Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Color of Cancer by Sean Metzger

Quick...without researching, what cancer does this ribbon represent?

MySpace Graphics

and this one?

The American Legacy Foundation released a study in 2007 that showed two-thirds of women surveyed believed breast cancer was the leading cancer for woman in America. 

There are over 100 different types of cancer, but it's easy to forget that when everything is painted 'Pepto'. I'm talking of course about breast cancer. I understand breast cancer is a serious medical illness, but what about other cancers: prostate, cervical, liver, testicular, skin, and pancreatic cancer.  Throat cancer, kidney cancer, thyroid cancer, and, the monster, lung cancer. Did you know that lung cancer is the number one cancerous killer among women? If you did, according to the previously stated study (if it still holds true), you'd be in the minority. Maybe it's because breast cancer is the sexier cancer. You can't put intestinal cancer on the cover of NEWSWEEK magazine.  We can't expect Coca-cola to put the word 'testicular' on an aluminum can, can we. But you can put a portrait of a fit, beautiful, half-naked woman showing off a PG-13 amount of side boob on the cover of Time magazine.
That you can do and you can do it in spades.

   I'm tired of seeing pictures of beautiful naked women, pink ribbons on every commercial product, and entire events dedicated to one type of cancer. The number one cancer in the world is lung cancer, but does anyone know the color of that ribbon? (It's Pearl, for those who thought I wanted an answer.) Or better yet, Lavender, which is an awareness to ALL cancers. I only say all this because my aunt died of cervical cancer, and my girlfriend's mother was recently diagnosed with lung cancer (she has cancer in both lungs, but those aren't as easy to remove, so that option is gone.) It probably doesn't feel too well to think the public is fighting more for the person to your left, who is getting the same chemo treatment, than they are for you. I mean, to get cancer sucks, but to feel like you got the wrong cancer?

Awareness? Who doesn't know about breast cancer. And better yet, who by now doesn't know how to check for it (gently press you fingers along the outside of you breast, walking them around the sides, got it.) Now, how do you check for lung cancer, or prostate cancer? Endometrial? Can you even do a physical test for endometrial cancer? What the hell IS endometrial cancer? Does anyone know what test best diagnoses endometrial cancer? Its symptoms? How do I help the cause of endometrial cancer? Where do I go to donate money to endometrial cancer victims? I could do research, but I'd rather skim Reddit all day and look at pictures of sad Keanu. Americans don't like to do research when it comes to stuff like this. It's easier to pay an extra dollar when you checkout at your local Foodlion for whatever cancer charity they are promoting at the time, and let's be honest, (in a whisper) its probably breast cancer. 

I'm not angry with breast cancer awareness advocates. I don't want them to stop doing what they're doing. And I don't mean to demean anyone's experience with the illness. If you're feeling like, "My aunt died from breast cancer and how dare you lessen the seriousness of such a blah blah blah," then you aren't paying attention; I am simply advocating more awareness towards those who are probably feeling a little less known these days. 

I'm sure people will respond by asking why I don't get off my ass and do something about it. I'd like to think bringing awareness to these facts is my contribution.  

While adding tags, I noticed this:
"Stand Up To Cancer" Facebook page has over 400,000 fans.
"The Breast Cancer Site" has over 1.6 million!

I couldn't find a Facebook page specific to lung cancer in my short time searching that had more than...600 fans."
**So there it is...Sean has managed to verbalize what I have been thinking for so long, but too chicken to write. Kudos to you, my son. You make your Momma proud!

As Sean stated, I want all of you in this battle to fight hard, but let's not forget all the brave women and men who are fighting the 'unpopular' cancers.   They need our support and research money just as much.  And where is all the Billions that has been raised by all these so called 'pink ribbon' campaigns??? 
Many donating companies spend more on the promotion than the donation.  Seems dying of cancer is great for sales. It has gotten so commercialized it's ridiculous. I prefer to make my donations to the American Cancer Society and not to pink labeled Hostess Twinkie cakes. Anyway..the artificial unkowns in those probably cause cancer!
So just a little food for thought and I hope I have not offended anyone, but happy if Sean and I have enlightened a few.

