Why I Hate Breast Cancer Awareness Month

An advertisement for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The caption reads "October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Pass it on!"

Dear Breast Cancer:

I am aware. It’s not because of the extremely effective marketing, with the pink ribbon campaigns. It’s because I lived in your house, and you lived in mine.

It seems that my mother’s breast cancer was just bad luck, and not genetic. Even if my mother didn’t have one of the genetic mutations for breast cancer most common in Ashkenazic Jewish women — and didn’t pass that gene onto me — I’m a woman, and one in eight of us will be diagnosed with the disease in our lifetime. That means that I should feel moved to light a candle and walk around a track with a lot of other people. I should love October, I should welcome a chance to spread more “awareness” of breast cancer.

But awareness is literally the least we can do. There’s a huge gap between being aware of breast cancer as a possibility and being able to access screening methods and treatments, which unfortunately, many women cannot do.

Read more at the Sisterhood >>

Chanel Dubofsky is a regular contributor to the Sisterhood, which crossposts regularly with Jewesses with Attitude.


Previously on Jewesses with Attitude:

Rose Kushner: Breast Cancer Activist Pioneer

Save the ta-tas?

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz: Battling breast cancer on Capitol Hill

What would Ida Cohen Rosenthal think of your bra as a symbol for breast cancer awareness?

Breast Cancer Awareness: Overseas, At Home, and in Jewish Communities (podcast)

Miriam Engelberg (1958-2006)

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How to cite this page

Rosenbaum, Judith. "Why I Hate Breast Cancer Awareness Month." 5 October 2010. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on May 22, 2022) <https://jwa.org/blog/why-i-hate-breast-cancer-awareness-month>.

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