WP 7: Pros and Cons of Mainstream Breast Cancer Culture- Taylor Dabish

The mainstream breast cancer culture definitely has its strengths and weaknesses. Although in my opinion, the strengths outweigh the weaknesses. The mainstream breast cancer culture has done a great job bringing attention to the cause. It has also helped to raise large sums of money in which is used for research. The breast cancer organizations that I have come across also do a great job bringing people together. Although I believe finding a cure is important, I think it is just as important for people with breast cancer to form support groups and become a part of something together. Breast cancer organizations allow them to do just that. The people it brings together are all fighting towards the same cause, a cure for breast cancer. But, some argue that a cure shouldn’t be our main concern and that the main concern should rather be focused on prevention.

In film 7.1, it states that only 3-5 percent of money that is being raised is going towards prevention research (Film 7.1). This is where the mainstream breast cancer weakness comes to play. Charities seem to be turning into corporations. The money that is being raised is also beginning to be questioned. Why is that more of the money being raised is going towards salary than research? The answer is quite simple. We have lost our initial goal of prevention. There is so much money in this billion-dollar industry that businesses do not want to give it up. If we were to find the cure and prevention answers than the businesses would be out of business. For example, Estee Lauder is promoting the pink ribbon while showing interest in breast cancer but at the same time is creating customers through their cancer causing products. This example of hypocrisy goes to show that money is the ultimate goal, not a cure.

Many environmental breast cancer activists complain that mainstream breast cancer organizations evoke the pink ribbon to promote advocacy focusing on early detection and treatment rather than activism pushing for disease prevention, especially with regard to potential environmental causes (PDF 7.1). Many products include less than 12 percent of their chemicals being checked for cancer. To me, this is truly concerning. All chemicals in all products should be tested. If we used the money that was being raised to find out what chemicals are causing cancer we could begin to prevent it. Once we find the cause I believe we will be able to find a cure. I do think that environmental breast cancer activist have a good point in regards to prevention and the need to bring awareness to potential environmental causes.

Overall, eco-feminists must come together with the mainstream breast cancer culture to find not only a cause, but environmental prevention too. It is important to market and fund research, but I believe that the funds could be going to research aimed at finding out what environmental factors are causing breast cancer so that they can be prevented. Both, the mainstream breast cancer culture and eco-feminists, have one thing in common, breast cancer. By working together and using their common denominator the fight towards prevention and a cure would be much more productive and affective.

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