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The Pink Storm

I doubt that anyone has missed the deluge of pink showing up in all kinds of retail stores these days, mainly, though, through the month of October - National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. At the grocery store there have been pink bottles and cans and packages, in the household stores there are pink tweezers and a pink Kitchenaid stand mixer. Everywhere is pink. Pink ribbons and pink packaging, all to promote "awareness" of breast cancer.

During October when I shopped at Vons grocery the checkers wore aprons promoting breast cancer awareness and asked for donations in addition to selling books and all of the pink packages.

I did not give any of them a dime. Here's why.

* If anyone is not aware of breast cancer by now then she has been living in a hole and these pink products will not bring her out.
* The organizations that have gathered together to form the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month focus on "early detection" to a far greater degree than they do on "lifestyle changes" - your really have to hunt for that part. They don't look to prevent breast cancer, just to catch it early. What really needs to be done is to get the word out on just what actually works or is related to prevention. That is, look at the populations that have low incidences of breast cancer and find out why. Oh wait. This has already been done. Interestingly, you'll read about reducing fat in your diet and eating more fiber but the real answer is cut out or reduce (to less than 10% of total calories) consumption of animal products. It isn't at all complicated. This is the single most important thing one can do to reduce the risk. A good, healthy plant-based diet of whole foods and a reasonable exercise program (not even that hard: three to four days a week, 1/2 hour per time, of brisk walking - or the equivalent) are the path to greater health for everyone.
* The organizations supporting nbcam frankly make money from breast cancer. From drug companies to cancer treatment centers, most of them are in it for the bucks.

Even if I thought that this organization did a lot of good (which I do not) I would still not support it. How about all of the other illnesses and conditions that need our attention? We put so many of our eggs into the breast cancer basket that few people are interested in looking where else they could go. It irritates me that major retailers go to such great lengths for the big charities. How about going all out for those who could really use the exposure??

Call me a curmudgeon. A cynic. Yeah, I am all of that. And unrepentant as well. Yet please understand that I am in no way trying to dismiss the very real pain and suffering caused by breast cancer. I simply believe the focus is in the wrong direction and if more people knew the real ways they could avoid getting it then we would have a lot less suffering.

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( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
susandennis
Nov. 15th, 2008 07:50 pm (UTC)
I am so with you on every single point. I may even be a little more annoyed than you are by the whole thing and for the same reasons. You stated my case perfectly.
judith
Nov. 15th, 2008 08:52 pm (UTC)
How cool! Thank you for letting me know!
(Anonymous)
Nov. 16th, 2008 07:25 pm (UTC)
I thought I was the only one with these sentiments.
Apparantly not! I was hearing my own words echo as I was reading.
judith
Nov. 16th, 2008 08:35 pm (UTC)
It is such a relief to hear that I am not the sole cynic in this regard.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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