Monday, October 8, 2012

The Pink Haze - Awareness Is Cheap, Action is Priceless

As most of you probably already know, October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

It seems almost impossible to NOT know.  The stores are full of pink ribbons, pink products, and pink commercials. The lovely pink hue permeates just about everything, from retail, to media, to bumpers stickers, to T-Shirts, to bracelets.  There is even controversy as people don slogans and sayings to work and school, supporting breast cancer "awareness",  arguing a right to free speech when questioned about them. We walk charity walks, stuff donation jars, and get in the pink spirit. We eat, sleep and breath pink. Pink is a part of our landscape - and we are becoming immune to it.

We are in a PINK HAZE - all for awareness.

But what about ACTION?

Awareness is a good thing. But it means nothing without action.

Women AND men are still dying of breast cancer.  Yes... that's right... men can be diagnosed with breast cancer too. According to BreastCancer.Org, (visit link for more statistics)

  • 1 in 8 women are affected by breast cancer. 
  • Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women (aside from skin cancer).
  • In 2011 there were more that 2.5 million survivors of breast cancer, but over 39,000 didn't survive. 
  • Approximately 2,150 cases of breast cancer were diagnosed in men.
The point is, knowing about this doesn't change it. Doing something about it does. ACTION is what can change how this bastard of a disease affects women and men.

What are some of the action steps you can take?  I am so glad you asked...
  • Get mammograms and other screenings, do self checks, and have clinical exams.
  • Support funding for research - know where your donation dollars are going.
  • Know that breast cancer is not always a lump and know other signs to look for- it can save lives. KNOW THAT THERE ARE OTHER SIGNS BESIDES THE LUMP THAT WE'VE BEEN TRAINED TO LOOK FOR AND LOOK FOR THEM. You are your own best advocate and  know what is normal for you. (See the SISTER CHECK)
  • Learn about IBC (inflammatory breast cancer.)
  • Talk to your doctor if you feel OR see any changes in your breasts.
  • Don't be embarrassed to tell your significant other if you see a change in your breast OR theirs. Sometimes a second set of eyes of someone who knows us intimately can be the difference between early and later detection.  Cancer is not a solitary disease. 
  • Support groups that make advances in the quality of treatment, the effectiveness of medications, the care of patients, and the support of families with loved ones in the battle is imperative to kicking the breast cancer monster's ass. 
Simple awareness is not enough.  In fact, too much awareness and not enough action becomes a problem in itself.  It turns to a fad, a marketing tool, or even apathy. When we wear the pink shades, it just becomes part of our everyday view and doesn't stand out anymore.  By being saturated with awareness, you could even say that we become less aware. 

Take off your pink awareness sunglasses and put on your hot pink ACTION safety goggles.  It takes work and strength. But with active steps, advancement in the diagnosis, quality of life, treatment and cure for breast cancer can be made. Awareness of an issue is not the same as action on it.

Awareness is cheap. Action is priceless.

Have you checked your breasts recently?

For related posts please visit:
My Sister's Cancer
Breast Cancer Hop: My Sister's Story
The Reality Of Pink


  1. Awesome! And AZ Mom of Many Hats, I know that you know that 30% of women that catch it in the early, curable stages, will go on to have stage 4 disease...there is no safe cancer.

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