Thursday, October 1, 2015

It Is More Than Pink and Teal

It is about research.

In October, I see posts online from women diagnosed with ovarian cancer and other gynecologic cancers complaining and peeved about being surrounded by pink ribbons - on TV , in stores, on shirts, etc. Even women who have breast cancer write about how they see pink ribbons on items that appear to just be a way to sell products. They note that the  percentage of money earned from these products actually going to an organization is small.There are other complaints about a large breast cancer non-profit and how so much of the money raised doesn't go to research. Women with metastatic breast cancer are asking to be "seen and heard".  They want a greater amount of funds used for metastatic breast cancer research. I can understand why each person complaining or asking for recognition of ovarian cancer feels the way they do.  And believe me I have my share of teal shirts , earrings, etc and a few pink things too.  In October 2011, I even wrote a post about the "pinking" of the NFL.

My friend Christina and co-moderator of the #gyncsm chat said this on twitter.


So true. But what should that action be?

My life has been impacted by cancer in many ways in addition to my ovarian cancer diagnosis. My sister at the age of 42 was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy and chemotherapy. She had a bone marrow transplant when her cancer metastasized. She passed away five years later. It has been twenty years since her passing.  And metastatic breast cancer continues to kill women - as does ovarian cancer in the ten years since my diagnosis.

Why is that? Cancer is a very complex disease. After attending medical conferences and listening to researchers I know that.  But how does spending money on items that are pink or teal for that matter make a difference?So the next time you make a donation to an organization or buy a product check out how much of the dollars raised actually goes to research.

Let's spend money on research. Because  the only way we will be able to understand cancer - breast, ovarian, kidney, lung, pancreatic   is through research.

What will you do to support cancer research?

Every Day is a Blessing!


Karen Herrmann said...

As someone who has had breast cancer (2004) and ovarian cancer (2010-current)I don't really have an issue with a month being designated, but you make a great point about what are you really paying for when buying a commercial product and where does that money really go. Obviously you are buying a t-shirt(or chips or mousepad, etc)really only a very small percentage is going to anything else. The company that promotes get a lot more sales from it though, even if they are donating only a small amount. People who want to support research - which is what is really needed - should just directly support the organization. I think that awareness is raised and donations go to a good cause when we support various walks, runs, etc...and that really is about recognizing survivors and those going through treatment at the time as well as those who have lost someone. I personally support several of those throughout the year.
I don't always comment, but I do read your updates and often share the information with someone. Thanks-

Dee said...

Thanks for commenting Karen. I agree with what you wrote. I support research at my cancer center directly or I support events by non-profits I know support research. Most of those non-profits are local and have volunteers who run the non-profit.