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Is Breast Cancer Overhyped? Sort by:
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Posted on Dec 01, 2011 at 11:53 AM

I used to think, based on the ubiquitous marketing campaigns concerning breast cancer awareness, that breast cancer is the number one health threat to women in America today. I'm surprised to learn that it's not even in the Top 5. According to the esteemed Mayo Clinic, the top 5 threats to American women are as follows: •Heart disease •Stroke •Lung cancer •Chronic respiratory disease •Diabetes Yet, in the past 5 years or so, breast cancer awareness has skyrocketed, permeating just about every facet of American society: bumper stickers, t-shirts, even NFL uniforms and professional playing fields proudly and conspicuously bare the pink ribbon icon for all audiences (i.e. consumers) to see. Do I think breast cancer awareness is a worthy cause? Absolutely! But why aren't the NFL and other corporations giving at least equal focus to greater health risks, like heart disease and stroke? I think it's because today's retailers are simply placating to the new post-modern leading consumer: the middle-aged American female. A company can mass produce a breast cancer awareness bumper sticker because it'll sell. Corporations looking to maximize profits via good publicity (i.e. The NFL) can rely on breast cancer awareness to appeal to the women consumers. it's a no brainer. Hell, even McDonald's, a corporation which, in my opinion, has likely infested more American women's bodies with diabetes and heart disease, can simply affix the cute pink ribbon icon to its food packaging, and come out looking philanthropic. LOL! McDonald's pimping disease awareness is kind of like Jack the Ripper hosting a documentary on the troubled psyche of serial killers! Not so for heart disease and stroke. Even though those afflictions are far riskier to women's health, they're a helluva lot less sexier, so companies stay away from them because they know they won't sell as many t-shirts and bumper stickers and Quarter Pounders. Following is an interesting article by Chicago Tribune writer Julie Deardorff: Women have an irrational fear of breast cancer. At least that’s according to a study that compares a woman’s top five fears with the top five health threats, which appears in the September issue of Prevention Magazine. But while women spend more time worrying about breast cancer than any other disease, it’s not even in the top five. In fact, the third most common threat, lung cancer, kills more women than breast, ovarian and uterine cancers combined. It gets little sympathy probably because it’s considered a "smoker’s disease" but 15 percent of these women never smoked. Here’s what women fear according to Prevention: •Breast cancer •Heart disease •HIV/AIDS •Alzheimer’s •Ovarian cancer

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Posted on Nov 12, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Yes,Jag many years ago,breast cancer claimed the life of one of my loved ones.It was not caught soon enough.Well,actually it came back,again.


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Posted on Nov 12, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Breast cancer can be fatal.I know persons who has died from it,Is serious.Of course,there are other health risks.


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Posted on Dec 27, 2011 at 06:22 PM

Helena I'm not trying to belittle you at all but surely even freud's stereotypical misunderstandings and misjudgements don't go as far as trying to diagnose such a terrible medical condition as cancer by making incorrect connections and assumptions based on those other type of issues. The fact is that without modern day diagnosis to catch it early enough,in order to (try to) give the person a chance to fight it,anyone who's unlucky enough to get that illness goes the same way in it's later stages wether it's caveman days or the 21'st century.

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Posted on Dec 27, 2011 at 05:28 PM

Jag, read Freud and his analyses of the problems women suffer from then you will know what I am referring to.  Please do not always belittle the comments of others by thinking they are uninformed.


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Posted on Dec 16, 2011 at 03:37 AM

Helena I don't think that being frigid,infertile,schizophrenic,bipolar,sexually frustrated,unhappy with their spouses,and losing a child is often any,or all,of the symptoms of cancer and none of those are known for being a terminal illnesss. In my experience anyone who gets it in whatever form and can't fight it off at an early stage ends up with the same type of symptoms in the end of just being too weak to even say their last goodbyes to those around them.

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Posted on Dec 15, 2011 at 08:10 PM

Maybe people are dying of diseases that have a correct diagnosis attached nowadays.  Medical analysis can actually determine precisely what the illness is rather than the Freudian "hysteria" attached to women who were "frigid, infertile, schizophrenic, bipolar, sexually frustrated, unhappy with their spouses, had lost a child etc."  - thank goodness, vive la difference!


