A Crucial Catch to Address Breast Cancer Disparities

25 October 2016

For the past several years, the NFL has gone pink in October. At first glance, it appears that the “Crucial Catch” campaign is simply another pinkwashing project. The campaign message: screening saves lives. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.

Proceeds from the auction of pink apparel, commemorative coins and other items are donated to the American Cancer Society’s CHANGE program – Community Health Advocates Implementing Nationwide Grants for Empowerment and Equity. This program promotes education and screening in underserved communities. While many feel that everyone is “aware” and that all funds should go towards research, significant disparities still exist regarding access to care and outcomes. Programs to improve education and access to screening and care in these communities are indeed crucial.

It is up to each individual (and organization) to decide if and how they want to support the breast cancer cause. Education, access to screening, support programs, and research all need funding. The CHANGE program is one very worthy of support. However, I join many of you who wish that the NFL (for all its muscle) had the strength to acknowledge in their messaging that a sea of pink does not equal a cure for breast cancer. Simply state that the funds are helping to address the significant disparities in education and access to care, and that addressing these issues will improve outcomes for many women and men.


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