Since my involvement with breast cancer causes, I've become acutely aware of the commercialization of the disease. Looks like this filmmaker is ahead of me.

Breast Cancer,Inc.: Breast Cancer as an Industry

Since my involvement with breast cancer causes, I’ve become acutely aware of the commercialization of the disease. Looks like this filmmaker is ahead of me.


I see that the film will be shown in Richmond, VA on 2/10/12.  My mother-in-law, whose breast cancer metastasized into bone cancer, is buried there. I’m inclined to go up and see the film and the panel discussion afterwards.

Breast cancer and the Politics of PhilanthropyThe film draws heavily on the book, Pink Ribbons, Inc. Breast Cancer and the Politics of Philanthropy.

Breast cancer advocacy is being transformed from meaningful civic participation into purchasing products.

The pink ribbon has come to symbolize efforts to find a cure for breast cancer. But it has also become a powerful symbol for corporate philanthropy, boosting the image of corporations, that promote products from yogurt to cars, slicing off a portion of proceeds to support breast cancer research. King, a women’s health issues scholar, explores the phenomenal growth of Pink Ribbons Inc.; the annual massing for the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s Race for the Cure 5K runs; and other high-profile events with huge corporate sponsorships. However admirable the effort to find a cure, King argues that it overwhelms efforts to learn how and why women get breast cancer and how it can be prevented. Prevention efforts could help more low-income women who lack the means to pay for treatment. King examines the history of philanthropy and how breast cancer became such a prominent cause, garnering far more support and publicity than other diseases, demonstrating the ability of American women to flex their political and economic muscle on behalf of an important cause. ~Vanessa Bush Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About Tamela M. Rich

From Charlotte, NC, Tamela writes books, articles, speeches and presentations for business professionals. From "the road" she writes about the people, places and experiences she discovers and the life lessons she learns from them. Invite her to share some of her lessons from the road at your next event!

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  1. Hi Tamela,

    I saw the article in the Charlotte observer. It intrigued me and just had to contact you. First of all, I would like to commend you for your passion and drive to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer! I too have a heart for finding a cure. I am a photographer in Kannaplois NC. I have been photographing breast cancer survivors over the last four years through their stories of their journey and a beautiful image. The images are a traveling exhibit that spread hope and awareness to all. In 2009 we formed a non profit called Focused on a cure! Our foundation has donated $59,000 over the last three years. What I love about our foundation is that every dime is going to our local community. There are no administrative costs either. We know right where the money goes. Just received a thank you note from a lady that received a free mammogram that was funded by FOC! we do a lot of fundraising through the year, but in August we have an annual fundraiser event called piggin out for pink. it is a BBQ and entertainment and honoring our new FOC breast cancer survivors. This is the night that the exhibit is unveiled. I would love to talk to you about possibly attending our event or maybe even being a. Guest speaker???? Also (I know this is quite bold) but if you ever need a place to put the money that you raise we would love to take any donations!!! I am going to try and make the meeting this Thursday. thank you for all you do for this great cause.
    sincerely, Karen Goforth

  2. Glad you found me, Karen!

    I’m delighted to participate in the event this August if I’m in town. I hope I will be, because I really want to see your work in person; the slideshow on your website gives a great preview of what’s to come.

    The Charlotte screening of Pink Ribbons Inc was last Thursday, so please don’t make the trip to Charlotte!

    I’ll send you an email and we can take it from there.

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