Every October, the autumn leaves turn golden, the sycamores lose their leaves, and the color PINK is everywhere.
After 30 years of breast cancer “awareness,” have we found a cure? No.
What we have found are three thousand more PINK products, many of which contain carcinogens found to negatively influence cancer.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for surviving breast cancer. I’m indebted to those who have contributed time and money to BC research. I proudly wore “pink” for the first two years, like some lucky talisman to help me in my travels down the pit of despair.
What gets to me is the commercialization and big corporations making a buck or ten off pink buckets of chicken, yogurt, and toilet paper.
And it sure as hell doesn’t impress me when the NFL cheerleaders dress in pink shorts and rattle pink pom-poms. (According to Business Insider, only 8% of the money from NFL pink merchandise goes to the American Cancer Society).
Now look at this 2015 news:
Recently, some of our members living with breast cancer asked us to look into the cosmetics used in a program for cancer patients called Look Good, Feel Better®.
Look Good, Feel Better is run by the Personal Care Products Council, the largest national trade group for the cosmetics industry, and the American Cancer Society, the nation’s largest cancer charity. They hold free workshops that give beauty tips and complimentary makeup kits to women in cancer treatment—support that some women understandably value while facing a cancer diagnosis.
The downside? Many of the products offered to women in Look Good, Feel Better kits contain chemicals linked to increased cancer risk, including parabens, Teflon, and formaldehyde releasers.
As if that’s not bad enough, some of the chemicals in Look Good, Feel Better products may actually interfere with breast cancer treatment. For example, methylparaben has been found to both increase breast cancer risk by mimicking the hormone estrogen and interfere with the common cancer drug Tamoxifen.
Since my diagnosis, I’ve tried really hard to keep free of toxins in my food, hygiene, and cleaning products. Shouldn’t a corporation seeking to help survivors do the same?
Where does it go? Some of it goes to the American Cancer Society or other breast cancer organizations. These corporations make big money off pink products. Like the donations from the NFL, these organizations may receive less than 10% of your purchase.
According to Charity Navigator,
…only 71.2 percent of money the ACS receives goes towards its programs. Last time I checked, the program expenses number now sits at 60.6 percent.
Compare this to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation which, according to Charity Navigator, spends 91.9 percent of its funds towards program expenses and its services.
Corporations that want to help can give money to research and provide services for underserved communities and community health clinics.
Charity Navigator gives this advice:
So, how do you evaluate which cause-related marketing efforts are worth purchasing? Start by asking these questions: click this link.
If you’d like to help fund research, look for those organizations with a mission to do research or focus on the root causes of the disease, like Dr. Susan Love’s Research Foundation or Breast Cancer Action.
While you’re at it, sign a petition or two to encourage legislation that will help those with breast cancer, and please use as few toxic chemicals as possible.
So now that I’m done, for the year, with this issue, I’d like to thank my friends and relatives who were there for me when I had breast cancer:
A listening ear, a hug, ice cream, a book, a joke, a phone call, and a pretty card meant the world to me and kept me going. I’ll never forget your kindness.