Through the past forty years, there have been changes in the way we view and treat breast cancer. It started with the 'lets cut out as much as we possibly can'. Radical mastectomies were carried out regularly, permanently disfiguring patients - both emotionally and physically. And leaving them with life long health problems of lymphedema and more.
Gradually, times changed and focused more on detection with the advent of mammograms. My original cancer book printed about 1980, says that they were just beginning to recommend regular mammograms as screening for breast cancer. After this the Komen foundation began to promote early screening which some how devolved into the pink ribbons, pinkification, sisterhood and giant pink wave that overtakes the world every October.
The Komen foundation has managed to give themselves several black eyes in recent years which are proving their downfall. However their efforts, along with that of many other, have greatly helped destigmatize the disease, allowing people to shout the word cancer instead of whisper it in corners.
But as Karuna Jagger, (www.twitter.com/karunajagger) Executive Director of Breast Cancer Action, points out, its time for a change from this pink world to one where we focus on what is really important:
"As the nation's attention focuses on breast cancer during Pinktober,
let's stop selling women a false narrative about screening, and instead
advocate for more effective treatments, less treatment when possible,
and fewer breast cancer diagnoses in the first place. It's time we
change the breast cancer narrative once again."
We do not need all the pink to focus on these efforts.