October is not just a month for pumpkin-themed drinks; it’s a month that raises a tremendous amount of awareness for breast cancer. Unless you’ve been living under a rock your entire life, you probably are aware of pink ribbons and slogans like “Save the tatas!” Throughout my life I have done a lot of work with breast cancer organizations, and was even in a fashion show to raise money for breast cancer research.
After being diagnosed with lymphoma, I realized there is a lack of awareness for blood cancers. I mean, I barely knew anything about the cancer I was diagnosed with until I was forced to learn more. Did you know that every three minutes one person is diagnosed with a blood cancer? That is A LOT of people. I didn’t know it existed, and I had two cousins who had it, as well.
One of the things I asked Google after my diagnosis was when the awareness month for blood cancer is observed. I learned that Blood Cancer Awareness month is in September, and it is shares the month with Childhood Cancer Awareness, Ovarian Cancer Awareness, Thyroid Cancer Awareness, and Prostate Cancer Awareness. Each of these awareness campaigns are equally important in raising funds and recognition.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a stretch of 31 days dedicated to selfless charity events and tireless research all in the name of finding a cure. For this whole month, the world bands together to wear pink, contribute to the cause, and show love for their neighbors. Pink is legitimately everywhere you look in October. When and why did breast cancer become the cancer everyone loved to hate the most?
I was speaking with someone at the bar today who I was telling about my plan to get a tattoo of a cancer ribbon this month and his first question was, “Is it gunna be pink?” It’s not anyone’s fault; it’s just the most well known color that represents cancer to many people. But I want people to know there are many other cancers that matter, and the lavender and green ribbons I wear are for cancer, too.
In no way am I trying to say that breast cancer should not receive awareness or that it is any less important. The reason for me sharing my feelings are quite the opposite. I believe that all cancers are just as important, and deserve the same amount of attention and marketing.
Breast cancer comes in third on the list of most deadly cancers, with colon/rectal cancer and lung/bronchial cancer in the second and first spots. While it’s totally understandable that colon/rectal cancer is not as easy to romanticize as boobies, they deserve just as much attention.
As the we enter the beginning of September, I want a solution for how to raise awareness for blood cancer (as well as all of the other cancers that this month is dedicated to). I want to find a way to showcase and give a face to each of these cancers in the way that a face has been given to breast cancer.
The NFL has been a big player in romanticizing the pink and creating such a big market for breast cancer during the month of October. While the NFL has very strict rules in regards to their uniforms, October has been the one month they were able to spice it up a bit by adding pink to their uniforms. (Because real men wear pink, right?)
Luckily, the NFL is now expanding its annual breast cancer platform during the month of October to raise awareness for other types of cancer, too, which will be in effect for the 2017 football season. This is a major step in the progression to raising awareness for all cancers!
I truly hope that as time progresses and treatments improve, there will be an equal portion of awareness for us to spread and learn from.
I want to be made aware of all cancers, not just the one that I had. And I want the same for others who have not had the same cancer that I did. Cancer is cancer. And, as I wrote in a previous column, there is no good cancer.
So, this month I ask you to speak up and share anything you can about a cancer that has directly affected you. Get people talking. The more awareness we raise, the more research gets done, giving us a better opportunity to kick cancer in the tush, and make sure it stays far away from us and our loved ones.
With equal amounts of awareness, we can’t lose!
Note: Lymphoma News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Lymphoma News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to lymphoma.