Author Archives: alicia

Survey and News Roundup

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Important News: METAvivor Research and Support, Inc. is conducting a survey to determine the impact of metastatic breast cancer on the lives of those dealing with the disease. Their intention is to present the information at the Advanced Breast Cancer First Consensus Conference in Lisbon, Portugal in November 2011. In addition, they plan to “write one or more papers to inform policymakers, researchers, cancer organizations and the public as to the seriousness of the disease and the great need for change and improvement in many areas.”  In a TB4UP guest post earlier this year, Anna Rachnel of The Cancer Culture Chronicles noted: “metastatic breast cancer, which accounts for around 90% of breast cancer mortality, receives less than 2% of all monies directed to cancer research.” We need less pink ribbons and more voices raised to increase the amount of attention and funding dedicated toward BC Mets. Visit the survey here – the deadline is July 14th.

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Promise me you’ll read the ingredients on this pink perfume!

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by Kim Irish, Program Manager

Susan G. Komen for the Cure has partnered with TPR Holdings, LLC, a New York City-based investor and operator in the consumer products industry, to create a perfume called Promise Me.  According to the fragrance’s website, the pink-tinted Promise Me is “The Scent of Inspiration.”  Its neatly packaged bottles and gift sets, with the all-too-familiar Komen ribbon emblazoned on the side, remind us that it’s not just inspiration Komen and TPR Holdings wants – they want us to shop our way to a cure.

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Who really benefits from all those pink ribbons?

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Nine years ago, Breast Cancer Action launched our Think Before You Pink® campaign in response to women’s concerns about the number of pink ribbon products and promotions on the market. With so many women still being diagnosed with breast cancer, we want to know: “Who really benefits from all of these pink ribbons?”


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Exciting News!

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Back in March, BCA re-launched the Think Before You Pink® blog to provide information and resources for those interested in shifting the dominant breast cancer narrative. One of our goals was to provide concrete tools that would help people start conversations with their friends, family and communities. As a result, I am excited to announce that we are finishing a “first draft” of our brand-new Think Before You Pink® toolkit. We’ll be offering a sneak peek next week, so stay tuned!

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The Dark Side of Pink Awareness

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guest post by Rachel, of  The Cancer Culture Chronicles

Note from Breast Cancer Action: In response to last week’s blog post from Angela Wall, several of our members commented on our Facebook page and shared their thoughts about the efficacy of breast cancer awareness campaigns. Rachel from The Cancer Culture Chronicles noted that women with metastatic breast cancer, in particular, have not benefited from the “pink razzamatazz”. We are honored to share her words with more of our members via this week’s blog post. Read More »

Good news? Not so fast…

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by Angela Wall, Communications Manager

Good news on breast cancer, says Sadie Stein writing for Jezebel.  Why?  Well, because of pink ribbon awareness campaigns more women are getting screened and diagnosed earlier.  Hold on.  Does this ring false to anyone else?

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A message from our outgoing Development Director

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Before her departure last week, our former Development Director Amy Harris wrote a message about her work at BCA and her feelings about our organization. We thought we’d share it, as it’s a great window into our world- both in terms of what it’s like to work with us every day and, also, the dedication we have to ending the breast cancer epidemic.

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This week’s featured posts

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Our staff follows a number of blogs that offer much-needed perspective on the breast cancer epidemic. Two of our favorite bloggers, Katie Ford Hall and Gayle Sulik, wrote brilliant posts this week that we wanted to share.

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… and we’re back!

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As many of our readers have noticed, pink ribbon-festooned breast cancer “awareness” campaigns are no longer limited to October. In our effort to create more substantive conversation related to breast cancer, BCA has decided to revive the Think Before You Pink blog! We’re now devoting this space to action and education.

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An update!

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Unfortunately, some technical difficulties are preventing me from reporting on the results of this year’s Parade of Pink. However, Breast Cancer Action staff weighed in on this year’s “contestants”… and the winner was the pink ribbon “I’ve lost my boobies, but not my sex appeal” thong. Unsurprising, given that this product was marketed as a “chemo gift”.

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Pick the “winner” of this year’s Parade of Pink!

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Every October at Breast Cancer Action, our inboxes are flooded with pictures of bizarre and often insulting products sold to “promote breast cancer awareness”.  This year, we featured some of these items on our Think Before You Pink blog. The response from our members was overwhelming- we received dozens of comments and emails expressing outrage at the ridiculous nature of some pink ribbon products. Do we really need pink dental tools? Pink thongs? Pink bottles of alcohol? One thing is clear: despite millions of dollars spent, we’ve yet to get any closer to ending the breast cancer epidemic.

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A roundup of interesting news from this past week!

