Pink Ribbon Month

Sooooo, forewarning.  You might be offended with this post.  If you’re sensitive about Breast Cancer Awareness, perhaps you should stop reading.  If you’re interested in reading my thoughts and opinion on this, please continue.  If you’re offended and what to talk to me about it, PLEASE DO!  I’m interested in hearing your viewpoint.  With that said…

Why does the NFL go out of their way to promote Breast Cancer Awareness in October?  Why is this the one Cancer that gets all the attention?  What about all the millions of other people that have other types of Cancer?  Are they not good enough?  Are they not important?  Do they not matter?  What makes Breast Cancer so special that it requires SO MANY companies to throw support at it this month and deluge us with Pink Ribbons everywhere we look?  Why aren’t those same companies helping with Thyroid Cancer research and awareness in September?  Do they do it for Breast Cancer because it’s “the good thing” to do?  Because it’s a marketing tool?  Do they really care if you, God forbid, get Cancer?  I don’t think so.  They just want you to buy their product.

Look, I’m not trying to minimalize the struggles of those that have had to deal with Breast Cancer, I know it’s not easy.  I know personally people that have had to deal with it.  No Cancer is easy.  No Cancer is a good Cancer.  As a person that has had deal with Thyroid Cancer this year, I know first hand.  I know the mental, physical, emotional, psychological struggles that one goes through during Cancer treatment.  Why doesn’t the NFL promote Thyroid Cancer Awareness month in September?  Is it because it isn’t anywhere near the commercial success that Breast Cancer awareness is?  Thyroid Cancer is the fastest growing type of Cancer now.  Is it not worthy of it’s own commercialization, with companies selling products where a portion of the proceeds goes towards Thyroid Cancer research?  Why?  What about all the people with Pancreatic Cancer, those with Testicular Cancer, those with Lung Cancer, those with Brain Cancer, etc?  Why isn’t there a lot of talking about those Cancers when they have their Awareness month?  How can we change that?

Why must I, as a Thyroid Cancer survivor have to be bombarded with the commercialization of Breast Cancer awareness?  Does all this actually work?  Or is there simply so much of it that it just simply gets ignored as noise?  Are we desensitized to it because it’s so in your face the entire month of October?  How much money is actually raised for Breast Cancer research in October?  Does it go any good?  How much of it goes to the CEO’s in comparison to the amount that actually goes to medical research?

Perhaps this Pink Ribbon thing is actually working since I’m sitting here writing about it.

People with any type of Cancer are important, Cancer research is important.  Just because you see Pink Ribbons and Pink products everywhere this month doesn’t mean those of us that don’t have Breast Cancer are less important.

There’s no one cure for Cancer.  EVERY Cancer is different.  EVERY Cancer is treated differently, so how can there be one cure to fix it all?  Even within Thyroid Cancer the treatment varies based on the type (there are 4 types, Papillary, Follicular, Medullary, Anaplastic) with even more variants within those types.  Why is it that everyone talks about finding the cure for Cancer?  Is it because it’s easy to market the idea to those that don’t know any different?  Does doing that actually help the cause or simply cause more confusion and misinformation?  Most people think if you have Cancer you have to go through Chemotherapy as part of the treatment.  I didn’t have to go through Chemo because my type of Thyroid Cancer (Papillary) doesn’t react to Chemo, while other types do (Medullary and Anaplastic).  I did have to go through Radioactive Iodine treatment though, and had to be isolated for several days after taking the pill.  There are even some people that don’t react to that type of treatment.  It’s not the good or easy Cancer that some people say it is.

The next time you see your doctor, please ask them to check your neck for anything abnormal.

Anyway, I’m going to see Dr. Merati on Thursday as a follow up to my initial visit two months ago.  I’m anxious to hear the outcome of what he found out, I’m worried at the same time.  He should be telling me if I’m a candidate for the Laryngeal Nerve Re-innervation surgery or not.  If not, I’m hoping that he’ll tell me I can get the implant put in.  I just need my voice again.  Hopefully I’ll be able to get either surgery scheduled while I’m there.

2 thoughts on “Pink Ribbon Month

  1. Matt,

    I'm not trying to diminish your struggles in any way shape or form but the numbers tell the tale.

    Breast, Prostate and Lung cancer still get the bulk of the attention and are the most common cancers currently.

    Don't all cancer patients win from the money spent on cancer research overall, trying to raise money for a particular cause is always easier with the numbers behind it. No offense but I don't know many people that have had or have Thyroid Cancer, I know plenty with the others listed below.

    It's all about the marketing as well, breasts are way sexier than colons and prostates.

    http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/commoncancers

    http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/breast

    New cases: 232,340 (female); 2,240 (male)
    Deaths: 39,620 (female); 410 (male)

    http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/thyroid

    New cases: 60,220
    Deaths: 1,850

    http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/lung

    New cases: 228,190
    Deaths: 159,480

    http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/prostate

    New cases: 238,590
    Deaths: 29,720

    Like

  2. Hey, I appreciate your comment! I Completely get the there are more people diagnosed with those diseases every year. You hardly hear anyone talking about Lung Cancer Awareness month, because most people get it from smoking. You hardly hear anyone talking about Prostate Cancer Awareness month, why? I don't have an answer to that, likely because it isn't a “sexy” thing to market it to. I only bring up Thyroid Cancer, because it's personal to me, and I can speak about it, whereas I can't speak for the others. I'm not sure if money going to cancer research helps any and all cancers, especially during the month of October and all the products that are being sold that are pink or are emblazoned with the logo. That kind of goes to the whole “one cure” type of thing. Sure, it's good that money is being sent to cancer research, but which cancer research and how much of that money that is being sent actually being used on cancer research and not some CEO's salary?

    Like

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