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A corporation owns my genes — and yours

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By Runi Limary, breast cancer survivor and co-plaintiff on Myriad Genetics lawsuit

Seven years ago, when I was just 28, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Four years ago, I joined the lawsuit challenging Myriad Genetics’ right to own the “breast cancer genes,” BRCA 1 and 2, which we all have in our bodies.

I believe patenting human genes is wrong. I’m proud to stand alongside Breast Cancer Action in this landmark lawsuit that will be heard by the Supreme Court this spring. Read More »

I trust Breast Cancer Action to tell me the truth

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By Britta Reida, BCAction member

The first time I donated to Breast Cancer Action, I was struggling financially. My initial reaction to their request for financial support was: “I wish I could, but I can’t afford it. Once I can meet my own needs, then I can help others.”

I feared toxic chemicals in my environment were at least partially to blame for my breast cancer diagnosis and was spending my money on several anti-cancer supplements and detoxifying products. I didn’t have much wiggle room in my budget. Read More »

Women count on us, and we count on you

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By Karuna Jaggar, Executive Director

I get too many gut-wrenching calls from friends and acquaintances telling me they’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer. Each time, I live with the terrible truth that despite the popular promise that “early detection saves lives,” I know no matter how early breast cancer is found, there are no guarantees with this disease.

That’s why Breast Cancer Action will always be unapologetic about challenging assumptions – and inspiring change – to address and end this breast cancer epidemic.

Women count on Breast Cancer Action, and we count on you. We depend on you to invest in the game-changing work we’re doing together. Will you make a donation to Breast Cancer Action right now? Read More »

Thank you, thank you, and thank you again

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Thank you, thank you, and thank you again. We can’t say it enough. Thank you!

Thank you for being part of Breast Cancer Action’s community of fierce, passionate, committed activists and for all the big and small ways you work to address and end this breast cancer epidemic.

Your individual actions—writing letters, passing out toolkits, attending webinars, rallying your friends, donating money, and generally raising a ruckus—are part of the tremendous collective work our community does together. Together we’re a mighty force for change. Read More »

Chesapeake Energy Doesn’t Fracking Get It

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Chesapeake Energy and its subsidiary Nomac Drilling have nominated themselves for worst pinkwasher of the year.

In case you missed it last week, Nomac Drilling has been promoting ”breast cancer awareness” by wrapping a new drilling rig in pink all while fracking the heck out of communities across the U.S. Fracking is an extremely toxic process used to extract oil or natural gas that exposes people to a variety of chemicals, some of which are linked to breast cancer. Read More »

What the Frack? Drill Rig Goes Pink(washing) for Breast Cancer

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By Annie Sartor, BCAction Policy and Campaigns Coordinator

If you thought pink KFC buckets of fried chicken was as bad as pinkwashing could get, we’ve got news for you.

Turns out Nomac Drilling, the second largest natural gas producer in the U.S., is in the running for worst pinkwasher yet. Recently the company unveiled their drilling rig wrapped in a big bold pink ribboned package in support of breast cancer awareness! Nomac Drilling, and its parent company, Chesapeake Energy, claim to care about women living with and at risk of breast cancer by promoting their pink rig, while they continue to pump cancer-linked chemicals into our environment. You know what this is: PINKWASHING! Read More »

Free Webinar: Toxic Cosmetics: Demanding Stronger Regulation

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Last month, we talked about the unique role our government plays in regulating toxins and chemicals so they don’t make it into our food chain, our water, the air we breathe and the beauty and cleaning products we use all day, every day. This month, we invite you to participate in our free webinar, featuring two of our partners—the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative and the Environmental Working Group, to present “Toxic Cosmetics Part II: Demanding Stronger Regulation.” Read More »

Thanks for taking action with us

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Thank you to the thousands of Breast Cancer Action members who took action during this year’s Think Before You Pink ® campaign, “It’s an Epidemic, Stupid!” You are awesome.

Activists like you across the country asked elected officials in all 50 states (as well as DC and Puerto Rico) to support our 2012 Breast Cancer Action Mandate for Government Action. Read More »

Put Down the Pink, and Pick Up Your Pen!

