What Do We Know about the Breast Cancer Pink Ribbon

In Breast Cancer, Recent Posts by Barbara Jacoby

About The Breast Cancer Pink Ribbon

Since we have already kicked off another Breast Cancer Awareness Month, our thoughts almost universally go to the Pink Ribbon and the Pink Ribbon Campaigns that occur most visibly during October each year. The history of the pink ribbon is really rather interesting and not quite what I thought it was but most importantly, while it was created to increase awareness about breast cancer, many felt that it was only created to emphasize the importance of early detection. It appears that it has done a great job of doing that but the other part of its purpose has been research to treat breast cancer and ultimately to find a cure.

“If it takes the reminder of a pink ribbon to keep our sights set on that goal, then bring them on.Barbara Jacoby

The pink ribbon appears to be taking a rap, not because of what it represents in and of itself but because of all the pink stuff that it has spawn. During October, it is hard to go anywhere or even watch television without seeing pink clothing and pink campaigns. Corporations and businesses of every type are supporting the pink movement. This has become objectionable to many because they seem to think that those who sell “certain products” should not be allowed to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research and treatment. They want to tear apart any company or organization that they do not personally support for any perceived impropriety that they want to exploit. They want to perpetuate the belief that the pink ribbon represents a commercial excuse for some companies to sell more of their goods and services in the name of breast cancer awareness and not for true altruistic reasons.

I believe that there may be some who do promote in this way but I personally think that if you are raising money to support breast cancer research and provide assistance in communities across this country, I am for what you are doing. The important thing to remember is that there are always real people behind any company and most of them are driven with honest intentions to do what they can in order to help for all of the right reasons. Of course, there will always be some who are motivated only by the extra revenue that they may be able to raise by selling their products in the name of the cause but that group is minimal and the pink ribbon should not be blamed for that.

Although I am not personally going to be seen wearing the pink, I certainly do understand those that choose to do so and I will wear a pink ribbon pin where appropriate. It is a reminder of what so many have had to endure as a result of having breast cancer and the hope that with increased research and testing, the day will come when there will be no more breast cancer. In the interim, the next best thing is early diagnosis so that breast cancer can be discovered and eliminated before it has a chance to move beyond the breast where it becomes deadly. However, we can never forget those who are diagnosed initially at Stage 3 or 4 despite their having done everything through the normal protocols and to continue research to find ways to eliminate cancer and all of its inherent behaviors even when/if it reaches a later stage.

The pink ribbon also provides a symbol of hope and inspiration to others. Whenever it is displayed, it reminds us that we are continuing to work together to help each other, each in his or her own way to build for a future where the women and men in generations to come do not have to feel the threat of breast cancer. Together we are working to eliminate breast cancer and as long as we hold on to that goal, we will succeed. And if it takes the reminder of a pink ribbon to keep our sights set on that goal, then bring them on.