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.
fall musings... gyn cancers struggling for basic awareness, breast cancer struggling to move from awareness to action. #gyncsm #bcsm— Christina Lizaso (@btrfly12) October 10, 2015
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!