Week 7 Blog Post

I think there are both positive and negative aspects to both ways of approaching charity work and awareness of breast cancer. I believe that for the most part while their methods I may disagree with, the mainstream breast cancer culture does have good intentions at heart. The major names like Susan B Komen and the Avon Foundation are trying to help and support women in the ways they know how. The do a great job of bringing a lot of awareness to breast cancer and promoting getting your mammograms done regularly. I do not think I am in any place to tell a organization of a foundation that the way they are trying to help those in need is not good enough. I think these foundations in many ways started the movement to shed light on a disease that was once taboo because of the sexualization of women’s breast here in the United States. They have done work to normalize it and make it a common topic of discussion. They have also created a culture of sisterhood. Women who were once isolated can now freely share in the experience with other woman who know what they are going through. I believe that being able to talk freely and openly about this horrible disease and the trails that they are going through as a patient is extremely important. Support groups help people cope and work through all the emotions and adversity that they are dealing with when they feel no one else understands. I would recommend support groups to anyone battling disease as a way of better healing. Where mainstream breast cancer culture falls short is when companies just try to cash in on the demographic that they are tailoring their product to. For many American companies this is the white, middle aged, upper middle class woman. Companies love to make these woman  feel better about their purchases by making it more a charitable donation. They play into women’s altruistic tendencies to make the American woman truly feel that by purchasing an item they are helping other women.  This is a very popular marketing strategy. Like we saw in the video, another area where mainstream breast cancer culture falls short is only focusing on finding a cure rather than finding an underlying cause to better prevent breast cancer from happening in the first place. In my opinion this does not happen because we already know the cause but we are not willing to fix it. We are seeing a huge spike in breast cancer and cancer in general because of all the cancer causing products we use that companies that are running these breast cancer marketing campaigns are selling. We do not regulate our beauty products or other feminine hygienic products. I am sure these companies are using what is ever cheapest and yields the best results, unfortunately, many of these products are carcinogenic.  Companies will not change this because ultimately they are only concerned with their bottom line. Another huge contributing factor is global warming, pollution, and green house gasses, these are all changing our health here on Earth but we will not see any change until our government starts taking environmental issues more seriously.

2 thoughts on “Week 7 Blog Post

  1. Hey Bryanna,
    I really liked what you said about companies wanting to make women feel good about their purchases so they sell breast cancer products to boost sales. In this week’s reading From Pink to Green, the point the author makes about this is that we are being tricked into thinking we are helping a good cause when in reality it is just pushing us to ignore the social, cultural, political and economic factors that have caused the disease in the first place (Ley, 2009).
    I would disagree with you surrounding not being able to tell breast cancer foundations they are not doing good enough. These foundations are meant to help people. If they have the opportunity to do help people much greater way than they already are then why wouldn’t we push them to do so? Of course, they are already doing great things but by pushing them to donate to research that links environmental research to breast cancer, they could likely save SO many more lives than they already are. Their purpose is to help find a cure, so why not push that a step further and so much fewer women ever need to get breast cancer in the first place.
    Ley, B. L. (2009). From pink to green: Disease prevention and the environmental breast cancer movement. New Brunswick, N.J: Rutgers University Press.

  2. Hi Bryanna!
    I really liked your post and agree with all you said! I definitely think organizations like the Susan B Komen and Avon Foundation have good intentions, and I think they’re great support systems for survivors and their families, and those impacted by breast cancer. It’s proven that organizations like this give women empowerment and they don’t feel like they’re alone when dealing with breast cancer. They’re giving people encouragement to fight, but not giving them a reason to not have to fight. I think they did a great job of bringing awareness to breast cancer, but I don’t think they’re doing much work towards prevention efforts. They’re bringing awareness to the actual disease, but they’re not bringing awareness to what causes the disease or prevention methods the world as a whole can take to ensure the rates of breast cancer drop. We seen that the prevalence rate went from being 1 in 22 women in the 1940’s, to 1 in 8 women in 2011, so clearly theres something going on in our environment to cause this prevalence jump. I read this article a few years back that says how a lot of feminine menstrual products like pads and tampons actually can cause cancer, because their made with a lot of unnatural products like plastic and have different chemicals in them, especially the scented products. I’m sure they’re cheaper, but they’re definitely not healthier. This is a common issue with a lot of products these days, and I find it kind of contradicting that a society that seems to support women’s health so much since they promote breast cancer awareness on their products, doesn’t change their products to actually prevent huge issues in womens health. We also see that with all of this advocacy, the treatment also isn’t changing. According to Dr. Susan Love, MD, who was a surgeon for twenty years, all twenty years we choose surgery, radiation and chemotherapy for treating breast cancer (NFB 2017), not much has changed, although we are performing these techniques more often than we were twenty years ago, there has to be a better treatment then the “slash and burn” type treatment Dr. Susan Love is describing. I personally think there needs to be more advocacy that focuses on prevention, challenging the society we live in to change their ways.

    Sources:

    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.

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