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Posted on Dec 14, 2011 at 02:34 AM

Helena I'm not saying that cancers didn't ever exist in historic times but in recent times the whole issue seems to be more like an epidemic in that many people seem to know someone,or have someone close to them,that have been affected by the problem in one way or another.

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Posted on Dec 13, 2011 at 10:22 PM

Please someone tell Jag that cancers killed women long before the industrial revolution.  We were apparently more expendable then and it is only the historic record that gives a brief glimpse into the illnesses of women. Tell him to try duchesses of Britain in the 1300's -  oops women are dying of breast cancer even then.


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Posted on Dec 13, 2011 at 07:08 AM

Quoting HotProfDude:

Not true, Jag. Some affictions are worse than others because they kill more people. Breast cancer awareness is a good thing, but it's not a top 5 killer of women. So doesn't it make sense to give at least equal footing to the afflictions that kill more women?

HPD that's what I meant when I said they are all as bad as each other. They are all killers and seem to be more of an issue connected with the times we live in compared to older times when women were kept away from the pressures of financially supporting themselves and a household and cancer seems to be far more common now than before large scale use of chemicals and nuclear power and bomb testing etc.

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Posted on Dec 12, 2011 at 08:25 AM

Quoting jag6000:

HPD they are all as bad as each other.The strange thing is that unlike the old days of our Grandparents time there seems to be too many cases of women having their lives cut short by medical issues that didn't seem to be as common at that time and the usual issues in those days were either mostly age related or poor health care during child birth. I think that the heart disease and stroke issue is probably caused by women being subjected to too much stress caused by exposure to being involved in all the financial issues of modern day life and being part of the economy's workforce,when their natural place is in the home being homemakers and raising children.In which case the feminists seem to have made a hell for themselves and the cancer epidemic,of most types,will eventually,in time,be found to have been the result of exposure to modern day environmental factors related to chemicals and background radiation pollution.Although those technologies are probably now so much a part of modern day life that the governments around the world would keep the information secret anyway.


Not true, Jag. Some affictions are worse than others because they kill more people. Breast cancer awareness is a good thing, but it's not a top 5 killer of women. So doesn't it make sense to give at least equal footing to the afflictions that kill more women?

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Posted on Dec 08, 2011 at 11:49 AM

Curious Gig?  I would say you are astute.  I am not certain how the stats work today on this issue since so many cultural boundaries/practises/eating habits in the northern hemisphere are now shared and not restricted to any particular group. I would imagine it is increasingly difficult to isolate specific populations like we once did. 


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Posted on Dec 07, 2011 at 10:50 AM

I wonder what the statistics are for underdeveloped countries whether or not women in those nations are better or worse than in the US & Canada in this regard or if our lifestyle is a prime contributor coupled with everyday life stressors? I'm curious?

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Posted on Dec 04, 2011 at 07:53 PM

If MEN did not like breasts so much, breast cancer would not be such a prominent disease nor would so much money and time be spent in research.  It has a lot to do with image.  How gross is it for one to find out they have one of those "cancers below the waist"? the ones that are hard to name and yet that are just as deadly.  That includes prostate and cervical and many others that get very little attention by comparison. So I suppose to your question, the answer is probably yes but as a survivor of the latter type of cancer, I know it all has the same ultimate result if untreated.


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Posted on Dec 02, 2011 at 04:49 AM

HPD they are all as bad as each other.The strange thing is that unlike the old days of our Grandparents time there seems to be too many cases of women having their lives cut short by medical issues that didn't seem to be as common at that time and the usual issues in those days were either mostly age related or poor health care during child birth. I think that the heart disease and stroke issue is probably caused by women being subjected to too much stress caused by exposure to being involved in all the financial issues of modern day life and being part of the economy's workforce,when their natural place is in the home being homemakers and raising children.In which case the feminists seem to have made a hell for themselves and the cancer epidemic,of most types,will eventually,in time,be found to have been the result of exposure to modern day environmental factors related to chemicals and background radiation pollution.Although those technologies are probably now so much a part of modern day life that the governments around the world would keep the information secret anyway.

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