Is It Time To Sink Pink?

Each year, during the month of October the world participates in Breast Cancer Awareness month. We take a look at whether promoting pink products is helping or hurting the overall fight against breast cancer.

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    Pink-washing: a marketing technique in which products are promoted featuring a pink color or pink ribbon to indicate support for Breast Cancer Awareness.

    For breast cancer awareness in October in the U.S, you can buy pink ribbons, lint brushes shoelaces, earbuds, Snuggies, pink leather seats, and gray floor mats embroidered with pink ribbons.

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    Corporations: thinking pink or gathering green?

    A billion dollar industry, breast cancer campaigning has become glutted with corporate sponsorships, merchandise deals, and ad campaigns. Much of the participation drives increased revenue but, often, very little of raised funds are donated to battling breast cancer.

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    Is raising awareness saving lives?

    No. Despite the US$6 billion raised each year, progress in combating the cancer has been slow. In 1991, 119 women in the U.S. died of breast cancer every day. Twenty-four years later, that figure is 110.

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    Is making everything pink actually hurting the cause?

    YES. According to a study headed by Stefano Puntoni, women who have been subject to gender-based cues (like pink for girls) were less likely to believe in their personal vulnerability to the disease, less likely to donate to ovarian cancer research and generally, took the disease less seriously.

  5. 5

    Is Breast Cancer the disease killing women at the highest rate?

    Breast Cancer Awareness is important, no doubt, but the top killer of women in the world is actually cardiovascular disease.

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    Ok, so what if 'thinking pink' is all a sham? Doesn't the data show reductions in breast cancer rates and deaths?

    Yes & No. In 1975, a woman had a 1-in-11 chance of getting breast cancer, today that figure is 1-in-8. In terms of deaths, between 1990 and 2005 the risk of dying from the disease, upon diagnosis, decreased by just 0.05%.

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