Ah, October. A month for trick or treating, crisp fall weather, carving pumpkins, apple cider, and pink. Yes, October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and of all the months dedicated to a disease this one is the most prominent every year. You couldn’t forget this one even if you tried, with all the pink-clad fundraisers and the wide array of pink products that hit the shelves this time of year.
I always thought the idea of having an “awareness month” for a disease such as breast cancer was a little weird. I’m fairly certain that we’ve all heard of breast cancer, so making us “aware” of the disease seems a bit redundant. Of course the month is really much less about actual awareness and more about fundraising, and therein lies the issue I take with this month.
If you look at the participating products in the “save lids to save lives” list  you’ll notice that they’re not the most healthy products. Actually, they are downright unhealthy. Yoplait yogurt, Totino’s pizza rolls, Pillsbury cookies and cinnamon rolls, gummy snacks and cereal are just a few to grace the list… but this begs an important question: What’s the point of raising awareness and money for cancer when the very products you buy to support the cause will (probably) give you the disease?? Clearly the people who approved these foods either don’t understand human health or are more concerned with lining their pocketbooks than anything else. Call me a cynic, but I think the pink thing is yet another marketing ploy to encourage people to buy these unhealthy products. If you want to give money to cancer research go right ahead, but do yourself a favor and just write Susan Koman a check instead of buying this crap.
Furthermore, why are we raising money for a cure and not talking about prevention? I would be much more on-board with this whole “disease month” thing if they were about prevention. So instead of buying those cinnamon rolls and raising what is likely pennies for research to find a cure, go for a run and make sure you never need a cure.
When I get into practice (soon!) I plan on doing workshops and programs geared toward breast cancer prevention during the month of October, so stay tuned next year. Let’s stop thinking in their box (big pharma and it’s box of drugs) and create a new one, shall we?
Inspired by the need for change,