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Sociological Images: Awareness Branding and the Ethical Fix

WalletPop: Which Pink Ribbon Products Make the Biggest Impact?

Huffington Post: Susan G. Komen Under Fire- Nation’s Largest Breast Cancer Charity Defends Their Record

CNN: Everyday chemicals may be harming kids, panel told

Pink ribbons don’t encourage us to think about social justice

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by Caitlin Carmody, BCA Membership Coordinator

Usually when I tell people I work at Breast Cancer Action, they start to talk about pink ribbons and races. This requires me to do some conversation steering. Last week I felt like I had one of my best “conversation conversions” to date; we went quickly from “race for the cure” to “toxins in our world,” and covered pesticides, shampoo, and pink ribbons on products that contain carcinogens. As we ended the conversation lamenting about the ineffectiveness of natural deodorants, I had a nagging sense that I hadn’t gotten to the heart of my unease with pink ribbons. It was only on the bus later that I got it: pink ribbons don’t encourage us to think about social justice.
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Next Year, Let’s Skip Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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by Mia Davis, National Coordinator of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.

Originally published in GOOD Magazine.

Can the pink ribbon be saved from corporate cause marketing, and actually mean something for women’s health?

Want to help BCA win $10,000 for our work?

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Just a reminder that Breast Cancer Action has been nominated for a Stay Classy Award for our What the Cluck campaign, which challenged the pinkwashing partnership between KFC and Susan G. Komen for the Cure! If we become a City Finalist, we’ll be entered into the national contest to win $10,000.

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Friday news roundup!

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Some of our favorite articles from this week. Read More »

Call me a skeptic, but…

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somehow, I don’t believe that dry cleaning chemical suppliers will lead us to an end to the breast cancer epidemic.

New England-based AristoCraft Supply, the self-described “premier distributor of drycleaning, laundry and tailoring supplies”, apparently disagrees.

Earlier this year, they launched a campaign called “Clean to Save a Life”, to sell pink items to dry cleaners. “Pink tissue, pink capes, pink garment covers, pink invoice paper,” says AristoCraft vice president Rick Ross. “If you want pink, we’ve got it.” An undisclosed amount of proceeds will purportedly be donated to the American Breast Cancer Foundation.

What this campaign doesn’t tell you is that while you “clean to save a life”, you could very well be endangering yours.

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Yet another reason to ask critical questions before buying pink…

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Breast Cancer Action started the Think Before You Pink® campaign to call for more transparency and accountability by companies that take part in breast cancer fundraising, and encourage consumers to ask critical questions about pink ribbon promotions.

The continuing need for this campaign is most evident during October, when we (and our members) discover that products emblazoned with the pink ribbon are doing nothing to end the breast cancer epidemic- even if their packages carry promises related to donations for research.

The new, pink-tinted G.U.M.® Soft Picks®, with packaging that claims G.U.M. is supporting breast cancer research, are yet another example of deceptive pink products.

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More on “Awareness”

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A guest post from Tamera Shanker, originally posted on Boo-Bee Trap

Before I was diagnosed with Invasive Lobular Carcinoma, I was aware of the prevalence of breast cancer. I knew it was a disease that struck mostly post menopausal women. Read More »

Friday news roundup (10/15)!

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A handful of articles and blog posts that we found interesting this week…

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This week’s contestant…

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in our Parade of Pink.

The thong reads, “I lost my boobies, not my sex appeal” and is tagged as a “chemotherapy gift”.  Nauseating.

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What the Cluck? We need your vote!

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Every year we see outrageous uses of the pink ribbon but until this spring we’d never seen anything like pink buckets of fried chicken being sold to “cure breast cancer.” Remember KFC and Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s “Buckets for the Cure” promotion which told us to buy pink buckets of unhealthy food to cure breast cancer?

Thanks to you and over 5,000 other BCA members, we changed the conversation. Together, we wrote to KFC and Komen leadership and asked “What the Cluck?” We got loud and demanded a stop to their pinkwashing partnership.

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Awareness to Awareness

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A guest post from Katie Ford Hall, of Uneasy Pink

We’re well into Pink October, 2010, but this year I sense a shift in awareness about awareness.  The media has criticized pinkwashing and silly viral memes trivializing cancer with sexual innuendo.  Tough questions are being asked, like why so little progress is being made to reduce mortalities despite all of this awareness?

The usual counterpoint is that while awareness campaigns might be for lightweights, they’re harmless.  Right?

No, not so much.

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Pink Revisited

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By Cathy Bueti, blogger and author of “Breastless in the City”Originally published in the Fall 2010 issue of The Source.

Pink has been my favorite color ever since I was a little girl. Then I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 31 years old, and I’ve never looked at that color the same again. Read More »

Friday news roundup!

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A list of articles and blogposts that we found interesting this week… Read More »

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