Once again it is October and that means it is Breast Cancer Awareness month.
Despite the body part focus, cancer is cancer, no matter where it occurs in or on the body. Which means that no matter the source, no matter the charity, it’s all the same battle against the same enemy. Yet the other day I saw an organized effort that seemed to be dissing the focus on the association of the color pink and breast cancer.
What I see is that the color pink is not a celebratory stand but rather a logo, an emblem that draws attention and creates an emotional anchor in people to see, take note, and remember that cancer exists and impacts us every day. If it takes a pink ribbon to trigger something in a person’s mind that will help them go on to pass the word or donate money to the cause, then the “marketing of awareness” is working. And you can’t knock that.
Breast cancer impacts one in eight women every day. Do the math… look around you and count the women you see. When you get to eight, one of them has been directly impacted by breast cancer. How many more women are around you in the area you sit? The number is staggering. One in eight per day comes to an estimated 500+ a day or 22 an hour. And when you find yourself in the middle of the fray, it seems that the number of people this particular category of cancer impacts is pretty significant.
But you don’t realize it and you rarely will unless you find yourself facing off against this enemy. It’s not a “water cooler” subject where you walk up and say, “Hey Bob, my wife has breast cancer! How’s your day?” No, it’s through various channels of support or conversation that you suddenly realize that almost every single person you surround yourself with on a day-by-day basis, has been impacted by either breast cancer or some other kind of cancer.
In fact, ignoring the body part, cancer impacts one out of every three people and that one of the leading causes of cancer, sadly, is time itself. Yes… when I wanted to understand this insidious condition better, my research led me, time and time again, to one factor above all others as a contributor, and that was time.
Yet since we don’t wear our hearts on our sleeves, we’re a “mum” society and marketing schemes are the only way to get people’s attention these days and how politicians win elections. Marketing helps the battle, even if it isn’t quite enough.
I’ve always said it only takes $one.
One as in, for example, when someone watches a NASCAR race and the pace car and several other cars in the race sports pink to bring awareness to the situation, if everyone watching the race took a minute and merely donated a single dollar, well, according to TV ratings, that is a quick 5 to 10 million dollars in the pot to fight against cancer.
But let us digress for but a moment. There are more body locations that cancer can hit and though we only have twelve months in a year, there are different focuses on different cancers throughout.
Did you know that…
Cervical Health Awareness Month
National Cancer Prevention Month, or that February 4th is World Cancer Day?
National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
Kidney Cancer Awareness Month
March 6, 2014- Lymphedema Awareness Day
March 21, 2014- Anal Cancer Awareness Day
National Cancer Control Month
National Oral, Head, and Neck Cancer Awareness Month
Brain Tumor Awareness Month
National Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month
National Neurofibromatosis Month
National Cancer Research Month
Cancer Immunotherapy Awareness Month
June 1, 2014 – National Cancer Survivors Day
Sarcoma Awareness Month
Blood Cancer Awareness Month
Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month
National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month
Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Lung Cancer Awareness Month
National Marrow Awareness Month
National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month
National Stomach Cancer Awareness Month
So sure, organizations supporting breast cancer have coined a pink ribbon to annotate breast cancer awareness. Awareness. It’s not a celebratory symbol. It’s an awareness symbol. A symbol that says look out, it’s coming your way, whether you like it or not. So maybe you can help take a stand now, before you find yourself facing this enemy and staring blankly back at it wondering what the hell?