Breast cancer is a disease completely targeting women. It is an epidemic with one risk factor – being a woman (NFB, 2017). I think it is important to remember that the population it is affecting is women between the ages of 40 and 70. Which I must point out that it affects many mothers. It is leaving husbands without their wives and children without their mom. I think that is a beautiful motivator to the world and has carried on into a movement.
Connect, communicate, conquer – the movement has many slogans to inspire and empower. The power of the pink has swept the nation. It is now completely socially acceptable to discuss this topic at length. A big strength in the breast cancer culture is how it is viewed and perceived by the world. Which is strongly correlated to the eco-feminist view of strength and power. It is seen as strong cause with many supporters; it is seemingly very common (Ley, 2009). For example, NFL Football players support the cause for an entire month of October by wearing pink accented gear. Not just them – many other sports professional and immature. Most importantly, it is perceived as a sisterhood or cult, it has great support groups. It has created phenomenal awareness.
Prostate cancer is very common but doesn’t have the awareness that breast cancer does. It is often not talked about because the men are embarrassed to be discussing their prostate. They think it makes them less of a man or unable to do their job as men. Women have completely overcome the stigma that followed their disease through awareness. But prostate cancer actually has better outcomes. The pink ribbon won’t stop the disease.
However, like everything it has its weak side. Breast cancer is used as a marketing technique. It is used to manipulate the buyer’s market (Ley, 2009). Everything is sold in pink which sways a lot of buyers to pay a little bit more to go to a great cause because everyone knows someone affected by breast cancer. However, as they claimed in the documentary it is used as a poster child, no other disease is exploited as much as breast cancer is (NFB, 2017).
Some physicians still do not believe they are stopping the disease or making enough progress. If anything there are just more cases providing more information to use to better the next case. But like said in the documentary, awareness is great and all but awareness will not make the change it needs. Lighting up the Niagara Falls in pink is great for awareness but what is that actually doing to stop or cure the disease (NFB, 2017)?
Many people believe if they get mammograms they won’t get breast cancer. The key is early detection is your best chances of survival but the culture of awareness has changed the public’s mind to think they are immune. It is still causing pain, but people don’t see this pain because these women are forced to be strong even when they don’t want to be because the movement is all about strength and support. The focus should be a cure (NFB, 2017).
NFB (2017). Pink Ribbons Inc. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5vqdad
Ley, B. L. (2009). From pink to green: Disease prevention and the environmental breast cancer movement. New Brunswick, N.J: Rutgers University Press.