Army of Women, Breast Cancer Action, Breast Cancer Fund, Breast cancer research, Chingonas, Dr. Susan Love, Health, HOW Study, October Breast Cancer Awareness, Un-Pink

How To Go Beyond Pink

I view Breast Cancer awareness from a UN-PINK perspective.This post may irritate a few people, but I’m going to go all chingona on this issue, which is near and dear to my own breasts.
from my collection-by Yrenia Ortiz

Last week I shared with you why I couldn’t look at Pepto-Bismol bottles without cringing. This is not from an ungratefulness for the work of Susan B. Komen of any of the several BC awareness campaigns. 

Fifteen years ago that’s what we needed. It got us from unawareness to marketing of the PINK.

The majority of the funding goes to science aimed at treating the disease once a woman has it rather than finding ways to keep her from getting it in the first place.  Article.

Undoubtedly, awareness campaigns and subsequent dollars for making chemo medicines saved thousands of lives, mine included. But what about now, in 2012? How do we go beyond PINK?

How do we change this statistic*?: 

In the 1970’s, lifetime risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer in the US was…1 in 10In the 2000’s the lifetime risk is 1 in 8. 

Maybe we can put aside the PINK for just a few minutes and go all out chingona for: 

Breast Cancer Action

1. WHY: isn’t donating money enough?  Did you know that breast cancer could be caused by a virus? Yes, read about it. We need research to find the cause, thus the cure. The organization “Think Before You Pink” wants you to be informed on where your donations go and how much.

 2. HOW: The majority of women who get breast cancer have none of the known clinical risk factors. This means we don’t know what causes breast cancer or how to prevent it. The Health of Women ( HOW) is a first-of-its-kind international online study for women and men with and without a history of breast cancer.

3. WHAT: can I do?  Partner with research scientists to move breast cancer beyond a cure. Army of Women is doing just that. I joined 2 years ago-it’s totally volunteer. It takes very little time, as few as three hours a year to a couple of hours a month. If someone needs low cost/free services direct them here.

4. WHERE: can my donations/actions make a significant difference? Donate for research for a CURE. Add your name, for stronger regulation and independent research, to this petition. 

5. WHEN:  can you  advocate for a cure? Any day of any month, not only in October. You don’t have to walk 60 miles in a sponsored event (but you can if you want-my sister, the exercise chingona, did). Encourage others to advocate and get educated. Show action by:

  • Participate in a study, 
  • sign a petition, 
  • shop for products where the majority of the money goes to research, 
  • educate yourself on high risk factors, 
  • get at least 30 minutes a day of moderate exercise, 
  • find out what chemicals are in your food/cosmetics/home 
Please understand that this post is my way of letting out my feelings about my own breast cancer journey, one that almost 7 years later, I am still on. (don’t get me wrong, I’m glad to still be around to walk the journey). But, it’s one that I’m reminded of every time I take my tiny white anti-estrogen pill. 

I want to grow older with my siblings and my loved ones. I want to see my kids get married, have grandchildren. Too many people are getting this disease, people who didn’t have ‘high risk’ factors, women as young as 28, friends, acquaintances...women are still dying. 

Be that person who takes action. Go all out chingona on this issue.

*National Cancer Institute