Saturday, October 1, 2011

Linked to Pink?

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  But did you know that Melanoma could have a direct link to the Pink Cancer?  It’s true!  An article in the Skin Cancer Foundation’s website explains how having one of these cancers raises the odds of developing the other.   (Thanks to the curator of Hotel Melanoma for bringing this to our attention).
Dr. Gillian Murphy of the Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, Ireland, states that patients with melanoma or other skin cancers have always been at higher risk of developing other malignancies , but with breast cancer, there’s a fourfold increase.  Per Dr. Gillian, this “raises the possibility of a genetic predisposition linking the two cancers.”
This is good news for a couple of reasons.  First of all, research for one type of cancer may now aid in research for the other.  Any little bit of new information we learn about one just may indeed help out the other.
The second reason is admittedly more selfish.  Melanoma Awareness needs a boost…and the Breast Cancer Awareness campaign is about a big a boost as a campaign can get.  In the month of October, you’ll see about as much pink as you will traditional autumn colors.  Whoever first marketed the idea for this pink awareness campaign was either a genius, a sales whiz, or really darned lucky.  But imagine…a small amount of proceeds from everything donning a pink ribbon goes to Breast Cancer Research or Awareness.  And not just t-shirts and hats, but candy, detergent, and even Chick-fil-A meals!  I know that there is never enough money for research, but by golly, the Pink Warriors have a good thing going.
This might sound like jealousy.  It’s not. Despite this blog’s name “Black is the New Pink,” I’ve had the utmost respect for the Pink Ribbon campaign.  No…not jealousy.  Envy.  Like an LA Clipper fan that envies the Lakers.  Like a NY Mets fan that envies the Yankees.  It’s not hate…it’s envy.  And in my case towards Breast Cancer Awareness, it’s respect.
I would love to see the Melanoma Awareness campaign be half as effective as the Pink Ribbon campaign.  Unfortunately, we have a few things going against us.  For one thing, the gurus that determined the cancer awareness ribbon colors assigned Melanoma the color black.  This is appropriate in that the word “melanoma” literally means “black tumor.”  But unfortunately, black ribbons also represent death and mourning.  Orange is an alternate color I’ve occasionally seen associated with Melanoma Awareness…but black dominates for now.  I doubt that Keebler would don the black ribbon on their packaging for fear the public would think the elves died. 

© Keebler...dead or alive

Another thing going against us is that non-melanoma skin cancer is so damned treatable.  This is a good thing if you discover your skin cancer is non-melanoma…but it’s a bad thing for melanoma’s street cred.  “It’s Just Skin Cancer.”  No…it’s not…but most folks just don’t get it.  Until they get it.  I don’t wish for non-melanoma cancers (such as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma) to become more deadly, however the fact that they’re very treatable creates an ironic barrier for Melanoma Awareness Campaigners.
Partnering up, or perhaps merely riding the coattails of Breast Cancer Awareness might be Melanoma’s big break.  Whether it is or not, we at least have our small rebellious forces of Melanoma Warriors…screaming from our blogs and Miles For Melanoma events…and hoping to be heard.
In this spirit of breast cancer awareness, I’ve prepared a little treat.  I’m not a programming genius, but I made up a movie (my first attempt ever) with my own little take regarding the link between Breast Cancer and Melanoma.  I apologize for no sound to this movie.  It’s a little over a minute long, so the silence shouldn’t be too overbearing.  If any readers have some suggestions regarding a freebie soundtrack or enhancement, feel free to inquire and I’d be willing to make an adjustment.  Until that point, please enjoy what I’ve prepared…and by all means share it!


  1. Well done! I agree, I don't want to take anything away from the pink campaign and admire its success. I'd just like melanoma awareness campaigning to have a fraction of that success.

  2. very well said... i loved the keebler remark! and hopefully the link between breast cancer and melanoma gets spotlighted this month because it will help raise some awareness...

  3. Love it Al! Especially your movie. Thanks and will share.

  4. To "Burnt Out"...I attempted t comment on your blog...but my comments did seem to take. Just wanted to compliment your blog and convey the same frustrations at fund-raising efforts. But keep up the work and the faith! Rich and Carol...thanks (as always) for the kind well as for your efforts and blogs. All great stuff that DOES make a difference!

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  6. Skin cancer is spreading like a wild fire and you have done a good thing by spreading a buzz for skin cancer awareness. This a great and noble job. Best of luck.

    Skin Cancer Treatment