October 1st marked the beginning of breast cancer awareness month.
Believe it or not, this also marks a very divisive time in the breast cancer community. As a result of all of the pink ribbon campaigns, there’s a real sense that the pinkwashing of an extremely deadly disease undermines the severity of breast cancer.
Metastatic breast cancer always kills.
Further to that, there is always a real question about how the fundraising is applied. Is it going toward research, or are the monies just going back into next year’s marketing campaign?
Another point of contention is that men are often unwelcome in breast cancer support circles. There is a very real perception that breast cancer only affects women, which is definitely untrue. Men affected by breast cancer deserve access to support as much as anyone else.
Highlighting personal stories
The best thing that I can do to support those living with breast cancer is to try and help others see how ruthless and fatal it can be. Since I lack lived experience, I thought it would be more appropriate to compile and share a list of folks who’ve been open about their breast cancer experiences.
Behind all of the cutesy pink ribbon campaigns, there is a very real and very tragic cost to the disease.
Stories worth reading
Here are some people who’ve chosen to share very personal stories about breast cancer. I asked for some Twitter folks to share some blogs for this, and I couldn’t include everyone, but here is a curated selection of stories that I think offer some different perspectives on breast cancer:
Jennifer Douglas goes into detail about scanxiety and her experience receiving 18-month scans.
Debbie Legault offers her perspective as a parent navigating her daughter’s breast cancer diagnosis.
Amy Szerminska details her experience with breast cancer since being diagnosed in the spring of 2022.
Heidi Punke Browne provides a peek into the world of someone living with metastatic breast cancer.
Rachel shares her experience as an Adolescent and Young adult who’s living through triple negative breast cancer.
Oliver Bogler gives his perspective as a male living with breast cancer.
It’s serious stuff
Don’t let the marketing fool you. Breast cancer kills. Think about how the money is being used if you buy something pink this month. Is it just a money grab, capitalizing on the misery of breast cancer patients, or is the money going towards something valuable like research or support programs?
Thanks for reading
I’m not a breast cancer expert, but I’m grateful that people living with the disease have opened up about their stories. It’s my firm believe that personal stories are absolutely critical to ensuring that research continues to support the humans on the other side of the statistics.
Hopefully this provides some new perspectives!
Thanks for reading.