with pharmaceutical are in place for the largest Cancer Support groups: ACS, Komen etc.

  43. Linda Karlsson
    Posted January 25, 2011 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    I love the passion in all of the comments. My mantra is “forget the pink ‘stuff” (using stuff to be politically correct) “GO GREEN”. We can spend time raging, fussing, pondering, supporting or not supporting “pink”. It will be the movement toward the “greening” of our lives and minds. I state my mind about pink when the opportunity arises but move immediately to what one can do to reduce the risk of breast cancer or breast cancer re-occurrence. Thank you for this blog.

  44. Kimie Ann
    Posted June 30, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    i realized most of you are against pink washing. When i was in school my math teacher had fought breast cancer, she wore pink alot in october, when we asked why, she said it showed that she fought breat cancer, and survived, and wanted to support other women who had it to show that miricles can happen.

  45. NT
    Posted September 14, 2011 at 3:51 am | Permalink

    I’ve read through all the comments on here and see some people are still not getting it. Early detection is a scam! It is just another marketing ploy to reel new ‘customers’ in to buy their deadly wares. Since the 70’s they have KNOWN that chemotherapy does NOT cure breast cancer yet they still use it! Statistics show that you have a better chance of survival if you do NOTHING compared to chemo!!
    Autopsies regularly show small cancerous tumours in people who have died of other causes. A lump is NOT a death sentence! Once they get their hands on you tho your chances of death are greatly enhanced.
    Chemo CAUSES cancer!
    Mammograms CAUSE cancer!
    My mum died of chemo at the age of 46. She ‘survived’ 5 years and one day after diagnosis and treatment commenced. I wouldn’t say she lived those 5 years because she suffered horribly. Despite dying she is now a survival statistic. Thanks for nothing!!

  46. den
    Posted September 18, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    I hate the way the public, especially women, have been manipulated by a clever marketing campaign commissioned by a pharmaceutical company.
    They capitalise on women’s emotions and get literally tens of thousands of them going along with it. Cancer Research UK raises 4 billion pounds a year, an awful lot of that goes on animal testing. These companies are not driven by altruism, but by creating profits for shareholders. How often do we hear about some poor woman being denied a cancer treatment because it is too expensive?

  47. Alex Quinn
    Posted September 19, 2011 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    Breast Cancer Awareness month is on its way and it is great to bring awareness to it regardless of the way it is brought to people’s attention. Whether it is from participating in a walk, updating your facebook status, or by wearing a breast cancer ribbon . Any effort made to help bring awareness and help find a cure for this disease is a help in many ways.

  48. Posted September 27, 2011 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    How ’bout just getting “F**k Pink” stickers made up and going to the grocery store and sticking them onto everything that has a pink ribbon? Now THAT would make me feel better.

  49. Kathryn
    Posted October 4, 2011 at 1:07 am | Permalink

    I have grown to hate October and all the “pink,” especially since I had to go through treatment right smack in the beginning of one of the pink campaigns. I’m not a fan of a SBK Foundation ever since I learned how much her sister makes as CEO. I would be less offended by all the “Pink” if the manufacturer gave ALL profits towards Breast Cancer Research than a mere 10% (most cases).

  50. Laura
    Posted October 6, 2011 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    I agree that the pink products get overwhelming in October. However, it was one of those insidious little pink ribbons that reminded me to do the self exam that saved my life. Maybe it’s been over commercialized and co-opted by so less than ideal products but, so what? Instead of killing the pink ribbon, perhaps you could take advantage of the awareness generated to gain momentum for the causes you’re talking about (i.e. Green Ribbons for the Environment, a healthy eating campaign, etc.).

  51. Kathy Blancett
    Posted October 15, 2011 at 4:13 am | Permalink

    I drive a school bus. One of the ladies was diagnosed with breast cancer this month. All the drivers put pink bows on the grill of the bus. I did not I said the pink won’t battle your cancer . I will put a cross and a banner that God heals on the grill of my bus. I hate cancer and hate to make it pretty.

  52. cam
    Posted October 17, 2011 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    All this talk of preventing breast cancer. Three things can prevent breast cancer. A plant based diet, lots of exercise, meditation and prayer (for stress relief). Think of that the next time you reach for a box of cookies or a hamburger. It takes more work to make a salad or walk or ride your bike to the market but the end result is a healthier lifestyle. See this movie free on or avaiable at pay sights “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead”. It will change your life.

  53. Posted October 20, 2011 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    Please send this link to everyone u know. Sheeple really need to be aware what they are supporting when they buy “pink”!

  54. Sam Harp
    Posted October 23, 2011 at 4:23 am | Permalink

    While I don’t wish cancer on anyone, men or women, I am so sick of the pink Ribbon campaign, and the very idea that the NFL would promote Pink before paying attention to Men’s prostate cancer is beyond me. Prostate Cancer kills more men than Breast Cancer kills women. I am so sick of Susan G. Komen I don’t know what to do. I told someone yesterday that asked me for $$ Hell fucking NO, thats how pissed off I was.

