We began our 31 Days Towards Breast Cancer Prevention campaign talking about the need to change the conversation during Breast Cancer Awareness Month from awareness towards action for breast cancer prevention. Why? We are all aware of breast cancer, know far too many women and men affected by the disease and spend the month of October in near
celebration of a devastating disease. Despite these awareness activities we still see rates of the disease that have doubled
over the past 40 years, and we still see women, men and their families devastated by a diagnosis. We also know that sadly, this disease is still too often deadly. We need to change the conversation about breast cancer from awareness, towards prevention – to save lives, protect the health and well-being of women and end this epidemic.
This October, we’ve seen the displays – piles of cupcakes emblazoned with the pink ribbon, a giant pink ribbon positioned in front of
store fronts, newspapers turned pink in “support”. However, where do these awareness “festivities” land us? We hear stories of women who feel haunted by their breast cancer diagnosis during October as they walk by product after product bearing the disease mascot.
They feel confused about why it is suggested that they celebrate a disease that leaves them in vulnerable health wondering if the other shoe is going to drop and when they will once again be faced with a repeat
performance. Personally, I’ve met too many women who have faced the disease who are left wondering if or when a tumor
will reappear, if their metastatic breast cancer will spread and/or if they will continue to be able to endure their caustic treatments.
The movement is overdue for a message change. Over the course of the month, we’ve discussed pink ribbon marketing, toxic products, the results of traditional breast cancer messages and actions to take towards health. All of this leads to the same vital message – we need to PREVENT this disease. We need to cut the rate of the disease back in half to start – and then keep on going! With only 5-10% of diagnoses linked with a family history and another 20% to various lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise and smoking, we can make a major improvement in health by tackling the difficult question – What is CAUSING breast cancer and how do we remove those elements.
I hope that you’ve learned about prevention and ways at home and in the public realm to take action for change. Hopefully, you have shared this information with loved ones, considered support for our work or otherwise found hope in our campaign. We believe that together, we CAN take action towards prevention and that we WILL see a future without needless breast cancer diagnoses.
The month of October is coming to a close but, our work continues on. We appreciate that you are with us, contributing to our efforts of action towards prevention and look forward to our continued conversation.
Solidarity in Action and Wellness,