What's the big deal about Breast Cancer Awareness Month?

Okay, it's a serious - sometimes very literally dead serious - issue, and we should all be aware of the risks and precautions.

But for the love of Pete - you can't swing a cat around here without someone putting a pink Breast Cancer Awareness ribbon around its neck.

And I just got a letter from my doctor reminding me to schedule a mammogram: no one in my family has ever had breast cancer.

My grandfather died of bone cancer at age 69, but no one's ever suggested I should have a bone scan. My aunt died of lung cancer last year, but I can't remember the last time I had a chest x-ray. My mother very nearly died of a Degree 4 Melanoma (10-15% prognosis for survival) in her early 50's, but no one wants to pay for a dermatologist to survey all my moles once a year. My father had a brain tumor the size of a softball - it very fortunately turned out to be benign -  removed in his late 50's, but no one has ever suggested I should have a brain scan (okay, that one I get - it would seem apparent that there's nothing there :).

So what's the great big hurking deal about my boobs? I wouldn't want to have to, but I could live without 'em - a lot easier than I could live without my bones, lungs, skin or brains.

Prostate cancer seems to be just as serious a risk for men of a certain age as breast cancer is for women, but there's no Prostate Cancer Awareness Month - is that because of what color the ribbon would have to be?


sort by: active | newest | oldest
Kiteman7 years ago
I think its partly because breast cancer is relatively-easily treatable, if caught early enough, and it's only caught early enough if the victim gets checked often enough.

But lumps (and moles) are easy to push to the back of your mind - if you ignore them, they won't be dangerous.  Being reminded 24/7 loses the impact, but an annual push gets people going to their doctor.

And it can be fun to check together.
jtobako7 years ago
Sex sells. 

Visual media works. 

Big companies are (still) run by men.

Guess what?  Threatening the Dallas Cheerleaders primary asset gets noticed. 
You pretty much verbatim'd my response from my brain before I thought it.

Seriously:  It's all about marketing.

Enough important people have died or been maimed by it to have notice thrust upon our lives.

That...any everyone likes boobies.
Just finished reading an article about how it's cheep marketing for the manufacturers, who are allowed to put huge obstacles in the way of the actual contribution but still get to claim all the reward.
Gorfram (author)  jtobako7 years ago
I selected Kiteman's as the Best Answer, but I suspect that you two (jtobako & frollard) have the Truest Answer.
(If the world were the place I wish it were, Kiteman's answer would be the Truest - which is why I picked it for Best.)

Week after next, I'm off to the dermatologist to get a mole removed & biopsied -
It is nothing. It will be benign. Of course it will. I'm not worried. Not a bit.
Wish me luck.



Goodhart7 years ago
This is probably the one cancer that can rally both men and women, evenif the disease only affects <em> <strong>mostly</strong></em> women (yes, men can and have gotten breast cancer). The higherrated attention getters are more likely to pull in the researchmoneys. <div id="refHTML"> </div>
But...
Men don't have breasts! What exactly is getting the cancer when a manhas breast cancer?
Well, all male mammals have breasts, even if they are not as largeas those of the female of the species....<a href="http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/male-breast-cancer/DS00661">You can start your investigation here</a>.......and of course,<a href="http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/content/CRI_2_4_1X_What_is_male_breast_cancer_28.asp"> one can get even more info at places like here</a>.<div id="refHTML"> </div>
O.o Wait until my mom finds out I have breasts.
Just don't become overweight, like I am (although that is improvingtoo finally), or they start to show (then people close to you willsuggest you get a trainer bra.....it isn't funny, for sure ;-)<div id="refHTML"> </div>
V-Man7377 years ago
It's a combination of marketing, feminism, and the stigma of losing aloved one to cancer.

People feel strongly about cancer in general, and feminists seem tothink that it's unfair that more women than men get breast cancer.

Combine that with a company that can make an extra couple of cents persale on printing a pink ribbon on their product, and you have ourcurrent situation.

Have you ever tried promoting testicular cancer awareness? I'm not awareof a testicular cancer awareness month. It's totally acceptable insociety to wander around your grocery store talking in alouder-than-usual voice about breast cancer, but say anything abouttestes and the store manager will get, um, testy.
SUPPORT TESTICULAR CANCER AWARENESS! WEAR TESTICLERIBBONS OR YOU ARE A HEATHEN!!! BUY CEREAL BOXES THAT SAY"TESTICULAR CANCER RESEARCH" ON THEM!
This is fun. I'm gonna run around town yelling about testicular cancerfrom now on.
Z..7 years ago
Having just had my mammogram yesterday, I would like to take that pink ribbon and wrap it around the neck if the bloke who invented the damned contraption....and PULL!

(I will feel gratitude when the bruising subsides..).
Goodhart Z..7 years ago
|There are tests being developed (by men and women) that may prove to beMUCH more accurate and definitely less <em>bruising</em>....and that would be nice because, even though the number is NO WHERENEAR as high in men as in women, men DO get breast cancer, and atpresent we have only one real way to detect them, after they havegotten to be a sizable lump.....<em>with every blessing, there is a curse for someone</em>. . . early detection is a blessing. <br /><div id="refHTML"> </div>
Re-design7 years ago
Every cause has it's followers.  Some causes seem to have their fair share of followers.  I personally don't mind the attention BCA gets or all the pink stuff showing.  Most of the other causes have their followers, just maybe not as well staffed in the publicity departments.

But I really don't like people who swing cats around.
You've never heard of nuncatcku?  Wow!  I need to post an Instructable!

Preview:
What you need:
-2 cats
-the ability to tie the tails of two pissed off cats
-tranquilizers (optional, but helpful)
Robot Lover7 years ago
they make money for the study and cure. because the nfl was wearingt-shirts. so you like donate some money and they give you a t-shirt.
lemonie7 years ago
Someone needs funding for their research programs, this is essentially what the fund-raiser is about. It happens to be something that "sells" well, and isn't too hard to get volunteers for (women being softer targets than men).
You might want to ask whether any funds donated during the month are specifically earmarked for certain areas of research, but I doubt anyone would know.
W/ref your doctor, precautionary screening is something that demonstrates healthcare in action making the doctor look like they're doing their job properly. It also justifies a pay-out from whoever gets the bill.

L
Women are generally much better about their health than men. At least breast screening works reasonably well, more than prostate cancer screening does.

Steve
True, doctors wouldn't make much money if they weren't...

L
My opinion would be that breast cancer is a very common type of cancer (something like 1/8 women will be diagnosed with some type of it in their lifetime) and if it is caught early, it can be treated. Or, perhaps, some very proactive people have been affected by breast cancer in their life, and they want to help others.