Monday, October 1, 2012

A Plea for Help to the Breast Cancer Community

Black and Pink...Fighting Cancer Together!
Dear Breast Cancer Awareness Supporters….

We in the Melanoma Awareness Community need your help.  You may have heard that some of us have “Pink Envy.”  In reality, I believe we have Pink Inspiration (read this post to see what I mean).  In truth, we’re as interested in the awareness of ALL cancers as much as you are.  But as it turns out, those that wear the Pink seem to get more press and attention…and that’s why we need your help.

A friend of mine attended a fund-raising 5K run last month in honor of Breast Cancer Research and Awareness.  One of the door prizes was a free month of appointments at a local tanning salon.  More recently, tanning salons have been offering discounted tanning sessions for every person that wears pink for Breast Cancer Awareness.  A pink ribbon was even spotted on a bottle of tanning lotion.

In case you didn’t know, tanning is a direct contributor to melanoma…the deadliest form of skin cancer.  It’s the second leading cancer of women under 39, behind breast cancer.  It’s the MOST COMMON form of cancer in young adults age 25 to 29.  Some (much) of this is attributed to UV ray exposure…the same UV rays in tanning booths and the sun.

Everything is covered in pink in October.  It’s a sign of your incredible awareness campaign.  We are envious, but we are inspired.  However, the placement of pink ribbons upon tanning products is a step too far.  This would be the same as placing your pink endorsement upon cigarettes.  Tanning booths and cigarettes are both recognized carcinogens…cancer-causing agents. 

I know that you, the typical member of the breast cancer community would not endorse the placement of pink ribbons on anything associated with cancer.  So I ask you to speak out.  Contact your local organization and encourage them to withdraw any support to the placement of pink ribbons on anything tanning related.  Tell those that display your ribbon as a means to promote their tanning business that you’re offended.

We all stand up together in the fight against cancer.  All cancer.  Please help us in the fight against melanoma by withdrawing any association with skin cancer-causing activities.

Thank you…


  1. Well said. I will keep my eyes open and as a melanoma survivor I will speak up. Thanks for all you do and share.

  2. This is just unreal to me...cure one cancer, help promote another.

  3. Great post, Al! I love calling on Pink to help like that! You're such a class act. Seriously.

  4. I had to share this. UGH! It's just maddening!

  5. Im so glad that someone has spoken! Im fighting stage 4 Melonoma now for 8 years and believe me this has been no picnic! I too, have voiced my opinion about 1 cancer getting all the attention when there are so many other cancers out there that are so deadly! Im not knocking breast cancer at all, I so understand and do admire the breast cancer patient that has fought breast cancer! I also blame the tanning bed for my cancer but was never aware it could give you cancer! I had never heard of melonoma! In fact, when I was first diagnosed, I had only heard that a mole was skin cancer and you went in and had it scraped off and all was well! So, I didnt go in to see a Dr. right away! I went about 6 months later! Maybe, if Id have known more about skin cancer and even heard the word Melonoma, Id have gone right away but cant dwell on that now, my life now is fighting it every day and trying to stay alive! Thank you for speaking up! What can we do to get the word out there about Melonoma? I would love to help anyway I can! Teri Roseland

  6. Shared. While promoting cancer causes is a phenomenally noble act, indiscriminate pinkwashing is getting way out of hand.