  55. Meghan
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    I think that anyone who is affected by any disease other than breast cancer harbors a small bit of resentment towards the Pink campaign. That aside, my beef with the pink campaign is the way it glorifies breast cancer-nothing about any disease is pretty. Women do not smile through treatments, families are not fired up by diagnosis. I feel that Pink puts extra pressure on women who are diagnosed to put on a brave face and embrace their disease. One of the few positives i see from the pink campaign however is its ability to help women feel beautiful and not isolated after some of the effects treatment has on their body.
    I am tired of people not understanding why i am not supportive of pink washing. as a woman, as a person, i think finding a cure and having resources for breast cancer patients is amazing. however, everyone is fighting a battle, and some of them you just cant wrap up in a pretty pink ribbon.

  56. simone
    Posted February 1, 2012 at 2:33 am | Permalink

    Just food for thought: Kohmen pledges to fund research. So it does… but… here an interesting breakdown of the Kohmen financials:

  57. simone
    Posted February 1, 2012 at 2:35 am | Permalink

    upps… that article is also interesting but this is the financials on e I mean:

  58. Mike Kramm
    Posted September 17, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    It’s been a pet peeve of mine for awhile now, where companies will bend over backwards to pink wash al thier products but laugh in my face when I suggest doing anything for prostate cancer awareness. Then I get subjected to seeing pink ribbons year round. Sept is prostate cancer awareness month but who knows about it, after all how could you see any blue through all the pink and thats IF anyone decided to try putting a blue ribbon anywhere. Now the WWE has decided to pink wash their company. Lets see number of pro-wrestlers diagnosed with breast cancer…. 0 number diagnosed with prostate cancer 5 that I know about, my point is which one seems more appropriate. Especially in September. We need to start making our voices heard, we cant just keep sitting back and taking this assault on our senses. Call ever company that wants to market pink ribbons all the damn time that we and ours will no longer purchase thier products until they dial back thier BS and hopefully even share the “awareness” with other deserving charities.

  59. Mike Kramm
    Posted September 17, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Not to mention the fact that I have heard on TV and Radio and read many stories about how Susan G Koeman turned away men who had been diagnosed with breast cancer because they are male.

  60. Chris
    Posted October 10, 2012 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Please tell me just how much teh NFL donates from actual items sold in the store. NOT the auctions. I cannot find this info ANYWHERE and even emailed the store’s customer service. They ‘said’ they’d get me an answer. They have not. Why is that info not PROUDLY displayed somewhere on the pink site?!

  61. Posted November 1, 2012 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Your web site seems to be having some compatibilty issues in
    my ie browser. The content seems to be running off the page pretty bad.
    If you would like you can contact me at: francisbelcher@gmail.
    com and I’ll shoot you over a screenshot of the problem.

  62. Posted December 10, 2012 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Hmm it appears like your blog ate my first comment (it
    was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I wrote and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.

    I as well am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to everything. Do you have any helpful hints for newbie blog writers? I’d genuinely
    appreciate it.

  63. Posted December 13, 2012 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    Have you ever thought about including a little bit
    more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is fundamental
    and all. Nevertheless think of if you added some great pictures or videos to give your posts more, “pop”!
    Your content is excellent but with images and clips, this site could certainly be one of the most beneficial in
    its field. Awesome blog!

  64. Posted September 14, 2013 at 3:17 pm | Permalink


  65. Todd
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    It may be breast cancer month, but I think everyone is fully aware of it by now. You would have to live under a rock to have not seen it on toys, cereal boxes, shoes, football players & FaceBook. There are many other types of cancer that do not get the recognition Breast Cancer does. My wife didn’t die from breast cancer and it pissed her off see that it got all of the attention. So I try to make people aware of all cancers 2 yrs after she was taken from us. Until the other ribbons are publicized as much… I can tell you where to put the pink ribbon.

  66. Posted June 2, 2014 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Hi, I think your site might be having browser compatibility
    issues. When I look at your website in Ie, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer,
    it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up!
    Other then that, wonderful blog!

  67. Posted October 8, 2014 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    So glad people feel the same way I do about this….there is a corporate corruption of this month that preys off of our good intentions…we must rise above it and take advantage of this month to distribute information and knowledge to everyone.

    In this video I made I discuss where we’ve gone wrong with the breast cancer awareness month and then talk about how we can collectively make a difference. Please watch and let me know what you think!


  68. kattymitts
    Posted October 7, 2015 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    This is my first October post-mastectomy. My first since diagnosis where I finally, happily feel more like myself. I’m in tears at having found this site. I feel normal. That’s all I want: normalcy. xoxo

  69. Kimberly Westburg
    Posted June 24, 2016 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    I am almost 2 years out from my double mastectomy. I hate the month of October and the constant reminders of hearing about breast cancer. Pink this and pink that. Pink is still my favorite color, but I won’t wear it in October.

5 Trackbacks

  1. […] Breast Cancer Action Projekt >>> Think before you pink […]

  2. […] health executive because of the Komen choice to end funding, there was renewed criticism that its famous pink ribbon campaign is more marketing than life-saving: When news of the funding brouhaha broke, cartoons quickly popped up saying that “pink mugs, […]

  3. […] Breast Cancer Action Projekt >>> Think before you pink […]

  4. […] Breast Cancer Action Projekt >>> Think before you pink […]

  5. By Personal Blog on July 5, 2016 at 11:23 am

    Our Pink Ribbon Address Labels

    […] loits and is an insult to females. I wear black during October because it is Sam […]

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *