Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Female Cancers and Crankiness

Yesterday I wrote this post about my church's practice of having a breast cancer Sunday during October, which has become Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  My thoughts have continued in this direction.

Maybe I'm so aware of it because I go to a gym in a hospital to work out.  Maybe in other parts of the world, people aren't even aware of this month as having special cancer awareness.

Does other cancer warrant a whole month?  Maybe I'm just blissfully unaware of Colon Cancer Awareness month.

Now, before I go further, a few disclaimers.  Yes, I've lost people to cancers of all sorts, and yes, I understand the importance of early intervention.

But why no Lung Cancer Awareness month?  Lung cancer kills more women each year than any other kind of cancer.

Why no Ovarian Cancer Awareness month?  Imagine what might happen if the same resources went to solving ovarian cancer as we've spent on breast cancer.  Right now, most women won't discover that they have ovarian cancer until it's far too late.  What if we could develop some kind of test that would insure early detection?

I could write a feminist essay about how breasts have more cachet in our patriarchal culture, and thus, it's easy to have a breast cancer awareness month.  Lungs just don't have that same kind of pretty sex appeal.

I could write an investigative essay about how various foundations and individual crusaders have taken their personal battles to new levels.  What if one of those early crusaders had suffered from ovarian cancer instead of breast cancer?

But then I wonder if I should be writing about any of this at all.  Maybe I shouldn't let my crankiness get the best of me.

I will try to let go of my crankiness about Breast Cancer Awareness month by being grateful for my own good health.  I will be grateful that we live in a world that has changed so that we can talk about these diseases, so that people with these diseases won't feel so alone.  I will pray for those stricken by disease, by hoping for a world where cells never go cancerous.

And later this week, a poem!

1 comment:

Nancy said...

Thank you--thank you, thank you, thank you. My sister died from breast cancer several years ago, and I have to say that this whole "Pink October" thing drives me nuts. I appreciate the importance of early detection but the "pink ribbon avalanche" is too much. ESPECIALLY for those of us who are reminded every year that the pink ribbon brigade did NOT save our loved one.