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By Britta Reida, Breast Cancer Action member

Ah, October. The month I, and most other breast cancer survivors I know, dread. Why can’t October be about beautiful foliage, pumpkins, and cozy sweaters in the crisp, autumn air? Why does October have to be a time when we’re all drowning in a sea of pink ribbons?

There are multiple things that bother me about Breast Cancer Awareness Month. One is that not only are we supposed to think that shopping is the best way to fight breast cancer (it’s really not), but many of the pink ribbon products actually contain chemicals that could give us cancer. What?! Read More »

Straight from the “Imitation is the Greatest Form of Flattery” Department

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By Joyce Bichler, Breast Cancer Action Deputy Director

Last week New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced, to great fanfare, guidelines for best practices in breast cancer cause marketing (finally!).

And in equally great fanfare, Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation touted their ‘sign-on’ with the Attorney General. These “best practices” came after  a yearlong review of pink ribbon campaigns found that consumers often don’t have sufficient information to understand where the money from their purchases is really going.  We could have told them that 10 years ago—and we did! Read More »

Calling All Breast Cancer Patients: It’s Time to Party!

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By Sheila Bacon Cain, Breast Cancer Action member

Ever since I was diagnosed with stage II invasive breast cancer three years ago, it seems I’ve become quite popular. I’ve never had a shortage of party invitations, but since my breast was removed and all my hair fell out,the invitations just haven’t stopped coming.

October seems to be a particularly popular month for festivities. Just last week I was asked if I wanted to be a model in a fashion show for an event benefitting local breast cancer non-profits. Music! Food! Drinks! Dancing! And a few weeks ago, I was invited to come celebrate my survivorship aboard a cruise ship docked in Seattle. The party promised to be oodles of fun, complete with pink balloons and pink frosted cupcakes. Read More »

Of Pepto Pink Outfits, Presidential Debates, and Breast Cancer

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By Karuna Jaggar, Executive Director

During  the second presidential debate on Tuesday, we saw Ann Romney and Michelle Obama sporting almost identical pepto pink outfits. No one said “breast cancer,” but everyone got the tacit pink nod to Breast Cancer Industry Month. Read More »

Join Us for Dinner! Action Speaks Louder Than Pink – Food for Thought

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Ayelet Waldman

New York Times bestselling author Ayelet Waldman will emcee the evening.

We’re excited to celebrate a decade of Think Before You Pink® campaigns with you at our second annual Action Speaks Louder Than Pink – Food for Thought dinner.

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, please join us next Thursday, October 25th for an evening of culinary delight, fantastic silent auction prizes and inspiring company.

If you live outside the area, make sure to tell local friends and family about it. And please let us know if you’d like to help host a similar event in your area. Read More »

What’s Wrong With the Pink Ribbon, Anyway?

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By Nancy Stordahl, BCAction member

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on Nancy’s blog, Nancy’s Point. Thank you, Nancy, for letting us reprint it here.

What’s wrong with the pink ribbon anyway?

I’ve been asked this question more than a few times. It seems like a fair question, so I thought I’d share some thoughts about why the pink ribbon has lost its appeal to many, including me.

There’s nothing wrong with pink. There’s nothing wrong with ribbons.

Pink is just a color and ribbons are just ribbons… Read More »

Join Us For Dinner!

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Having trouble swallowing all the pink ribbon BS again this year? Well, I can promise you that our delicious Food for Thought dinner is guaranteed pink ribbon free and between the food and the program line-up, we’ll whet your appetite in more ways than one. Read More »

Breast Cancer: Not Worth Debating?

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By Yvonne Watterson

Editor’s Note: A similar version of this post was originally published on Yvonne’s blog, Time to Consider the Lilies.

