Breast Cancer: The dreaded Pink Ribbon October

You may have already seen pink ribbon events planned for October. For a number of women with breast cancer, these events are opportunities for boycotts.
Boycotts? Why in the world? One major worry arises with many charity campaigns: Where is the money really going? But there is also here another concern: a disproportionate amount of the money that is actually spent on the disease goes to awareness, not research for a cure. Treatment for breast cancer is too often brutal and primitive, with about 150,000 women (USA) with the deadly metastatic form, 40,000 of whom will die in 2011. The treatment is slash, burn and poison, and even when that seems to work, the cancer can return 20 or so years later to catch you again, too often at a later and more deadly stage.

Some quotes from a large cancer discussion board:

I got my regular flier from the HEB grocery store today. HEB is a large chain in Texas. The foldover had their bid for your pink money. All coupons will be printed in pink. If you buy two boxes of cookie mix they’ll give you a free reusable grocery bag adorned in pink ribbons…..OR……OR……you can give them $19.97 for a pink fold out chair that says “Fight like a girl” on the back……..or…..or….. you can pay $6 each for some a coffee cup or tumbler with pink ribbons all over it. AAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII. So glad I wasn’t in the store, I hurt to much to shop right now. So I hit their web page and here’s what I told the customer relation form:

Today I received in the mail your regular flier. To my dismay I noted your Pink notice encouraging us to join the fight against Breast Cancer. No where on that flier did it indicate how you support or fund research into curing Breast Cancer. It certainly encourages me to spend money at your store.

I am currently diagnosed with Stage IV Breast Cancer and my awareness has been raised as never before. Are you aware that even Susan B Komen contributes only 19% of their funding to research while spending nearly 40% “awareness” This month myself and many other Stage IV ladies who know we will die of complications from this disease are sick of PINK.  [Stage IV is metastatic; 5-year survival rate is 15%.]

We are asking corporations to stop co-opting this deadly issue to obtain revenue from their customers while doing very little to nothing to fund the research that actually could fight this disease.

Tomorrow I am interviewing with the Austin American Statesman on this issue and I intend to use your ad to point out the frustration we cancer “survivalists” have with the nauseating PINK campaigns throughout the month of October.

Where is your funding going for Breast Cancer????? Is it really helping????

You can do better! You know you can!


I got my anti hormonal pill bottle from the pharmacy with a pink lid. The others are white. I think it’s supposed to make me aware of my BC.

[Explanation:  the anti-hormone routine is the mildest of the “poison” part.  A standard one’s side effects include hot flashes, blood clots, strokes and uterine cancer.  A new one is better, but in addition to hot flashes, it can cause chronic joint pain and osteoporosis.  Both types can cause hair thinning.  Each is taken once a day for five years.]


I had to stop and chime in as i too dread Pink month..My 1st dx [diagnosis] was in Oct. of 2002 i recall scheduling surgery while this nice well meanin receptionist decided to load me down with all this FREE pink ribbon crap Pens pins etc…I bein naive actually asked whats all the pink ribbons for she said oh sweety its for breast cancer awareness month..My sister was quite horrified as i nicely pushed all this crap back from me and stated breast cancer awareness can kiss my a** as im very aware at this moment.. Thank you very much…since that very day i dread October comin as i know the ribbons will be back everywhere and over the years since i onced looked onto some of it but it seemed most went to pink ribbons or simply people couldnt tell me where it truly went…


I have a relatively popular blog.  In fact, last time I called a company on their pinkwashing, they had to shut down.

I put right in the media section that I don’t support any awareness activities, only research.

Yet, I am being inundated with requests to promote pink products.  Somebody has a butter bell, somebody has a piece of jewely they designed, somebody else has pink Brillo pads.

I’m going to creating a big wall of shame.

I write them all back, saying that it’s disgusting that they are trying to profit off the backs of suffering women and donate money to groups that don’t help with anything that helps the only folks who die of breast cancer – us.

And, that I will certainly mention their product on my blog – in my Hall of Shame. 

That scares some people.  Wait until that blog post comes out.

This is an important topic.  Opposing views are welcome.