Enough’s enough. As my husband watched the NFL yesterday, I became RED from pink-washing. A blatant profiteering from our basic human fear and spreading of false information.
Here’s why: Breast Cancer Month dates back to 1985 and a partnership with American Cancer Society and Imperial Chemical Company – largest producer of mammogram machines and anti-breast cancer drugs. Interesting, how a government agency and for-profit industry have captured our attention, energy, and compassion, MONEY and painting a whole month the color pink. Their core message is that early detection through mammograms saves lives. And honestly, once, I was on the pink wagon (despite hating the color).
But that was 1985. Cancer research and science has moved on since then, why can’t we? My own personal experience – having two mammograms that failed to detect my palpable fast growing tumor – and similar experiences of many of my students. But most importantly the huge volume of research indicating that mammograms do not – statistically – save lives. And, actually, the research indicates that 22% women are over diagnosed and undergo unnecessary treatment that face life time of side effects. Additional this fear mongering increase use of other diagnostic tools like X-rays and CT scans that is well known to be environmental cause of breast cancer. Not to mention the stress!
Worse these businesses make loads of money and give very little of the proceeds to the actual cause. For example, the NFL Crucial Catch campaign has turned American’s fall pastime pink through promotions, merchandise, partnerships, and events. It raises millions around the message of breast cancer awareness and early detection through mammograms. And only 8% of the profits of this pink flood goes to cancer research. Yes… 8%.
Don’t get me wrong, I support many great causes this October both personally and professionally (well… maybe not the NFL) and especially those that get people moving as exercise is the #1 tool to prevent and recover from cancer. For example, I will be leading a y4c class in the Making Strides event in Central Park. The Cancer to 5K team is actively coming to our free classes. And heck, we run our own non-profit where no one earns a salary and all the donations go to help run a program that directly help survivors gain strength, balance and sense of well being. So my advice is not for you to STOP partaking in the pink flood but use your C-words in vetting those that we participate, purchase, partake…
- Caution for how and what our money is being collected for.
- Curiosity about the messages and facts behind the causes.
- So ultimately our Compassion is accurately directed to the causes that truly help survivors and non-survivors.
Here are some great articles and movements for you to learn more!
- Sign the Breast Cancer Action petition – ‘Think Before You Pink!’
- Top 10 Tips of Prevention. Great tips to remove toxins from your life!
- Learn more about the NFL Crucial Catch hypocrisy. Great article! Love
- British Journal of Medicine 15 year comprehensive finding on Mammograms. Key message: Annual screening doesn’t improve mortality and 22 percent of breast cancers diagnosed by a screening mammogram were over diagnosis. Causing unnecessary treatment treatments long-lasting side-effects.
Lets join together and help these well intentioned (lets pretend the bottom dollar isn’t the key motivator) business, brands and people from spreading this harmful mis-understanding. Focus them on what is really needed. Prevention, Eduction and Care.
Give Today! If you are lost at where to give and support, a quick plug for our non-profit. Again, 100% of the proceeds go to helping survivors (all survivors) live longer, healthier and happier lives through yoga and other wellness programs. Today we offer several classes per week in NYC, with your help, we could go further. Give today!