Don’t be fooled by pink

October is known as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and there are many events all over the world conducted by groups ranging from breast cancer advocacy organizations to local community organizations to major retailers. According to Wikipedia, the purpose of Breast Cancer Awareness Month is to increase awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure. So, let’s take a look at the 2022 statistics in the United States (from Breast Cancer. Org): 

  • it’s estimated that 43,780 people — 43,250 women and 530 men — are going to die from breast cancer.  
  • According to the CDC, about 9% of all new cases of breast cancer in the U.S. are found in women younger than 45.  
  • About 13% (about 1 in 8) of U.S. women are going to develop invasive breast cancer in the course of their life.  
  • Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related death in women in the United States, second only to lung cancer. 

 Moreover, the cancer is the second leading cause of female death in the United States. Then, take a look at CDC’s Breast Cancer statistics.  

Despite more than billion dollars for cancer research are raised through this movement,  as you can see from the CDC statistics, the number of breast cancer patients is increasing. Where is the education for prevention? Smoking, drinking, overweight, and genes are the only cause of the cancer? This overlooks a wide range of factors.

You all already know why you get cancer, don’t you? It is because we consume and absorb carcinogenic substances every hour of every day. There are countless items that contain carcinogens. Food additives, processed foods, shampoos, soaps, detergents, air fresheners, herbicides, perfumes, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, shopping receipts, clothing, plastics, fast food wrappers, genetically modified foods, etc.  The emphasis on treatment is solely on surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. There is no campaign during Breast Cancer Awareness Month to inform the public eliminating and/or reducing carcinogenic substances from the market. On the contrary, companies that use or manufacture carcinogens are taking advantage of the Pink Ribbon’s visibility, like pink M&M, Pink KFC, a pesticide covered golf tournament, test-driving a polluting car, etc. Don’t let corporations exploit your good intentions by positioning themselves as leaders against breast cancer while engaging in practices that may be contributing to rising rates of the disease. This is called “pinkwashing” and is used against companies and organizations that claim to care about breast cancer by promoting pink ribbon products while simultaneously producing, manufacturing, and selling products containing chemicals associated with the disease. 

This breast cancer awareness campaign began in 1985 as a partnership between the pharmaceutical division of Imperial Chemical Industries (the company that developed the anti-cancer drug tamoxifen, later AstraZeneca) and the American Cancer Society.  Imperial Chemical Industries is one of the world’s leading chemical groups, headquartered in Manchester Square, London, England. It manufactures and markets a wide range of product lines from paints to food, polymers, electronic components, and functional products such as flavors and fragrances and food additives. In other words, a company that produces large quantities of cancer-causing carcinogens has taken on the position of a front-runner of breast cancer fighter and organized such a movement. So, it’s foundation is “pinkwashing”.

Also taking advantage of this is Estee Lauder, a cosmetics manufacturer that uses carcinogens.  Originally, a 68-year-old activist named Charlotte Haley handed out peach-colored ribbons in the early 90s to raise awareness about the lack of federal funding for breast cancer prevention. Evelyn Lauder, then vice president of Estee Lauder, asked Haley to let her use the peach ribbon in a campaign for Self magazine, but Haley declined. This is because Haley did not want her message to be watered down or commercialized. So, Evelyn changed the color from peach to pink, and Evelyn Lauder and Self magazine introduced the pink ribbon as the official symbol for breast cancer awareness during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in 1992. Evelyn was also a member of the Board of Directors of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center at the time. Ultimately, the movement was so successful that it led to the establishment of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The foundation has reportedly raised $569.4 million to date. However, as I mentioned at the beginning of this article, the number of breast cancer patients has not decreased at all. 

In short, the more one looks into this Breast Cancer Awareness Month and/or movement, the more one realizes that it was launched and continues to be launched out of a desire to cover up the responsibility of those who produce and sell toxic substances and those in mainstream medicine who profit from cancer business using mammograms and conventional treatment.  

So, wise readers, please be careful not to be misled by campaigns and pink products. If you would like to donate to cancer prevention research and its patients, I recommend the following sites.


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