Point of View/ Think Pink Locally

bco-handsDuring Breast Cancer Awareness month there is overwhelming support for a variety of “pink” causes and products. However, do we really need pink products to remind us about an epidemic that threatens one out of every eight women throughout their lifetime? Some companies have stated very clearly how much money was going toward research, but other companies simply put pink on their products to “raise awareness” and have used these cause marketing opportunities to improve their image without donating any proceeds toward research or caring about breast cancer. For instance, the National Football League has recently been a target of claims that their pink products don’t really donate much money to breast cancer charities and analysis at Business Insider suggests that only 8% of funds raised by the NFL will actually be used for cancer research. Critics have also targeted Yoplait, Avon, and Kentucky Fried Chicken among others, because of the cancer-causing chemicals inside their products

There are tremendous gaps that still exist in our understanding about what causes breast cancer. Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women and is a complex group of diseases that occurs in an environmentally complex world. We are exposed to multiple chemicals and radiation sources in the course of our daily lives. Despite better treatments and increased access for many women, 40,000 women still die from the disease each year. A woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every two minutes. In the 1960s, a woman’s lifetime risk for breast cancer was one in 20. Today it is one in eight.

Pink has become a distraction from the real issues surrounding breast cancer. Instead of buying pretty pink things where the majority of the profits do not go to research, donate directly to organizations that help women deal with the devastating diagnosis of cancer. Not only do you know exactly who got the money and how much, but you can also write off the donation on your taxes. That’s something else the companies that ‘pinkwash’ don’t want us to be aware of. The everyday needs of women with breast cancer are great and largely under-funded. Since 2000, Breast Cancer Options has provided much-needed support, education and advocacy to women and their families here at home.


Breast Cancer Options is the largest supplier of free breast cancer support and education services in the Hudson Valley. Many of our services are unique: Camp Lightheart for the children of breast cancer survivors; Retreat for women with metastatic breast cancer; Educational conferences; Healthy Lifestyles Calendar. Other services include: Peer-led support groups; A Companion/Advocate survivor to go on medical visits with newly diagnosed patients; Assistance in understanding research results, and many other support services.

Come to our Women’s Health & Breast Cancer Conference on Saturday, October 24, 2015 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Hudson at Columbia Greene Community College. Sponsors are Columbia Memorial Hospital; Genomic Health; Berkshire Bank; Mid-Hudson Cable; Columbia Greene Media. Topics will include: Making informed medical decisions; What to eat and why; Strategies for prevention of recurrence: The environment and breast cancer. The conference is free but registration is required. See our website for the complete list of workshops and for our services: www.breastcanceroptions.org. Call us at 845-339-HOPE (4673).

Send for our 2016 Healthy Lifestyles calendar. Each page in this calendar focuses on a topic relevant to breast cancer and its prevention: Precautionary Principles; Non Toxic Home & Office; Cosmetics, Beauty & Health Products; Lifestyle; Exercise; Nutrition; Plastics; Vitamins; Herbs & Supplements; Screening & Detection; Detoxification & Advocacy.

Help us make the switch from “Awareness” to “Action.”

Call us if you need information or support. 845-339-4673.