The irony of my antipathy toward this band wagon is, of course, the loss of my mother to breast cancer. Wearing or buying pink ribbon emblazoned items won't bring her back. Sound research that focuses on the cause of the disease versus money funneled to a cure will bring millions of women more peace of mind. Determine what causes the cancer and the cure will follow.
This is not the protocol that Big Pharma wants to hear. It isn't what the probably causers of carcinogenic conditions want us to focus on, either. Finding the causes - and yes, they most definitely are likely to be plural - might cost greedy corporations profits, after all.
However, the why of any disease or condition is always the thing that nags us, and drives our uneasiness with the subject. For example:
- What if my mother's breast cancer originated with the cobalt radiation she received for bursitis a few years prior to the cancer diagnosis?
- What if my mother's breast cancer originated in exposure to fertilizers and herbicides used in the fields on two sides of our yard?
- What if my mother's breast cancer originated in living too close to the property where the Radium Dial Co. was located in Ottawa, Illinois?
- What if my mother's breast cancer originated in her genetic code?
- What if my mother's breast cancer originated in exposure to asbestos, or other airborne particles, when she lived near the Charleston Navy Yard?
- What if my mother's breast cancer orginated in the pollutants that were routinely released by the chemical and zinc works into the water and atmosphere when she lived on the east end of LaSalle?
Think about it. Cause and effect. You had that in kindergarten. We won't get at the cause until we women rebel against pink marketing campaigns for a cure, and demand scientific answers to the elusive causes. And THAT'S a cause I can get behind.
*In memoriam, Tom Clancy, whose thriller inspired the title of this piece. Requiescant in pace.