Protect Your Girls ~ Breast Cancer Awareness
It’s that time of year again – the leaves are changing, and the wind is blowing a little more crisply. It’s the season for hot apple cider, pumpkin carving, and ankle boots (a personal favorite of us at Mar-Lou). Most importantly fall, namely the month of October, is dedicated to raising Breast Cancer awareness. According to cdc.gov, with the exception of certain types of skin cancer, breast cancer is the number one most common cancer women develop. Educating women about early detection, yearly mammograms and raising funds to support research is of the utmost importance.
Breast Cancer Awareness month provides wonderful chances to give back to organizations, such as the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. Many retailers get involved by selling special edition pink versions of their products or selling products sporting the widely-recognized pink ribbon. When you purchase items of this nature, a portion of your proceeds goes to Breast Cancer foundations . . . or so you think.
In doing some research, I found a few interesting tidbits I want to pass onto you, readers. The organization thinkbeforeyoupink.org serves to educate and motivate us to be fully aware of whether or not the products we purchase in support of breast cancer are actually, well, supporting breast cancer.
“Any company can put a pink ribbon on its products. The widely recognized pink ribbon symbol is not regulated by any agency and does not necessarily mean it effectively combats the breast cancer epidemic” (thinkbeforeyoupink.org).
This is where reading the fine print comes in. In order to make sure we are not simply furthering a company’s bottom line i.e., making money, it’s imperative we know what questions to ask about products claiming proceeds go to supporting breast cancer awareness or research.
Thinkbeforeyoupink.org provides us with a list of 4 simple questions to ask before purchasing pink:
- Does any money from this purchase go to support breast cancer programs? How much?
- What organization will get the money? What will they do with the funds, and how do these programs turn the tide of the breast cancer epidemic?
- Is there a “cap” on the amount the company will donate? Has this maximum donation already been met? Can you tell?
- Does this purchase put you or someone you love at risk for exposure to toxins linked to breast cancer? What is the company doing to ensure that its products are not contributing to the breast cancer epidemic?
It comes down to this: before purchasing pink, be aware of the ideals and “fine print” of the organization your money is going to. When in doubt, there are other ways to support breast cancer awareness that don’t involve purchasing products from a company.
Events to support breast cancer are right outside your door (or a car ride away, at least)! The American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk raises money that goes toward breast cancer research and provides information and free support to those affected by breast cancer. (http://makingstrides.acsevents.org/). There is still time to sign up to volunteer or participate in a walk near your area by going to http://makingstrides.acsevents.org/.
As important as it is to make donations supporting breast cancer awareness, your support does not have to be monetary. Support the women in your life by reminding them to get yearly screenings and education on doing monthly breast self-exams. Little reminders like these cost nothing, but can mean everything to those you love.
Web/Social Media Administrator
Before You Buy Pink. (n.d.). Retrieved October 12, 2015, from http://thinkbeforeyoupink.org/before-you-buy/
Breast Cancer Statistics. (2015, August 20). Retrieved October 13, 2015, from http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/statistics/