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b. dolan
FBI agent

Joined: 17 Nov 2004
Posts: 5726
Breast Cancer has gone Pop.  Reply with quote  

I was in Home Depot today, getting some keys cut.

While there, I noticed this:

and it got me thinking how Breast Cancer shit is truly, truly everywhere. The merchandising and brand awareness of Breast Cancer is fairly astonishing, especially in comparison to other cancers and diseases.

So I made some cheeky tweets, and it got lots of people talking, and now I'm intending to do some research into this... lots of people saying it's a scam, etc.

I figured I'd ask what people here knew about this before I start digging on my own. Where does all this Breast Cancer money end up? Is Breast Cancer just the Hillary Clinton of diseases for White Women or what? Discuss?
Post Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:11 pm
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Joined: 05 Mar 2004
Posts: 3182
Location: Louisiana
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I don't know the channels that the money travels through but you are right...definitely interesting.

The thing I don't get is the yogurt lids. If you save up a pile of em and mail them to Dannon or YoPlait (cant remember which one), they will donate x amount to breast cancer research. Really? You really want somebody's nasty sticky yogurt lid that they licked? WHy not just donate some money and let people chuck the lids in the trash? What is this?
Post Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:18 pm
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Raoul DeGroot

Joined: 30 Apr 2009
Posts: 2437
Location: Son Quest
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Hilary Clinton of disease. fo sho.

Nice unfixable problem to siphon off extra money and radical feelings.
It's one of things that aren't a scam per se. It just happens to line up perfectly with the overarching scam framework and so thrives in that little space.

Cancermakers (cosmetics corps., etc.)like to fund it too because it strengthens the idea that cancer is something to be cured with more tech. -not to be prevented by lowering environmental chemical counts.

Most of the money goes to awareness and screening. And the research dough goes to big medicine by way of universities?

Actually cancer treatment is pretty profitable, so if a company is smart it can get double paid.
Once to cause cancer producing chemmy stuff that we buy and once to treat it with fancy new taxpayer and charity subsidized tech.

dontcha think?

This is interesting


The benefits of research: Follow the money and more

Determining the effects of university research on a regional economy is a complicated task. According to economist Charney, one necessary and fairly obvious first step is to follow the direct effects of money invested in research as it flows through a university and into the local economy. The university pays staff, purchases equipment, hires consultants. Well-documented multiplier effects follow, as they would whenever money is injected into an economy. Charney cites a 2003 study that estimates that $10 million in research spending in Arizona creates 334.5 jobs, $8.65 million in wages, $452,000 in state revenue, and $13.5 million in sales.

But this "follow the money" exercise reveals only part of the picture, according to Charney. University research produces other financial rewards for a region: royalties, start-up companies, new technologies, training of new scientists. And a strong university-based research program can have indirect effects on private firms in a region.

"There is additional research that goes on in the private sector when there is a robust university research program nearby," Charney said. "There are more business start-ups near a university. When people who are technically trained start businesses, the businesses grow faster."

Spin-off firms can have a big effect on a regional economy, according to the report, which cites a 2005 study of spin-offs at the University of Utah. The Utah analysis identified 62 firms that could be traced directly back to the university's research labs. These firms employed nearly 5,000 people and paid $223.2 million in wages.

Hoffman takes another approach to gauging the effect of university research. He examines income growth in metropolitan areas around university research centers and compares it to income growth in areas that do not have university research. He gathered data for small metropolitan areas with university research -- such as Ann Arbor, Michigan; Pullman, Washington; and Bloomington, Indiana -- as well as areas that are similar in size and but without a research institution. Comparing research and non-research areas in the same states, Hoffman found that income growth was markedly higher in the areas around research centers.

"The results reveal that research university cities experience growth trajectories that outstrip that of comparable cities without research universities." Hoffman said.

