Seattle Blogger Calls for Boycott of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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Seattle writer living with cancer feels exploited by marketing campaign.

Most of the women I know who are living with breast cancer dislike the whole pink ribbon thing. Some are extremely distressed by the pink marketing effort and even by Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

With the end of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, local blogger and cancer patient Jeanne Sather says she will be glad to see the end of the sea of pink.

"Boycott October," Sather says in a recent blog post at http://www.assertivepatient.com. "Most of the women I know who are living with breast cancer dislike the whole pink ribbon thing. Some are extremely distressed by the pink marketing effort and even by Breast Cancer Awareness Month."

Sather, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1998, has been writing about pink topics this month as part of her crusade against turning breast cancer into a marketing gimmick. According to Sather, retailers jump on the pink marketing bandwagon by offering pink merchandise in October, then donate a tiny part of the proceeds to breast cancer programs.

"I have finally realized why the whole pink ribbon/pink marketing thing makes me so angry," she writes. "I feel exploited."

Her blog posts this month include "Breast Cancer Barbie," "Pink Soup" and "The Pink for October” campaign.

As a journalist and an outspoken advocate for the cancer patient's point of view, Sather first wrote about pink ribbons two years ago, in "Gag Me With a Pink Ribbon," launching her crusade against what she calls the Pinking of October.

"If you want to support people with cancer, forget the ribbon and lobby for national health insurance," she wrote in 2004. "Or for a state health insurance plan that is open to everyone, rich and poor, sick and well."

As part of her “Boycott October” campaign, Sather will send a free button to anyone who asks for it. The button (which will be pink) will say: “Boycott October,” and in smaller type, “Don’t buy pink products, Don’t exploit women with breast cancer.” To receive a button, which will be shipped next September, e-mail Sather at jeanne.sather @ gmail.com

For more commentary on boycotting Breast Cancer Awareness month, go to the October posts at The Assertive Cancer Patient. (http://www.assertivepatient.com/2006/10/boycott_october.html)

Sather plans to spend next October hiking the centuries-old pilgrim trail on the Japanese island of Shikoku.

Jeanne Sather has written about how to avoid medical mistakes, taking part in clinical trials, living with incurable cancer, how to help when a friend has cancer and much more. Sather began her career as a journalist, working for newspapers, magazines and wire services, including Newsweek in Tokyo, Reuters in Seattle, MSN (also in Seattle) and a number of other publications.

When she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1998 at age 43, she started writing about cancer for the Web site OnHealth.com, which later fired her while in cancer treatment. That story made national headlines.

For further information:

Tina Christiansen, (206) 229.7726

Jeanne Sather, (206) 522-9560

http://www.assertivepatient.com

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