What Breast Cancer Is and Is Not

Susan G. Komen Run for the Cure doesn’t have much of a direct presence on this side of the border, so I could watch the recent public relations train wreck here with a sort of Olympian dispassion and, I have to admit, grim satisfaction. Frankly I’ve never been a fan of  Komen’s “pinkwashing” everything related to breast cancer, which seemed to both infantilize breast cancer sufferers and trivialize the larger social and health care issues related to the disease. Breast cancer sufferers need dignity and real research, I think, not pink ribbons used as a marketing tool for corporations. My mother died of breast cancer, you see, and my mother-in-law had a lumpectomy and radiation therapy six years ago, so I tend to wear these things on my sleeve.

So this video, which is making the rounds on the Interwebs, provides an antidote to all of Komen’s nonsense, and spells out as much dignity and courage as one could want in a YouTube video. Warning: delicate flowers easily offended by surgical scars may want to leave the room, or at least avert their eyes.



UPDATE: Minor editing/typo fixes. The first post by Android phone clearly leaves much to be desired, but as Samuel Johnson says, “It is not done wellbut you are surprised to find it done at all.”  Note to self: grow opposable thumbs. TE.


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  1. #1 by Anonymous on Sunday 05 February 2012 - 1044

    That is ONE courageous woman… WOW!

  2. #2 by Jenn Jilks on Sunday 05 February 2012 - 1109

    I’m with you. The Pink Washing is crazy. And yes, I watched this Twitter campaign, as well. Crazy.
    I’ve written about this a lot. Have you read Pink Ribbons, Inc? The movie comes out soon, too.

  3. #3 by Jenn Jilks on Sunday 05 February 2012 - 1111

    The twitter feeds were crazy, too!

  4. #4 by thibeaultda on Sunday 05 February 2012 - 1115

    Thank you for posting this.

  5. #5 by The Nerdy Nurse on Sunday 05 February 2012 - 1327

    What a brave woman.

    It is terrible how politics get in the way of doing good.

    Susan G Koman seems much more about branding than about cancer.

  6. #6 by midwest woman on Monday 06 February 2012 - 0926

    Keeping 75% of revenue generated, suing little grassroots charities for using “for the cure”, paying $500,000 to the top executive and the final straw, attempting to cut the $700,000 it donated to PP so it could offer free mammograms to low income women for purely political reasons…..this charity has grown too powerful and lost it’s original vision. Sorry I can’t link…sm typing this on my nook. Source on info on Huffpo.

  7. #7 by midwest woman on Monday 06 February 2012 - 0928

    Sorry correction…MSNBC.

  8. #8 by CC on Saturday 11 February 2012 - 2135

    I was upset to hear about SGK suing small money fundraisers for using the colour pink and using the phrase “for the cure” for their own cancer causes. *That’s* donation money well spent. :(

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