Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM), also referred to in the United States as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month(NBCAM), is an annual international health campaign organized by major breast cancer charities every October to increase awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure. Observances of the event have faced criticism for corporate involvement by drug companies, as well as instances of pinkwashing* associated with the events.
*The term pinkwashing is compound word modelled on the term whitewashing, and was first coined in 2002 by Breast Cancer Action (BCA). On thinkbeforeyoupink.org (link below es), a project of BCA, ‘pinkwasher’ is defined as, “a company or organization that claims to care about breast cancer by promoting a pink ribbon product, but at the same time, produces, manufactures and/or sells products that are linked to the disease.”
I have known about pinkwashing since reading and reviewing Pink Ribbon Blues Gail Sulik on my website several years ago. (Use the SEARCH box in lower right hand corner of my Home Page to find & read the review.) Therefore, I do not give to organizations linked with companies linked with promoting their products that may be linked to cancer. Instead, I have provided information below about two organizations that I feel are more deserving of my attention:
Breast Cancer Action
I learned about Breast Cancer Action several years ago when my friend Barb rode cross country with other women over 50 to raise awareness about this excellent organization. The organization is currently running two podcasts that might be of interest. (Go to the website for links.)
- Addressing Disparities: Screening vs. Systemic Change – This podcast explores disparities, the disconnect between health care and communities of color, and the limitations of screening and mammography to address these inequities.
- Uncovering LGBTQ Breast Cancer Realities – Interviews with two LGBTQ women and how they are not represented in the “heteronormative” pink ribbon narrative and their problems with navigating the system.(I lifted the info on thepodcasts right from the letter I received. es)
I urge you to visit Breast Cancer Action’s website to learn more about this organization that exposes companies who are often part of the problem under the guise of being pro-preventative.
(The top-ranked Breast Cancer Research Organization in the United States)
Several years ago, when I was going through menopause, I read one of Dr. Susan Love’s books on hormones and menopause. (Just Google her name for titles) I still have a list of the nutrients recommended by her book and which foods to eat to obtain these nutrients.
According to a letter I received from Stephanie Graff, MD, FACS, the foundation’s medical advisor,
“…the Foundation is spearheading the research nobody else is doing: The Microbiome+ Study of the Breast Ducks. By comparing the microbiome of breast ducts with cancer to ducts without cancer, we can learn more about the potential role bacteria and viruses may play in causing or preventing cancer. This research is critical.” (I bolded the last sentence. es)
+Definition from this letter: …the microbiome of the body—the role naturally-occurring microorganisms play in disease progression—can lead to epigenetic (relating to or arising from nongenetic influences on gene expression.es) changes which may be central not only to cancer development, but treatment response.”
Additionally, the foundation believes that the medical community needs to expand the way we study breast cancer in order to find answers for everyone, since expression of breast cancer “may differ across people of different races and ethnicities.”
For more information, go to: Dr Susan Love Foundation for Breast Cancer Research
Since this is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I urge you to raise your awareness of breast cancer by investigating these two excellent organizations and consider making a donation, no matter how small!