Breast Cancer Awareness

Posted by on Oct 7, 2014 in Health | Comments Off on Breast Cancer Awareness

mymosaicHistory of Breast Cancer Awareness

As we’re sure many of you know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.   We start seeing a lot of pink – from little pink ribbons pinned on our shirts to pink merchandise and Races for a Cure.

Did you know the original idea behind bringing awareness to breast cancer actually started with a salmon-colored ribbon? And that the woman behind the salmon-colored ribbon intended it to shed light on the fact that the National Institutes of Health was only contributing 5% of their annual $1.8 billion budget to cancer PREVENTION?  

While raising money for cancer research can hardly be considered a negative thing, have you ever wondered just exactly where that money goes? If you’re purchasing pink, the majority of your money is benefiting the company behind the product – not breast cancer research.


We challenge you to “rethink pink” when purchasing various products from companies sporting the pink ribbons. “Pinkwashing” is a term given to companies taking financial advantage of breast cancer awareness, and what’s worse is that these companies are selling products that may contain substances KNOWN TO PROMOTE CANCER. A bit contradictory, right? Here are a few examples:

  • KFC “Buckets for the Cure” – The National Cancer Institute associates increased breast cancer risk with “high intakes of well-done, fried or barbequed meats”…
  • Avon “Breast Cancer Crusade” – The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database categorizes more than 140 of Avon’s products as high hazard due to the presence of hormone disruptors and other possible carcinogens.
  • Campbell’s Soup “Cans for Cancer” – The lining of these cans contains bisphenol-A (BPA), a substance linked to breast cancer tumor growth.
  • Mike’s Hard “Pink” Lemonade, Seasonal Edition – Drinking moderate amounts of alcohol have been linked to breast cancer.

The list goes on and on. What can you do? Think before you pink. Ask questions. Even better, donate directly to a reputable cancer research organization.

We’re not totally against pink. We view Breast Cancer Awareness Month as a time to bring attention to ways that we can educate people on how to PREVENT breast cancer.

 Join us Monday, October 13th at 6:30pm as Joleen Zivnuska presents on an Integrative Approach to Preventing Breast Cancer.

Kristen Marvin, ND is a graduate of National University of Health Sciences with a doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine and a guest blogger at Prairie Health and Wellness.