Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Cancer Awareness and Treatment: You Bought a Pink Ribbon Charm Bracelet

Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Cancer Awareness and Treatment: You Bought a Pink Ribbon Charm Bracelet

Article excerpt

How you justified the purchase You know plenty of people affected by breast cancer, so this is a good way to show your support. Plus, a portion of your purchase went toward a breast cancer charity. What's the harm?

The cause Beauty supply companies like Avon often sell plenty of items adorned with the pink ribbon. These pink items can raise awareness of the existence of breast cancer when worn publicly, and sometimes a portion of the proceeds fund breast cancer charities. But not all items with the pink ribbon donate to a cause--or, at least, do the sort of good you might have intended.

Gayle Sulik, a medical sociologist and author of Pink Ribbon Blues: How Breast Cancer Culture Undermines Women's Health (Oxford University Press) writes that breast cancer now effectively functions as a brand name with a pink ribbon logo from which companies can profit. While buying pink paraphernalia may seem like a helpful move, Sulik cites studies that indicate that while pink products have brought attention to breast cancer advocacy, they have not drastically improved women's health. Since the pink ribbon gained popularity in the 1980s among companies campaigning to end breast cancer, 40,000 women continue to die from the disease every year. …

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