What cancer awareness really looks like

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What breast cancer awareness really looks like.JPGBy Brandie Sellers

Brandie Sellers teaches yoga, meditation, nutrition and cooking. She paints, writes, runs and plays with her children. She is a two-time breast cancer survivor and a divorcee.

Brandie is crazy about her three children, and is blessed with a slew of sister friends who pick her up when she's down, keep her honest with herself when she's full of it, and make her laugh until she cries. Follow her at

Cancer survivors laugh a bit at this cancer awareness stuff. Nobody is more aware of cancer than we are. It's either in us or has been in us, and it's all around us in the form of friends and all those ribbons of various colors.

There is a difference between awareness and marketing. Using cancer to sell products is shameful. If I see one more carcinogenic product made in China in the color of breast cancer pink I might throw up.

I don't think there is a cancer donation police checking to make sure those companies really donate a percentage to cancer. And even if they do, they're probably causing more harm with those awful products than good with whatever meager money they donate.

Those products are increasing awareness of their brand, not cancer, and trying to link themselves to cancer and capitalize on that. That burns me up.

What does a helpful way of increasing awareness look like?  
Increasing awareness is getting the word out to get screenings for breast and prostate cancers and to heed the body's warning signs and see a doctor when things feel "off."
Increasing awareness is telling women that they need to be intimately aware of what their breasts feel like at all phases of their cycle so that when they're in the shower and feel a lump they know if it's the normal, fibrous tissue they normally have or if it needs to be checked out. 

I found both of my tumors through self-exams.

Awareness is waking people up who are feeding themselves and their children atrocious diets. We don't need food marketed to kids. We need kids to eat real food, like broccoli and strawberries. And, we need to throw out the excuse that kids don't like vegetables. 

I have three children. They all eat vegetables. 

Awareness is accepting the truth that many seeds of cancer are planted when we are children. Keeping cigarette smoke away from children, nourishing their bodies with plant-based foods and keeping them out of the strong sun are simple ways we can make a huge impact.

Taking care of children is literally building people. We have a responsibility to give them the best building blocks, the best cells possible.

Awareness is committing to moving your body. We don't have to be marathoners. We can just get off the couch and walk. We can play kickball in the yard with our kids. It doesn't require a membership or expensive equipment. 

Awareness means acceptance that, for a large part, we are steering this ship we call a body and we can set it to sail in open sea or we can set it to crash into an iceberg. We need to drop whatever excuses we're using to harm ourselves with food and habits and take responsibility for our health, and for the health of our children. 

Marketing products isn't increasing cancer awareness. Instead of making ourselves feel better by buying something in breast cancer pink that may or not be contributing an infinitesimal amount to charity, we need to make ourselves feel better by increasing our vitality and wellness, and by getting those screenings.

Read more posts by Brandie Sellers


Thanks for your article. I appreciated some of the things you talked about like how "Pink" has taken over. It has grown so much so fast that much may be maketing. There needs to be a seal, hologram like on sports team appral that we can be assured that a % goes to the cause as promised. It is not China's fault it is the American business persons are at fault.

I just came back from China a few weeks ago teaching Conversational English in classrooms there for a couple of weeks. I didn't see the "Pink push" there at all in Beijne or in the midwestern Providences I was in. In the population, in shops or in the markets. It is the American business people who buy, have China make their products"Pink" to make more profit and not benefit Breast Cancer cause/research at all.

I lost my wife at 54 a few years ago after a 15 month battle even though it was caught early. She was a part of a number of clinical trial in Boston, Houston and Dallas with no success. That the money gets to the proper place to help with a cancer cure and/or more sucessful treatments is very important to me.

She never did not like the "pink" items even though she received some items as gifts.
It made her think more about her cancer when she saw them and that was not a comfort for her but a sad reminder of her affliction. It was not really that way with me, but your article did make me more aware of whether the money ges to the cause in all cases. I will be more deligent and make others more deligent to be sure the sellers does follow through and do what they promoised and not just another marketing means for business to make more money!! Thanks again for your thoughts.

Glad to hear these comments, I've had similar thoughts, thanks for sharing!

My wife is a Breast, Bone & Brain, 1992,1994 & 1996 respectively, survivor and just celebrated her 70th Birthday , Thank you, Jesus and Mother Mary, Physicians and hospital staff and Alternative medicine, Ayurveda and Tibetan Meditation and Shaolin Healing and Oriental Medicine and more. God Bless, Richard Foley, Houston, Texas.

At age 75 I have been diagnosed with Colon Cancer stage 4, even though I have had two complete physical examinations a year for the past 20 years, and at least 4 to 6 checkups a year.
The only thing my doctor will tell me for certain, is that i have about one year left to live. I am as healthy now as I have ever been in my life, except for a short time after chemo.
One thing this has done is to alert me to how many times a day i hear the word cancer. All of the cures that are happening and being sought.
However, NOBODY is even trying to find a cure for colon cancer !!!!!!!!!!
Why not???????????????

I have quit smoking since my first child as well. Thank you for the great article on awareness. I've never been fully "aware".

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