It is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. President Obama proclaimed it so on October 1, 2012. For added emphasis, the North Portico of the White House was illuminated pink for one evening. Basking in a ubiquitous pink glow, America’s most famous house reconfirms the power of the organization that bears the name of Nancy Brinker’s dead sister, Susan G. Komen, to deliver what Brinker once described as “conventional messages in unconventional ways in unexpected environments.” Given this logic, perhaps the presidential debate was “too conventional” a venue to raise the issue of women’s health. Read More »

This October, Beware the Pink Spectacle

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By Katie M. Kanagawa, BCAction Volunteer

I caught Ellen last Monday afternoon rather accidentally. I was immediately struck by how the entire episode had been doused in the baby pink popularly associated with Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I am not being exceptionally observant here. If you had your head in the sand and you were living under a rock, you could not miss it! If you visit the show’s website this month, you will see the ribbon encircling the brand name, equating Ellen with awareness. If you tune into the show, you will also see the pink-themed activities designed to raise money for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s “research.” [Note: information regarding how much of the show’s proceeds will go to Komen and exactly how they will use these funds is not readily available on the show or its website]. One such activity consists of a glass dunk tank decorated with a pink background and a huge Shutterfly logo where Ellen will convince various celebrity guests to be soaked in order to raise money for breast cancer research. Read More »

Where Were the Women In Last Night’s Debate?

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By Angela Wall, Communications Manager

There were a lot of words we didn’t hear during the presidential debate last night, “breast cancer” being two of them.  “Women” was also conspicuously absent, as was “women’s health.” “Environment” “poverty” “immigration” ”affordable housing” and “inequality” also took a backseat to lengthy lectures on tax plans and market-based healthcare solutions.

Were we naïve to have expected breast cancer be discussed in last night’s presidential debate? If you consider asking three men to make a women’s health issue a priority, perhaps; however, it’s not naïve if you face the stark reality that breast cancer is a public health epidemic for which the leading risk factor in the U.S. is being a woman. Read More »

It’s an Epidemic, Stupid!

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By Angela Wall, Communications Manager

Today marks the official launch of this year’s Think Before You Pink ® campaign “It’s an Epidemic, Stupid!” As we head into November’s election, we urge everyone concerned about breast cancer to demand representatives from every state support the 2012 Breast Cancer Action Mandate for Government Action. We need to move beyond “awareness” and pink ribbons to demand candidates and elected officials take real action on breast cancer, by initiating and supporting independent research and strong regulation to turn the tide on this epidemic.  Read More »

Pink Ribbons, Inc. Sneak Peek Screening – May 31st

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Tickets are going fast for our sneak peek benefit screening of Pink Ribbons, Inc. next Thursday, May 31st, in San Francisco. Critics are calling this hard-hitting documentary “powerful” and “subversive”. Join us! Bring your friends. We promise you’ll never see a pink ribbon the same way again. Read More »

Eli Lilly: Integrity, Excellence and … Pinkwashing

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By Kim Irish, BCAction Program Manager

What’s in that ice cream you’re eating? Or the cheese that’s on your sandwich? In fact, what’s in your milk? Ironically it’s not just milk, and that may surprise you. All over the country, we’re being exposed to recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), an artificial growth hormone given to dairy cows to stimulate milk production. All this exposure despite the fact that rBGH has been linked to increased risk of breast cancer. Read More »

No More Lead-Filled Lipstick: Take Action for Safer Cosmetics

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Women’s health is under assault again – cosmetics companies are fighting to keep their products among the least-regulated in the country. Don’t let them get away with it. Read More »

Charlotte didn’t sell out. Neither should we.

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By Robyn Stoetzel, R.N., BCAction member

Does the name Charlotte Haley sound familiar to you? Until recently, I had no idea who she was, despite being a former oncology nurse. I’ve spent my life alongside women diagnosed with breast cancer. And yet Charlotte’s story was completely unknown to me.

Charlotte Haley should be one of the most famous women in the world. Everyone touched by breast cancer should know her story. Read More »

A decade in the making

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Executive Director Karuna Jaggar

By Karuna Jaggar, BCAction Executive Director

How do you turn a tide? How do you change a whole movement? How do you convince multitudes of people that to do great good, we need to make great change? Read More »

We Don’t Need More Pinkwashing

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By Kellea Miller, BCAction Board of Directors

“There is a thin line between raising money for a good cause and using a good cause to raise money.”

On February 1st, many of us lost our faith in the Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Komen had just pulled its funding for Planned Parenthood, one of the few places for women to receive low-cost breast cancer screenings. Women across the country spoke out in surprise and disbelief. One of my aunts wrote on her Facebook page, “If this is true I am shocked!” Read More »

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