By Madeleine Doggett, Massachusetts Intern
One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. in her lifetime—that is 250,000 women each year. Every year 40,000 women die from breast cancer in the U.S. Breast cancer is an epidemic and the disease needs to be stopped before it starts. October is national breast cancer awareness month, which means pink ribbons as far as the eye can see, but how much are these pink ribbons really helping the cause? Since the national pink ribbon campaign began, have breast cancer rates decreased at all?
The first breast cancer ribbon was peach, not pink, made by a woman named Charlotte Haley to campaign for the National Cancer Institute to increase funding for breast cancer prevention research. Haley was approached by Estee Lauder to use the peach ribbon to market cosmetic products, but Haley refused, fearing that the ribbon would be used for profit. That is when Estee Lauder changed the color to pink and the national marketing campaign began. The pink ribbon can now be found on an array of products, but consumers should be aware that there is no regulation of which products can advertise with a pink ribbon. In fact, many corporations are selling pink ribbon products which themselves contain chemicals linked to cancer, a marketing ploy referred to by some as “pinkwashing.” There are 80,000 toxic chemicals produced in the U.S. every year, of which only 200 have been properly tested for human safety. Read the rest of this entry »