Being that this is breast cancer awareness month, this is probably enough of a statement to get me hung out to dry, but I am going to make it. Because I am not going to go pink. I am not going to post it on my Facebook status, and I am not going to like a page to have Dr Pepper, Coca Cola or any other industry to turn their product pink. Why? Because that doesn’t matter. Why have a company spend money to turn their product pink for breast cancer awareness, I am pretty sure we are aware of breast cancer. Why not ask them to spend the money that you are asking them to spend to turn pink (or purple or yellow or whatever other awareness campaign) to donate for research. Because in reality that is what is going to help eradicate cancer. Actual cash donations, not merely buying a plastic bracelet that says “BOOBIES” for $3. (Most of those I have seen on teenage boys who like the idea that they can wear something that says “BOOBIES” at school and get away with it)
What I am going to do instead, is check and make sure you have had a mammogram in the past year if you are over 40 and under 70, and a baseline at 35. I am going to do your breast exam with your pap, if you don’t have your gynecologist do it. I am going to ask you about risk factors for breast cancer, colon cancer, ovarian cancer, and almost every other type of cancer you can imagine, and try to make sure that you have had a screening colonoscopy at 50 or before if warranted. I am going to talk to you about obesity, diabetes, smoking and hepatitis. And I will recommend that you get the appropriate vaccines. And I am going to look for all cancers not just breast cancer.
And me personally, I am going to write a check. Probably not to Susan Komen, and this has nothing to do with the uproar earlier in the year. It has to do with where there money goes, and less that 15% has gone to research over the last 10 years. I see nothing wrong with their “Race for the Cure” events, many of them have helped provide fellowship for survivors and their families. Though they were cut throat in promoting these events, even shutting down, walks for heart disease.
No I am going to give my money to organizations such as American Cancer Society and St Jude’s hospital. I am going to donate to American Red Cross, and American Heart. There might be others, but I am going to give to organizations that do more for research or in the case of American Red Cross and American Heart Association provide not only research but much needed community assistance and support. Because heart disease is still the number one killer in this country.
I will give money to the March of Dimes, and I may even do a Run for Breast Cancer. I am not opposed to any of those, but I just don’t see the point in a football player wearing pink shoes. If he is doing it for a family member fine, but there is just not a lot of money that goes to research or even community assistance in the wearing of pink shoes. It makes you feel good, and while that is important, I would rather focus my money on things that actually do good.
Breast cancer awareness is important, but I would suggest that it is time to take the next step. We are all aware of breast cancer. If you really want to do something for breast cancer send a check to a worthwhile organization. Make sure that you do your monthly exams, yearly mammograms and make sure that your loved ones do the same. But thinking that by clicking like on a Facebook status to turn Dr Pepper pink for the month you are making a difference, well you aren’t.
Do something that will make a difference, whether it is breast cancer or some other worthwhile cause. Because cancer has never been cured by just wearing pink. (Or whatever other designated color for that particular cancer)