Blog week 7 – Breast Cancer Culture- Michael Cooper

Breast cancer is no laughing matter. It affects millions each year, world wide and claims many lives. Most people associate breast cancer with women, and rightfully so “besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women. In 2015, it’s estimated that just under 30% of newly diagnosed cancers in women will be breast cancers(U.S. Breast Cancer Statistics. 2015). However men are also susceptible to breast cancer; though it is very rare. According to brestcancer.org “about 2,350 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in men in 2015. A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000(U.S. Breast Cancer Statistics. 2015). Breast cancer is also not a disease that is gender specific. It also affects different race/ethnic groups in different ways. In fact, “White women are slightly more likely to develop breast cancer than African-American women. However, in women under 45, breast cancer is more common in African-American women than white women. Overall, African-American women are more likely to die of breast cancer. The risk of developing and dying from breast cancer is lower in Asian, Hispanic, and Native-American women(U.S. Breast Cancer Statistics. 2015).Breast cancer is a very popular topic in the media. Popular magazines such as Marie Claire are even publishing articles regarding the profits behind breast cancer. In one article entitled “The Big Business of Breast Cancer” headlined its page with the question,”some $6 billion a year is committed to breast cancer research and awareness campaigns. Is it any wonder that the disease has become a gold mine for pink profiteers and old-fashioned hucksters?”(Goldman, Lea. 2011). This is a very true statement, and is not a highly publicized issue compared to the to the fact breast cancer itself is a highly televised issue. Could people really be taking advantage of such a serious issue, or should it not be considered being taken advantage at all? Nevertheless the important issue at had is finding research in breast cancer awareness so that we may one day find a cure to this issue. Little do people know “about 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. These occur due to genetic mutations that happen as a result of the aging process and life in general, rather than inherited mutations”(U.S. Breast Cancer Statistics. 2015). In the article from Barbara Ley entitled “From Pink to Green”, she expressed how ecofeminism ties into the powerful environment and breast cancer. Many people do not even understand the concept of ecofeminism, “Ecofeminism is an activist and academic movement that sees critical connections between the domination of nature and the exploitation of women…. Ecofeminist activism grew during the 1980s and 1990s among women from the anti-nuclear, environmental, and lesbian-feminist movements”(Women and Life on Earth. 2015). Barbara Ley points to the fact that activists point to the tens of thousands of chemical pollutants in our environment that often affects women’s health(Ley), but compared to “mainstream breast cancer culture” this is little talk of such environmental disadvantages. Why isn’t more awareness brought to environmental causes of breast cancer, whereas the imagine of breast cancer is highly publicized and used for monetary advances. These questions should discuss and thought about in our society.

Work Cited:

U.S. Breast Cancer Statistics. (2015). Retrieved August 18, 2015, from http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/understand_bc/statistics

Goldman, Lea. (2011) “The Big Business of Breast Cancer.” Marie Claire 14 Sept. 2011. http://www.marieclaire.com/politics/news/a6506/breast-cancer-business-scams/

“Women and Life on Earth.” Women and Life on Earth: What Is Ecofeminism? Web. 18 Aug. 2015. . Lois Ann Lorentzen, University of San Francisco, and Heather Eaton, Saint Paul University (2002)

Ley, B. (n.d.). From Pink to Green. Retrieved August 18, 2015, from http://anthropology.msu.edu/anp270-us15/files/2015/05/7.1-Ley.pdf

One thought on “Blog week 7 – Breast Cancer Culture- Michael Cooper

  1. Great points about the risk men also have to breast cancer. I had made a point in my post about the pink ribbon being solely directed towards women, but men can get breast cancer too. The pink ribbon can become an empty symbol because is promotes frilly and feminizes women. I found it interesting in the Marie Claire article you found that $6 billion a year is committed to research and awareness and that they pointed out people may be pink profiteers. In Ley’s article she discussed Barbara Ehrenreich’s take on corporate sponsorship bringing up the idea that we don’t even know how much money goes to the breast cancer research. It could be all a game for the business to make a profit. I also agree with your ending points of why awareness is not brought up to environmental issues causing breast cancer. The money raised is so involved in finding a cure, it seems like prevention was looked over.

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