Last edited by Raoul DeGroot on Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:50 pm; edited 3 times in total
Post Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:30 pm
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Eric B

Joined: 30 May 2005
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Location: Omaha, Ne
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How come there isn't just one big pot for curing cancer altogether. Sure breast cancer sucks, but it only affects half the population. Lets get rid of that shit as a whole.
Post Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:32 pm
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Raoul DeGroot

Joined: 30 Apr 2009
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Location: Son Quest
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There's a whole bunch of little bobo cancers that aren't common though. Breast cancer is a semi-big one even if it's just for the ladies. And each type of cancer responds to treatments differently.

Actually curing cancer as a whole (not just treating it) is probably going to involve crazy genetic restructuring and shit.

Cancer is when you've got little genes in certain cells that are prone to going haywire -Reproducing and mutating uncontrollably. Then the immune response has trouble recognizing it and killing the corrupted cells.

It's gonna take reworking the genes that are prone to DNA error. Or training the immune cells to recognize what cancer looks like. Hard.

Huh, some reports say overall US cancer death rates have been steadily decreasing since 1925. I wonder what breast cancer in particular's been doing.
Post Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:37 pm
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This was about AIDS, but I think the principle applies to Breast Cancer too:

Post Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:09 pm
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desert penguin

Joined: 27 Oct 2006
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This was a brilliant campaign for getting junior high kids' lunch money.

Post Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:53 pm
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I'm so glad you brought this up. Personally, i really hate the pink ribbon/I Love boobies exploitation.

Here's a pretty good article from a queer perspective.

"That is why I THINK you DON'T care. Now, here is why you should. The breast cancer movement – not the disease, but rather, the philanthropic movement, what some call the cancer-industrial complex – has an ideology and politics that favours and bows down to large corporations and drug companies, is racist, classist, sexist, homophobic, and is a potential threat to feminism and to democracy. Barbara Ehrenreich calls this 'the pink ribbon breast cancer cult' so I am going to go with that because ithas a nice ring to it. Plus, there are a few things you should know about breast cancer if you are queer.
Strong words. I know. Stick with me and then we can discuss your feelings.
Reason #1: The pink ribbon breast cancer cult prospers at the expense of more politically charged women's health issues. Abortion rights were practically effaced in last years passing of the Stupak amendment in the US, with muted outrage. Barbara Ehreneich points out however, that celebrities rose to the occasion, vehemently protesting and lending their star power when the recommended age for mammographies was raised to 50. Abortion, domestic violence, rape, AIDS: these are morally thorny issues that politicians, corporations, and society generally can't agree to agree on. When everyone gets behind breast cancer, a relatively safe (and lucrative) cause they are excused from acting on other pressing issues related to women's health. In fact, they get a pat on the back, and a boost in approval ratings from female consumers, for giving a damn about women.

Reason #2: The pink ribbon breast cancer cult is a a very sad, but veryreal, example of 21st century feminism. It's what I call faux-feminism.I don't believe social activism with corporate sponsorship has any chance of lasting and meaningful social change. I don't believe that feminism – a once critical, angry, and unapologetic demand for equality – would dress up in pink frills, talk sweet, sleep with congress, and get banged by big business. It is complacent. It is pink, and pretty, and perky. It doesn't rock anyone's boat. It embraces rather than questions the ideals of nurturing and of femininity. It idealizes motherhood. It displaces a quest for equality. Races and runs for the cure attract thousands of women each year and yet it is nearly impossible to mobilize the same numbers of women for issues of domestic violence, fair wages, gay and lesbian rights, or abortion. This movement has adopted the concept of female solidarity, and talks the talk of women's rights and women's health. As one NYT columnist lamented about the current breast cancer culture this past fall: “rather than truly breaking silences, acceptable narratives of coping emerged, each tied up with a pretty pink bow.”
Save Reason # 3: The movement objectifies women's bodies and pepetuates asexualized straight cis gendered procreative female identity.The subject of breast cancer in this instance is a straight cis procreating woman. What matters most is saving "boobies", the eternal symbol of femininity. As this blogger writes, it is not only infantalizing, but itis objectifying and once again reduces a woman's worth to her anatomy:

" I see the shirts, the bracelets, the witty slogans. ‘I love boobies.’ ‘Grope for the cause.’ ‘If you don’t check them, I will.’ I am reminded by these things that I am not a person, a human being, a whole body. I am a pair of breasts. These campaigns objectify me and narrow in on the very thing about my body I care about the least. The thing that, actually, sometimes, I hate. Loathe. Because of what is buried inside my DNA, because of what is buried inside my brain. This thing that is objectified, it is the thing that will probably kill me."

