Past Projects


Beyond Awareness Campaign

Gayle Sulik, Project Director

The awareness mantra works for generating interest in the cause of breast cancer, creating fanfare, selling products, and maintaining the message that breast cancer is important. Is that really awareness? The Breast Cancer Consortium has developed a Beyond Awareness campaign to address what’s typically missing in mainstream awareness.


Breast Cancer and Feminism in Spain

On April 9th, 2015 Caterina Riba, Gerard Coll-Planas, and BCC member Ana Porroche-Escudero convened an international symposium of feminist health professionals, social scientists, humanists, communications experts, activists, and people living with breast cancer at the venue Francesca Bonnemaison in Barcelona, Spain to examine the social context of breast cancer in the country. The take away points from the symposium are widely applicable to feminist actions worldwide.


By Your Side, a Special Issue of the BCC Quarterly

Grazia de Michele and Cinzia Greco, Special Editors

This special issue shares the experiences of caregivers, those who live and love in the wake of another person’s cancer diagnosis. The difficulty, grief, and suffering that are part of caregiving are, with rare exceptions, absent from dominant cancer narratives. The heartfelt contributions in this special issue offer all of us a deeper understanding of what it means to take care of those we love when they are facing what may be one of the most difficult times in their lives.


Demystifying Breast Cancer, a Special Issue of the BCC Quarterly

Grazia de Michele and Cinzia Greco, Special Editors

The compendium – “Demystifying Breast Cancer” is an international collection of original and compelling essays intended to bust myths, resist stereotypes, and unveil how social dynamics impact the experience of breast cancer. The stories reflect the lived experiences of women diagnosed with breast cancer in different parts of the world, from the United States to Belgium, Israel, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, belonging to different social classes and ethnic backgrounds, and with different sexual orientations.


Image Capture

Amber Deane, Project Director

This project explores the extent to which the pink ribbon symbol is visible in everyday life, in the products and services college students in a small southern college see on a regular basis. Students submitted pictures of the pink ribbon products and paraphernalia they observed in their communities and explained how the items were being used.


Questions Roses (Pink Questions)

Cathie Malhouitre, Project Director

The Paris-based organization “Au sein de sa différence” (ASDSD) celebrates difference and takes a pedagogical approach to patient empowerment, activism, and awareness. For October 2012, ASDSD developed a communications campaign to spur discussion of pink ribbon culture in France. It includes a dialogue between french senologist-oncologist Dr. Dominique Gros and Breast Cancer Consortium founder U.S. social science researcher, Gayle Sulik. The booklet (in French) was distributed to cancer centers in Paris. ASDSD also released a video interview with Dr. Dominique Gros in Strasbourg, France.


The Pink and the Black

BCC member Annette Madlock Gatison’s personal experience in, and with, breast cancer cultures led her to think about the conversations cancer survivors engage in when asked about their health. These communications change depending on the audience (family members, friends, other survivors, healthcare providers, employers, and others), and also in relation to cultural beliefs related to the pink spectrum (embracing to outright rejecting the dominant pink ribbon culture), Christian faith talk, spiritual healing, and disease. Black women breast cancer survivors share how these beliefs influenced their self-perceptions, the views others had of them, and their ability to express their needs and concerns.


NBCC Advocacy Conference, 2011.

Taking the Pulse of the U.S. Breast Cancer Movement

Gayle Sulik, Project Director

This study examines the type, strength, and impacts of state and local community-based organizations in shaping breast cancer and health policy. Using the breast cancer movement as a case, the study will illuminate the conditions that contribute to or undermine the political, social, and policy influence of community based organizations.This project will build upon earlier research into the social and cultural forces that influence breast cancer, both individually and as a social problem.


The $6 billion Question: Where Does Money for Breast Cancer Go?

Gayle Sulik, Project Director

Billions of dollars have been invested in breast cancer related programs, services, research programs, and awareness activities over the years. In total, the nonprofit sector raises an estimated $2.5 to $3.25 billion for breast cancer in a given fiscal year. Between federal funding and the top five private foundations, the U.S. spends at least $1 billion annually on breast cancer research alone. No one knows how much is spent on all of those pink ribbon products and fundraising activities that are off the formal grid. Some have estimated that $6 billion is raised every year in the name of breast cancer.


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