I probably shouldn’t have needed one of my favorite blogs, Lemon Margaritas, to remind me that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. You’d think I would have noticed all those fresh pink ribbons for sale. Or maybe my hairdresser’s stories of the 3-Day Breast Cancer Walk (which made for a more wet and sniffly shampoo than normal) might have clued me in. Or perhaps I should have realized that having boobs on the brain all last week was my unconscious mind gearing up for this somber month.

But Lemon Margaritas’ “Putting Power in the Pink” post made me think that perhaps October should be changed to Breast Cancer PROTEST Month instead. Why? Well, first, go read her post, because she’s a survivor and has some scoop on breast cancer that will make you pay attention.

Second, from her blog I learned that while we’re all highly AWARE about breast cancer these days, many of us are sadly misinformed. I was amazed at the results of a recent study by the National Breast Cancer Coalition. I thought I was pretty up-to-speed on the topic, but this is serious stuff. Stuff that could affect each and every one of us owners of breasts (and those who love them/us). To learn more, check out the Chicago Tribune’s article “Fallacies on Breast Cancer Persist.” Really, it’s worth the two minutes and thirteen seconds it takes to read it.

Here’s an excerpt:

“We’re surrounded by pink ribbons and other messages about raising awareness,” said Fran Visco, president of the National Breast Cancer Coalition, which commissioned the survey. “But these popular efforts lull the public into a false sense that adequate progress is being made.”

The article goes on to list various misunderstandings about breast cancer (many!), and says that we still really “don’t know how to prevent breast cancer. We don’t know how to detect it truly early. We don’t know how to cure it. And we don’t know enough about what puts us at risk for it.”

And yet we DO know it will likely kill 40,000 women in the U.S. this year.

So much for breast cancer AWARENESS. I don’t know *a single person* who doesn’t know someone who’s been affected by the disease. So how about more funds, more accurate information, more research, more in the way of prevention, a better understanding of its causes, and, the bottom line: How about a CURE?

And lest you misunderstand me, I’m not saying I’m against Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Far from it. I’m just saying let’s, as Lemon Margaritas says, put some Power in the Pink. This can mean voting for the candidate who makes breast cancer research a priority, it can mean walking or running in a Race for the Cure, or donating your hard-earned money to research.

And if you haven’t done it in a while, make today the day you give yourself a self-breast exam. Because even though we can’t detect ALL cases early, we can detect some.

Janna, aka Happily Even After, 35, Seattle

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