Reason #4: The pink ribbon breast cancer cult/cancer-industrial complex is a capitalistic cumfest, the kind of thing marketers masturbate about.For realsies. Take the pink ribbon for example. The pink ribbon itself was a result of the marketing genius of Estée Lauder and Self magazine. This coincided with the rise of cause marketing in the late 80's when companies decided that their advertising money would be better spent on a “cause” that would transform consumers opinions and appeal to those consumers' emotions and concerns. Cause marketing would challenge the perception of corporations as heartless entities. Avon, this theory would suggest, made perhaps the best marketing decision in their entire history, as the company for women, by jumping on, or rather, spearheading the breast cancer movement. What better way to appeal to their female base? But, you might say, aren't they still doing good in the end? Well, maybe, except that large corporations actually typically SPEND MORE on advertising their pink ribbon do-gooding than they actually raise. Plus, with companies like Avon, it is the independent distributors who take the hit on pink ribbon products, not the company (Pink Ribbon Inc.). Many companies have a pre-determined donation amount regardless of how much they raise from the sale of pink ribbon products, which is again to say, that the companies are the one's profiting from breast cancer (Estee Lauder site). Perhaps one of the biggest culprits are drug companies; it was the AstraZeneca, the producer of breast cancer treatment drugs, who spearheaded and co-founded Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the first place. Get mad. Get real mad.

Reason #5: The pink ribbon breast cancer cult depends on the spirit of volunteerism. This, as such, may not seem like such a bad thing. However, the rise of volunteerism (especially in the US, but there is a similar trend in Canada) coincides with a reduction of the welfare state and government responsibility. Volunteerism, charity, fundraising – it is all a replacement for adequate health care and government CARE. As so many Americans can attest, inequality at the level of health care is one of the most debilitating and severe inequalities of all, especially because often it only compounds existing inequalities of race, class, or gender. Monies raised under the guise of “pink ribbon” fundraising do not ensure health care for women actually diagnosed with breast cancer, a disease which disproportionately affects African American and low-income women. While I believe charity and volunteerism play an important role in society, I am not convinced either should take place of government responsibility, nor should our voices be for sale to corporations, and nor should saving the lives of women – especially poor women – be up to the discretion of non-governmental organizations, regardless of their benevolence.
Reason # 6: Out lesbian and one of THE leading breast-care experts, Dr. Susan Love, recently admitted to the fact that Lesbians are at a disproportianite risk of developing breast cancer than their straight counterparts.

Inequality and discrimination at the level of health care in our country means that many lesbians are getting sub-standard treatment and are far less likely to get regular screenings that straight women, or to even have a regular health practitioner that they trust. Scary. She also points out that poverty, alcohol abuse, a tendancy towards obesity, and the fact that lesbians are less likely to have children (nulliparity) all are contributing factors, but I think this is only compounded by the fact that we are often left out of the conversation and many queers don’t know their risk. Very little research has been done about trans folks’ risk of breast cancer, but we do know that the medical system lacks awareness and resources to assess and deal with them.

These are some of the reasons I think you should care. I don't think that running for the cure is bad, or that you should curtail donations to your favourite charities. But I think a healthy dose of scepticism would be wise. Think before you pink, and encourage others to do the same.

Ok. Your turn. Discuss."

And a " No Fucking Pink ribbons" blog.

