Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Do we really want pink soup?

Many of you know of my involvement with breast cancer in a former career.  I was the Surveillance Coordinator (epidemiologist) for the Wisconsin Women's Cancer Control Program, I am completely supportive of all attempts to find better treatments for breast cancer (I would hesititate to use the word cure until we have a better grasp of genetics).  I think it's great the support breast cancer receives from so many organizations.

That said...breast cancer chicken soup?  This one's a stretch for me.

It tasted good, and if a few pennies go to Susan G. Komen, that's great.  I just wonder if we're diluting the message just a bit.

I guess I can't throw stones...Necky has a kayak called the Eliza, of which a portion of the profits are donated to breast cancer research.  At least it's a gender-specific boat.

Respectfully submitted,



Binner said...

Hey CL,
As a BC Survivor, this kind of thing drives me crazy... But, I am also not crazy about Susan Komen foundation--nice that the CEO of it is linked to one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies? I just want Docs to start making the connection between our health/the "food" we are eating..There, done with my 2 cents worth of complaining...
(I don't eat it now, but that was darn good soup when I was a kid and sick home from school! ;-)

canoelover said...

Personally I always supported ACS and NCI, as they were non-political. SGK is a machine, and has mobilized a lot of money, but I agree, it has not all gone to the best use.

Pink soup is one of the more innocuous ones, I think, it's just silly. But if I see one more candy bar with a pink ribbon on it, I'm gonna spew.

Someday when I'm in Duluth I'll tell you my BC stories. As the one guy working in a women's program, it was interesting... :-)

mk said...

The use of the pink ribbon as a marketing ploy is insincere and it waters down a very important message. It's a tired image that sadly makes the population numb to the actual message-- the stuff that counts. Like my friend Binner having breast cancer before the age of 45. WTF?

Breast cancer in pre-menopausal women is the fastest growing category of BC and we don't have a clue why.

What does chicken soup have to do with that? If it's about donating money, great. But then perhaps we need to have a conversation about factory farmed chickens, the amount of crap they are pumped full of and what that crap does to our bodies.

Sorry. This drives me nuts too, Binner.

(stepping down from soapbox now)

canoelover said...

Almost as bad as the yellow ribbon magnets on the back of Hummers.

One thing, statistically geeky...

One of the reasons premenopausal BC is rising so fast is a screening artifact. More BC is being caught, a lot of it at Stage 0 or 1, which still counts in the CDC stats as a cancer detected and is included in the incidence rates.

So yes, we are finding more cancer in young women. Strangely, this is a good thing because it means it's being detected. Mortality rates for BC are actually going down a little. If you take out the super high risk populations (mostly inner city black women who are obese and don't get screened) it drops dramatically. Oprah did a lot, but there are still a lot of women who culturally can't see going in for the Big Squeeze. Until that'll be tough. But young, educated white women are getting screened at record rates. Good.