Category Archives: blog

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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 »

Pink Ribbons, Inc.: The Movie

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“If people actually knew what was happening, they would be really pissed off.”
-Barbara Brenner, former BCAction Executive Director in the new documentary Pink Ribbons, Inc.

Billions of dollars have been raised through the tireless efforts of women and men devoted to putting an end to breast cancer. Yet, breast cancer rates in North America have risen to 1 in 8. “What’s going on?” asks our former Executive Director Barbara Brenner in Pink Ribbons, Inc. a new film now playing across Canada and debuting in the U.S. this year.  Read More »

“Komen’s True Colors Revealed”

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Beverly Canin, breast cancer activist and member of BCAction Board of Directors, recently co-authored a great opinion piece on Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s decision to withdraw funding from Planned Parenthood. Read More »

Get Your Free Think Before You Pink® Toolkit

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Over the last few weeks people like you, from all walks of life issued a wake up call to the world: women’s health comes before political and corporate agendas. If we’re taking a serious look at the motives behind breast cancer fundraising let’s be honest: pink ribbon vodka and pink buckets of fried chicken won’t end this epidemic.

And, every time a company slaps a pink ribbon on a product that increases our risk of breast cancer, corporate profits come before women’s health. Contributing to and then profiting from a disease that kills 40,000 women a year is wrong and it’s time we put an end to it! Read More »

Komen’s Planned Parenthood Decision a Victory, But a Small One: Challenging the Status Quo of Breast Cancer

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Karuna Jaggar

Executive Director Karuna Jaggar

By Karuna Jaggar, Breast Cancer Action Executive Director

This week hundreds of thousands of women’s health advocates joined together and took action. We insisted that women’s health come before politics or corporate interests. And a change happened because we demanded it. Read More »

We think Komen’s decision to defund Planned Parenthood is outrageous

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Tell Susan G. Komen for the Cure to continue funding Planned Parenthood's vital health services

Women’s healthcare is under assault once again. Susan G. Komen for the Cure is pulling all funding for Planned Parenthood, an outrageous decision that threatens women’s access to vital health services. But what’s particularly concerning is this funding cut will impact underserved communities most. Read More »

From the Executive Director: Shifting the Balance of Power & Putting Women First

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Karuna Jaggar

Executive Director Karuna Jaggar

By Karuna Jaggar, Executive Director

I’ve been closely watching the Occupy movement both locally and as it’s spread across the nation over the past few months. I’m inspired by the coming together of all these people to make systemic changes and I am repeatedly struck by the parallels between Occupy’s mission and Breast Cancer Action’s work to challenge polluters and pinkwashersand our actions to put patients before profit. Read More »

I refuse to quietly succumb

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By Rachel Cheetham, blogger at The Cancer Culture Chronicles and BCAction member

I’m forty one years old, living with metastatic breast cancer and I’m angry. I’m also a blogger and an active participant in the online breast cancer community, engaging in spirited debates and discussions about all things breast cancer with women and men from around the world. Read More »

Why we need Breast Cancer Action

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By Sandra Steingraber, ecologist and author of Living Downstream: An Ecologist’s Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment

I was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 1979, at the age of 20, while my mom, in her 40s, was being treated for metastatic breast cancer. Like many cancer patients, I wanted to know Why me? Especially since I am adopted and could not rely on the stock explanation, “cancer runs in my genes.”

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I support BCAction in honor of my Mom

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By Mara Meaney-Ervin, BCAction intern

I was in third grade when my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. I remember the tears our friends and family shed as she shared her diagnosis. I remember her guiding my hand, much smaller than hers then, to feel the lump in her breast so I could know what it felt like to help protect me in the future. Even when I know she felt weak and worse, to me, she always seemed so strong. And as a single mother and now a breast cancer survivor, strength doesn’t even begin to cover it. Read More »

Could “breast cancer awareness” be deeper?

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By Gayle A. Sulik, PhD, MA, author of Pink Ribbon Blues

For more than two decades, Breast Cancer Action has diligently challenged the cancer industry and the breast cancer advocacy movement at large to address the root causes of the breast cancer epidemic and to ask critical questions about where the money goes, how it is raised, and what it accomplishes. Read More »

IOM report misses important opportunities to turn the tide on the epidemic

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We’re currently at the 2011 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, providing recaps and analysis of information coming out of the symposium. To read our summaries, you can visit our BCAction website. We wanted to share with you our reaction to a new report on the environment and breast cancer that was released at the symposium yesterday.

For immediate release
December 7th, 2011

Contact:  Angela Wall, Communications Manager (415) 243-9301 x16 awall@bcaction.org

SAN FRANCISCO, CA–Breast Cancer Action (BCAction), the respected watchdog of the breast cancer movement, responded with disappointment to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report on Breast Cancer and the Environment: A Life Course Approach released today at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS). Read More »

Raise a Stink! Campaign Summary

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Thank you so much to to everyone who took action against pinkwashing and for women’s health during this year’s Think Before You Pink® campaign. We are excited to report back to you about the campaign’s results and successes. Read More »

Toxic Cosmetics Webinar: What’s in your personal care products and what you can do about it

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Register for the "Toxic Cosmetics" webinar today!

During our recent “Raise a Stink!” campaign, one of the most common questions we heard was, “How is it even possible that a pink ribbon perfume contains chemicals bad for our health?”  Read More »

Telling the truth is a revolutionary act

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By Zoe Christopher, BCAction Resource Liaison

Lately I’ve been having a hard time reconciling our focus on a “pinked perfume” with the realities of the current global crisis. Sometimes I feel small and ineffective, climbing a short ladder set against the wrong tree. Read More »

Breast Cancer Research: Where We Are and Where We Should Be

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C.J. (Dian) Corneliussen-James

Editor’s Note: October 13th is Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day. We are honored to share this guest post written by C.J. (Dian) M. Corneliussen-James, president and founder of METAvivor Research and Support, Inc. Read More »

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