"The whole cult of perky, positivity that the pink ribbon symbolizes makes me angry. And I was made even angrier after reading this book, Pink Ribbons, Inc.: Breast Cancer and the Politics of Philanthropy by Samantha King (shout out to Sarah and Jeremy for sending the book to me and Matthew--the author and Jeremy went to grad school together). The book is a must read for anyone interested in the politics of philanthropy, in general, and in cancer philanthropy, more specifically. It charts the problematic nature of raising funds for breast cancer and the breast cancer industrial complex that has emerged. In particular, I found this to be most egregious:

"National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM), founded in 1985 by Zeneca (now AstraZeneca), a multinational pharmaceutical corporation and then subsidiary of Imperial Chemical Industries, is possibly the most highly visible and familiar manifestation of this alliance [large corporations, major cancer charities, the state, and the media]. AstraZeneca is the manufacturer of tomoxifen, the best-selling breast cancer drug, and until corporate reorganization in 2000 was under the auspices of Imperial Chemical, a leading producer of the carcinogenic herbicide, acetochlor, as well as numerous chlorine and petroleum-based products that have been linked to breast cancer."

The pink ribbon-ization of breast cancer is huge business. From cradle to grave, various industries are actually making money off of women who get breast cancer--and the cult of positivity that surrounds breast cancer allows for this kind of neutralizing feel-good, just-wear-a-pink-ribbon-but-don't-ask-how-you-got-cancer kind of mentality.

And I don't mean that we should all be questioning whether we ever put plastic in the microwave or for me to second-guess every time I set foot on a golf course (because golf courses use an exorbitant amount of pesticides to keep their greens so green--something I was aware and conscious of, of course, but didn't think I could ever get cancer from just setting foot on a golf course). I mean we should be questioning the bigger picture--the bigger environmental picture about clean air and water and land. About toxic fumes that industries and corporations put into the air. About what is in the ground water and what big agri-business puts into the food in our supermarkets and how much we can trust the organic label. "
Post Fri Apr 08, 2011 6:44 pm
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p00ny tang

Joined: 30 Jun 2002
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Location: Detroit, Michigan
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If it wasn't for breast cancer, I wouldn't have this fucking sweet Pink trucker hat....
...I wear it tilted when I ride around and listen to Killer Cam'ron.
It was only $30, but the NFL gave liek 10% of it's profit margin to research.

I don't know what to think about it.
Cuz I don't really know that much about science...
Outside of labor/salaries... how much does cancer research cost?
(found this on google.. i can't relate to pounds.. does this seem right?.. )..
I may be wrong but I don't think throwing money at scientists will make them smarter..
...this isn't like playing Civ IV.

I'd like to think some of the money goes to helping families who come down on hard times because a head of the household became sick.. Seems like it'd be a good use for the excess funds....

this news report says 87% of people switch brands if they think it's going to a good cause....
Post Fri Apr 08, 2011 6:47 pm
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Mark in Minnesota

Joined: 02 Jan 2004
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Did you watch Regis this morning?
Post Fri Apr 08, 2011 7:31 pm
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p00ny tang

Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 6413
Location: Detroit, Michigan
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I went downtown for baseball festivities today..
I saw a couple of these shirts... "Save Second Base!".

So I was wondering if cervical cancer would be Save The Batter's Box?..
Post Fri Apr 08, 2011 7:38 pm
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So it's too much in the public eye as opposed to rarer cancers. No shit son

Far better things to be beefing about

They don't sell chocolate covered pretzels here no more
Post Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:24 pm
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Hellen Earth
could be a girl. could be a guy.

Joined: 09 Jan 2003
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The whole breast cancer as pop culture has actually proven dangerous for women.

You'd think by the amount of shit we see supporting breast cancer it would be the number one killer of women, but heart disease blows it out of the water.

The article I was reading said that breast cancer has gotten this popular because there are so many survivors out promoting it.
Post Fri Apr 08, 2011 10:31 pm
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Raoul DeGroot

Joined: 30 Apr 2009
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Yeah but curing heart disease requires exercise and eating right. That's not any fun. No girlpower for that shit.
Post Fri Apr 08, 2011 10:48 pm
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Joined: 28 Sep 2004
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Location: Sydney
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not to worry, prostate cancer is making a commercial comeback.

Post Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:44 pm
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