As even someone living under a rock knows (and itâ€™s probably a pink rock!), itâ€™s Breast Cancer Awareness Monthâ€”and that means that if you are looking for me I am probably in the air on my way to another speaking engagement or media opportunity!
I have been on the TODAY Show answering breast cancer questions,Â and on CNN American Morning talking about the fact that breast cancer awareness month may have outlived its usefulness. We are aware! What we need now is to go beyond pink and beyond the cure to stopping the disease altogether!
If you are supporting companies that say they are raising money for breast cancer research, find out how much and what kind of research.Â As Breast Cancer Action says, we should all Think Before You Pink.Â And if you are interested in going beyond the cure check out the National Breast Cancer Coalitionâ€™s 2020 breast cancer deadline and join or recruit for the Army of Women. Be a part of the breast cancer advocacy that is taking action to find the cause and stop it!
Interestingly, the other speaking requests I have had this month are at health care reform/comparative effectiveness meetings.Â These groups are fascinated that our Army of Women has bypassed the medical enterprise to find almost 400,000 women who are willing to participate in research to find the cause of breast cancer, and Iâ€™ve been pointing out to them that comparing the effectiveness of treatments or tests will mean nothing if they are not asking real people and not just studying medical records.Â It is one thing to look at a womanâ€™s medical record, electronic or otherwise, and see that she had a mammogram. But reviewing medical records wonâ€™t tell you whether it was good quality mammogram.Â Similarly, studies that compare two breast cancer prevention drugs are a waste of money if women donâ€™t want to take them because they donâ€™t believe the benefits of these drugs are worth the side effects.
Womenâ€™s voices need to be represented in all of these discussions, and the Army of Women and the Health of Women Study, which we will launch by the end of the year, will give you the opportunity to do just that! We are leading a new kind of revolution that says we need research studies that answer questions that are important to us, not just interesting to scientists!
There is no doubt in my mind that an Army of Women (and a few good men) can change the world. Together, and with your support, we can go beyond the pink and beyond a cure to end this disease!Â Wouldnâ€™t it be great to have October go back to being all about the beautiful colors of fall because breast cancer is a thing of the past!