Until next kind and stay creative.


Kelly Ann said...

I read this on you FB raised an amazing son...

Kathleen Grace said...

Kudos Janet,
My sister died of Lung cancer, a complication of a rare soft tissue cancer that spread. Neither of those cancers ever gets a lick of publicity. No one persons illness is more devestating than another. Breast cancer is as horrible as lung cancer, is as horrible as colon cancer, etc. Some are more treatable, some less, but anyone who has ever sat in a doctors office with a loved one and gotten the news that the big C is their new reality, or that their loved one has X number of months to live, cares a whit about which kind of cancer it is that is going to devastate their life. Lets wipe out ALL cancer!

Cindy said...

Thank you for this post. I am a cancer survivor (endometrial cancer) and appreciate you raising awareness for the less publisized cancers.


Maigan Lynn said...

I do get the point, and I can appreciate the passion dedicated to this subject. However, it did come off a little harsh. I don't think Breast Cancer is call a cancer sexy is just....strange...and I also don't believe it's any less important than lung cancer, cervical cancer, prostate cancer, endometrial cancer. What I think happened was people put the kind of passion that you displayed here into a marketing campaign to help fight the fight against breast cancer. It started out just as honest and simple as someone like yourself saying "I want to help...what can I do?" and it's exploded into this billion dollar advertising phenomenon...can you imagine what it must be like for those people that said "I want to help...what can I do?". They're no different than anyone else and they've far succeeded their monetary goals, I would imagine. However, there is still no cure. The ultimate goal is to find a cure for any's not just about money. It's about heart. I'm no less aware of any other cancer than I am of breast cancer. The people who run the Breast Cancer campaigns have done an excellent job of making people it's time it was done for the rest of the cancers out there - maybe they won't put a colon cancer ribbon on a can of coke but there are other places to put it. It just needs someone to ask "I want to help...what can I do?"

Wanda..... said...

I agree about the money companies spend on the ads...for anything. That money could be so well spent in so many other ways.

Colon and lung cancer have happened mostly to my family and friends.

janet said...

Dear Maigan Lynn,
If you are no less aware of all the other cancers, I'm here to tell you that you are in the minority. I just came back from the grocery store and guess what cancer the cashier asked me if I wanted to donate to? Breast Cancer! I asked the manager why they never seem to collect donations for other cancers and he said, "what other cancers?" I named seven other cancers...he just shrugged his shoulders. Sorry if you found my post harsh..but sometimes reality is harsh. As to the 'Sexy' Feb. 18th Time Magazine Breast cancer cover and look at that photo. Pretty darn sexy if you ask connection with the ugly realities of Breast Cancer. I do appreciate your comment and hope you come visit again.
Janet grandmother died of Breast Cancer so I do have a personal connection and a risk

Sweet Birdy Love said...

Hey Sean and Janet, I totally agree with your comments, your post was a real eye opener. Just to add to the reason why Breast Cancer is front page, moreso than any other cancer is perhaps the high profile people who deal with it thus turning the spotlight on it.
Here's hoping that the spotlight can be turned onto the lesser known and highlight the importance of more funds for a cure.

koralee said...

Oh I soooo agree with you my friend...thank you so much for this post today. I pray all cancers will get equal importance.

I love your to read some more before I head to will be the last thing I read goodnight to you.

Thanks for adding my button to your are so sweet..

Oh and I do love your banner...from one bird fan to another.

Jennifer Juniper said...

How true, yet I never really thought about it before. It really is a shame that the other cancers don't get their fair share - after all if breast cancer gets all the attention, donations, funding, it sets everyone else back. Great food for thought.

Anonymous said...

Because Breast Cancer is Big Busine$$. Ever wonder why they haven't 'found a cure' despite decades of research??

Anonymous said...

One of the CANCER, we must prevent as a woman is BREAST CANCER. Keep on supporting and caring for cancer victims. Also, you can show love and car for them bydonate car.