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real breast cancer awareness

The Week in Boob News: Real Breast Cancer Awareness Edition

  |   By Elisabeth Dale

Many readers know how I feel about Breast Cancer Awareness Month and why I don’t support pink ribbon wrapped causes.

And I’m not alone in my criticism of “breast cancer industry month.” This week I’m sharing some of the best articles on the subject. I call it “real breast cancer awareness” because these pieces don’t subscribe to the rosy view of Pinktober. They tell a more realistic story than what you might see or read this month.

If you want to make a difference when it comes to breast cancer, take the time to read a few of these compelling pieces, or watch the videos. It may help you make better-informed decisions about where to spend your time, energy, and charitable donations.

Please let me know what you think of these real breast cancer awareness stories in the comments below.

real breast cancer awareness

Image via Graceless and Brandie Sellers

Not for Sale — A Case Against Pinktober. This essay is a year old but so compelling that it was reposted hundreds of times across social media this week. It’s written from the perspective of a breast cancer patient who used to support pink walks and causes but no longer does.

real breast cancer awareness

What You Should — and Shouldn’t Say — To A Breast Cancer Patient.  Another reprint, this piece points out the ridiculous but well-meaning comments made to breast cancer patients. It’s written by Diane Mapes, a smart and entertaining writer. You may also want to read this guest post on how breast cancer reconstruction is no “boob job.”

real breast cancer awareness

Photograph: Andy Katz/Demotix/Corbis via The Guardian

How should we address breast cancer when norms continually change?  If you’re not familiar with Gayle Sulik, you should be. Her book, Pink Ribbon Blues: How Breast Cancer Culture Undermines Women’s Health, is a great read. She’s also part of Breast Cancer Consortium, an international group working to change the current paradigm around breast cancer. Her article in The Guardian takes a look at how the medical community’s theories about breast cancer have evolved over the last three decades—and what that means for today’s patients.

The Underbelly — Changing Breast Cancer Narratives.  This month marks the launch of a brand new online magazine about breast cancer, The Underbelly. Started up by three friends, their goal is to present a different perspective on the subject. The above video tells their story and the reasons why they are working to debunk the current cancer narrative. Check out their IndieGoGo campaign here.

real breast cancer awareness

How About a “What Cancer Does to Breasts Day?” The blogger, Cancer Curmudgeon, shares her honest thoughts on this week’s #NoBraDay. It should come as no surprise that the campaign does nothing to educate others or raise funds to help prevent or treat breast cancer.

Where is the cure for breast cancer I was pleasantly surprised to see a major fashion and beauty website, Refinery29, take on the pretty in pink and “for the cure” taglines. This piece includes statistics that measure the progress made in the fight against breast cancer.

What’s great is their call to action and their coverage of this week’s StageIV Stampede on Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day (ironically falling on #NoBraDay). This short video also challenges many common beliefs about October’s pink ribbon.

What do you think? Did you learn anything new from any of these posts or videos? 

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