“Put a heart (♥) on your wall with out comment, only a heart. Then send this message to all your female friends. Next, place a heart on the wall of the person who sent this message to you. And if someone asks you why you have so many hearts on your wall, do not reply. This is only for women to remember that this is a time to remember and care about breast cancer, and that we should always be breast aware.”
That is a copy and paste version of a mass message I got in my Facebook inbox this morning. I’m guessing that at least some of you have gotten this same one, or at least one about bra colors, where you leave your purse, or what you are craving when you are pregnant. If you haven’t, consider yourself darn lucky, because I’m pretty sure they are just sent to my inbox with intent to make me swell with rage all Hulk style. Well, okay, I am exaggerating with the severity of my negative emotions quite a bit in that statement. Why get so flustered over something so minute? Sit back, Jack, because this one is a doozy.
First off, posting these things on Facebook is, for some odd reason, NOT raising awareness for breast cancer. At all. If you want to raise awareness, say something about BRCA1 or BRCA2. Post a factual statement that one out of every eight women residing in the United States will develop breast cancer, or that breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death among women in the United States. Most importantly, tell your friends and family to have regular examinations. Early diagnosis means several things: increased chances of being able to keep your boobs, increased chances of living, and increased likelihood that genetic screening will be done on your babies. (They are probably not too little anymore, but they are always babies to a mom.) The take-home point: early diagnosis = good prognosis.
Secondly, these posts always seem to include something about just sending it to only the women on your friends list. I hate to be the one to inform you all, but each year in the US alone, over 1000-2500 males are diagnosed with breast cancer. Every year, more and more man boobs are lost. Tragedy.
As a mini-side note, still on the same topic of course, I find it funny that I see at least three of these silly little messages sitting in my inbox each year, most of which talk about doing something ridiculous for “Breast Cancer Awareness Month.” Why am I getting this in March?? Breast Cancer Awareness Month is October. Mark it on your calender, ladies and gents, because we are going to paint the town pink. You know, to promote “breast cancer awareness” or being a girl or that pink is the best color or something. Envision my eyes rolling.
Then there is always the fact that we have to understand what is happening in cancer to be able to design drugs to be effective against it. (Translation: We have to conduct research in order to have a chance at understanding how cancer works.) “But what does this have to do with me?” you ask all innocently. This is when I will tell you, “It costs money to do research.” Being all smart, you will retort, “Yeah, I knew that. But again, what does this have to do with me? They get research grants and things to help them out.” “Ahah! I see you are an intelligent one,” I’d say. “But you seem have forgotten that breast cancer is still the number two cause of death in females here in the US. Researchers apparently haven’t found enough yet to decrease the mortality rate. More research must be done. More research means more money, and quite frankly, grant money in a lab is exhausted faster than Ms. Kardashian with her marriage.” As the light bulb turns on, you say, “I geeeeet it nowwww!” Then you will actually become involved in awareness and finding a cure instead of “raising awareness” via lame, encrypted statuses. It is my hope you would, anyways.
When it comes down to it, if I happen to be one of the unlucky eight women, I want to know that I did more than post a heart as my status, or tell someone I’m four months pregnant and am craving a Milky Way. I want to know that I did all I could do to save my lovely tatas. I’d like to think that I protected other people’s boobs as well, but much less so in a literal sense as the previous statement (though all you boys might be willing to take a literal interpretation on that one…). If you happen to agree with absolutely everything I wrote, it’s my lucky day. What I meant to say was: If you happen to agree with absolutely everything I wrote, I have included two websites that are 1. trustworthy, 2. informative, and 3. helpful when it comes time to being an active participant in the movement to “Save the Hooters.”