There’s a lot of talk about breast cancer awareness – the need for awareness, the desire for awareness, the use of pink ribbons, bracelets, or t-shirts to symbolize awareness. The awareness mantra helps to create fanfare, sell products, and generate interest in the cause. Is that all there is to it?
- diverse experiences
- evidence-based information
- balanced health news
- conflicts of interest
- spreading misinformation
- exploiting good intentions
- profiting from disease
What about the big picture when it comes to breast cancer? The unintended consequences of popularizing and commercializing a disease? The lack of progress in understanding what causes breast cancer, how to prevent it, how to keep it from returning, and how to keep some 40,000 people from dying from the disease each year?
To make progress in breast cancer, we need to look beyond ribbons, and move BEYOND AWARENESS. We need Truth. Evidence. Action.
DON’T MISS BCC MEMBERS AT THESE BEYOND AWARENESS EVENTS!
The Beyond Awareness Workbook is an ongoing project that will be expanded to a full curriculum that is both clickable and available in its entirety as a PDF. It includes background to pink ribbon culture, trends in mainstream breast cancer awareness activities, and tools for action. More »
We are also developing a series of themed booklets (in color) for our Beyond Awareness campaign. The first 20-page booklet titled “Beyond Awareness” offers a brief history of the pink ribbon and the rise of national breast cancer awareness month, the development of a commercially focused breast cancer industry and survivorship culture, and key trends in awareness campaigns. More »
For our French speakers, the Paris-based organization “Au sein de sa différence” (ASDSD) developed a communications campaign to spur discussion of pink ribbon culture in France. The campaign has a booklet entitled, “Questions Roses” (Pink Questions) and includes an analysis and conversation between the french senologist-oncologist Dr. Dominique Gros MD and U.S. medical sociologist Dr. Gayle Sulik PhD.
Share Your Missing Story
Breast Cancer Consortium partners Grazia de Michele and Cinzia Greco are editing a special issue of the BCC newsletter on “Demystifying Breast Cancer” that highlights compelling stories typically missing from the broader breast cancer narrative. They are especially interested in stories that bust myths, resist stereotypes, and unveil how social dynamics impact the experience of breast cancer. Narratives of male breast cancer experiences are welcome and encouraged. If you would like to share your story, please send a proposal (500 words) to: email@example.com. Deadline for proposals is extended to December 21, 2013. More »
On the Pink Ribbon Marketplace
Every October, the marketplace floods with pink-ribboned products and breast-cancer-awareness-themed events and fundraisers. Many people ask, “Where does the money go?” No one seems to know. In the midst of it all, cause marketing is cast as everything from the saving grace, the necessarily evil, to the pinkwashing pilferer. Like everything, there is a context.
Here are some of Gayle Sulik’s recent writings on the uses and abuses of the breast cancer brand.
- Breast Cancer, Concept Brand with Pink Ribbon Logo
- Riding the Tails of the Pink Ribbon
- Cause Marketing Is Not Philanthropy
- “The Shero:” Protagonist of the Epic Cancer Survivor Story
“The Battle We Didn’t Choose” Book Release
Six years ago today Jennifer and Angelo Merendino were married in Central Park. Five months after they married, Angelo and Jen entered the world of cancer. After a double mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation treatment, and reconstructive surgery the couple celebrated their first anniversary with the news that Jen was cancer free. Eventually the cancer spread, and she died. Angelo is celebrating their sixth wedding anniversary by releasing their story, The Battle We Didn’t Choose — My Wife’s Fight With Breast Cancer, in digital book format. More »
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, Angelo Merendino also shared his experience of life before, during, and after his experience as a caregiver as a TEDx talk, a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. Watch it now »