Keeping our eyes and ears open…..

Tag Archives: language

How do you define the cure for cancer?

Title: How do you define the cure for cancer?

Author: Alicia Staley

Publication: wegoHealth

Publication Date:  January 4, 2011

“Recently, I wrote about the controversy surrounding the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation’s efforts to manage its’ brand image. One of the most interesting conversations that’s come up since that posting was around the definition of “the cure.”  I was interviewed by Eric Rosenthal from Oncology Times and he helped me realize that I hold a very narrow definition of “the cure.”  It seems that many other cancer survivors view “the cure” in the same way that I do. We want cancer to disappear, never to start in the first place.  Is this what “the cure” really means?”

Link to Full Article

Komen ‘For the Cure’ Trademark Protection Ignites Ire of Some Breast Cancer Bloggers

Title: Komen ‘For the Cure’ Trademark Protection Ignites Ire of Some Breast Cancer Bloggers

Author: Eric T. Rosenthal

Publication: Oncology Times

Publication Date: December 31, 2010

“It isn’t always easy being perceived as the 800-pound gorilla or Goliath in the world of breast cancer advocacy, especially when that position can make for a very large and vulnerable target for criticism from the blogging Davids out there with virtual slingshots.

Early in December, just as the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium was getting under way, The Huffington Post published an article charging that Susan G. Komen for the Cure was “elbowing out” other charities and events over use of the word “cure.”

The author, Laura Bassett, wrote that “in addition to raising millions of dollars a year for breast cancer research, fundraising giant Susan G. Komen for the Cure has a lesser-known mission that eats up donor funds: patrolling the waters for any use by such organizations that use any variation of ‘for the cure’ in their names.”

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The Battle “for the Cure” – The Phrase, That is

Title: The Battle “for the Cure” – The Phrase, That is

Author: Gayle Sulik

Publication: Oxford University Press blog

Publication Date: December 20, 2010

“Laura Bassett wrote a scathing essay in Huffington Post about Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s legal dealings to win control over the phrase “for the cure.” According to Bassett, “Komen has identified and filed legal trademark oppositions against more than a hundred…charities, including Kites for a Cure, Par for The Cure, Surfing for a Cure and Cupcakes for a Cure – and many of the organizations are too small and underfunded to hold their ground.”

Why would the largest, best funded, most visible breast cancer organization put so much energy (and allegedly a million dollars per year) into trademarking common language like “for the cure”? Answer: To control the breast cancer brand. Indeed the cause of breast cancer has transformed from an important social issue to a brand name with a pink ribbon logo. The brand virtually guarantees consumption, revenues, advertising, and heightened visibility. Dominating the breast cancer brand would solidify the organization’s position in pink ribbon culture and in the marketplace it feeds.”

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Think About Pink: Letters

Title: Think About Pink: Letters

Author: Various

Publication: New York Times

Publication Date: November 26, 2010

We read with concern Peggy Orenstein’s opinions about breast-cancer-awareness tactics and believe that another point of view must be considered. Orenstein’s ridicule of the impact of the pink ribbon is offensive to the millions who wear it proudly and who participate in raising awareness and much-needed funds for research, in a world where more than 450,000 people still die from breast cancer every year. The pink ribbon is a worldwide symbol, promoting awareness and galvanizing support from individuals and businesses, large and small. Their generosity has allowed our organization to devote $1.5 billion to research, education, detection, treatment and support programs.

The enemy in this fight is not a color or a ribbon; it is a disease that too often leads to suffering and death, and against which we still need major advances.

Founder and C.E.O.
Susan G. Komen for the Cure

Chairman, Susan G. Komen Scientific Advisory Board

Link to All Letters

Think About Pink

Title: Think About Pink

Author: Peggy Orenstein

Publication: New York Times

Publication Date: November 12, 2010

[I]t’s hard to remember that, not so long ago, the phrase “breast cancer” was not something women spoke aloud, even among themselves. It wasn’t until the early 1970s, with the high-profile diagnoses of the former child star Shirley Temple Black, the first lady Betty Ford and Happy Rockefeller that the disease went public. A short time later, Betty Rollin, an NBC-TV correspondent, published the groundbreaking memoir “First You Cry.” Back then, her grief over losing her breast and the blow cancer dealt to her sex life was greeted with hostility by some critics and dismissed as frivolous. Mammography was just coming into use to detect early-stage tumors. The American Cancer Society was still resisting the idea of support groups for post-mastectomy patients. A woman like Rollin, some said, was supposed to be grateful that she qualified for a radical mastectomy, stuff a sock in her bra and get on with it.

Fast-forward to today, when, especially during October, everything from toilet paper to buckets of fried chicken to the chin straps of N.F.L. players look as if they have been steeped in Pepto. If the goal was “awareness,” that has surely been met — largely, you could argue, because corporations recognized that with virtually no effort (and often minimal monetary contribution), going pink made them a lot of green.

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