Pinktober is on its way to a Hard Rock Cafe near you!

In fact the Hard Rock organisation has registered the word Pinktober as a brand name!  Can you believe it?  Maybe they are not aware that this is a word that was coined about the exploitation of Pink and the Pink Ribbon by various organisations for corporate profit in the guise of supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Month – October.  Are they really that oblivious to the source of the word?  Maybe they are, maybe they can’t see further than the extra profit they stand to make.

Is there nothing that companies won’t do to get their merchandise out there?  There are now even Pink Pumpkin seeds being sold to raise money for breast cancer so maybe it is appropriate that Breast Cancer Awareness Month runs into Halloween.  From my point of view the whole thing is getting really spooky and scary.  You can actually go to a place known as Pumpkinville where they are being sold in aid of Komen  Of course, infamously, there was the KFC Bucket for the Cure, where 50c from each bucket sold went to Susan G Komen, despite the fact that this kind of product is actually linked as a cause of breast cancer.  Campbells soup produced Pink chicken noodle soup.  Yoplait had people saving lids to save lives by donating 10c per pink lid sent in; and then there is the Big Daddy of them all – the Promise Me perfume developed by and sold in aid of Komen of which only 3% of the cost went to the non-profit.  What happened to the rest of the money, considering that it was something they had commissioned?  Of course the other problem with a lot of these products is that they are laced with cancer causing chemicals, hormones and packaging.

But with all this money floating around how much is getting to the research lab bench to investigate Metastatic breast cancer?  The best figures I have come across are about 7%, but in the case of Susan G Komen they give 1.7% (yes there is a decimal point in there) for MBC research.  This means that 98% is going to Early Stage Breast Cancer which is not the type of breast cancer which kills.  I once asked Cancer Research UK what percentage they devoted to any form of metastatic cancer – about 1%.

Doing charity work used to be a vocation.  Now it seems to be an astute career move to a well paid job with good benefits.  Yet these charities also reply on thousands of volunteers to keep them running, and without whom they could not keep going and raking in the money.  How much of a return on their investment in time, effort and dedication are those volunteers getting these days?  You can bet it is no where near the same return that certain people and corporations get.


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