Breast Cancer Awareness Month is so overrated.

October is not just Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

October is commonly known for being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and all around many stores participate in spreading awareness. However, it’s also the month of many more causes and things to be aware of. People are more aware of breast cancer than they are of the other things, and they spend a lot of time throughout the year constantly “spreading awareness”.

Do we even use the word “awareness” properly anymore? It’s so overused that it becomes overrated, I think. People treat cancer patients and survivors like they’re royalty, yet they’re so ignorant toward the people who fight depression, the people who were abused, the people who rescue animals, etc.

There comes a time when it’s no longer “raising awareness” and turns into “raising money” and “trying to get people to care”.

Is it heartless of me to say that I don’t care about it? I have/had family members who had cancer, and I’ve even had friends whose family had it. However, I don’t care about it because of the image that comes with it. I support those who are fighting it and looking for a cure, but the image that I see with it is that background information that is never talked about as much. I also support the cause, but I won’t donate money to it unless it’s directly simply because of its image.1

Anyway, October is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month, National CyberSecurity Awareness Month, National Bullying Prevention Month, National Down Syndrome Awareness Month, and more.

Maybe one year October will be spent raising awareness for a lesser known issue rather than one that makes so much money that [I’m pretty sure] businesses use it for marketing.

  1. For example, Susan G. Komen lacks all respect from me.

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Comments on this post

Nancy’s gravatar

Out of all of the awareness months, breast cancer is probably the most popular one.. I mean prostate cancer awareness month was September and I hear nothing about it. The same goes to cyber security; which is sad since I’m in the field and all.

People should always fight for a cure for cancer of all kinds; but organizations making money out of raising awareness or so and not completely being up to par with what they say is grotesque. There are always ‘awareness’ for cancer since events for it happens year-round such as Relay For Life. I agree that lesser known issues should be brought up one day (or month in this case).

Liz’s gravatar

I actually wasn’t going to include cyber security, BUT I thought of you. xD

Disy’s gravatar

October is also Hispanic Heritage Month (half September and half October). I agree with you. I think us Americans tend to be bandwagon jumpers on almost EVERYTHING around us. This month what is “cool” is breast cancer awareness, which is good and all, but people will overdo it and be the most dedicated to the cause, then next month will forget and completely jump to the next ‘in’ thing. It makes me wonder if people do really support everything they say they support.

Alysa’s gravatar

It’s so true.
Plus, it’s so oversexualized, and the majority of the money does not actually get to cancer research.

Adri’s gravatar

I’ve been supporting cancer awareness months for personal reasons. My mom, for example (breast cancer survivor), as well as my aunt (for the same reason). And then my granduncle and my two late cousins-in-law (prostate cancer, but eventually lost their life to pancreatic cancer, with the second one passing away two years after the other). I was more focused though towards American Cancer Society than Susan B. Komen, knowing that breast cancer isn’t the only cancer that can kill women (cervical cancer?). Thinking about it, I really do think that Breast Cancer Awareness Month is overrated also, but glad you didn’t say that “October is the most overrated month” LOL.

October is also Hispanic Heritage Month and also Filipino-American History Month. I pretty much know most of October, partially because October happens to be my birthday (I know that sounds like a selfish reason to know these things by common knowledge). XD

Hiro’s gravatar

It was personally so frustrating when I spent all September advocating for brain aneurysm/AVM awareness month, and not once did i see it mentioned anywhere aside from aneurysm related webpages. But as soon as it became October 1st, I got 2 corporate mail ads and dozen of online ads about breast cancer awareness month. But it’s rarely really about warning signs or getting scanned or about survivors or families or the hell they go through. It’s this charity or that which probably don’t actually use the money raised appropriately, and the NFL that gets brownie points for all their pink, but don’t actually donate much of anything. :/

Liz’s gravatar

I know, right?! They’re usually marketing emails to buy this and buy that. 😡

Stephanie’s gravatar

Agreed! The Susan G. Komen organization is pretty terrible. Finally, what’s pretty annoying is that breast cancer has so much more research money than most other cancers even though other cancers, like colon cancer, are much deadlier.

Awareness is definitely important, and the people doing breast cancer awareness campaigns did a very good job spreading awareness. Hopefully, the people running awareness campaigns for other causes can learn a thing or two so that they can have some of the spotlight too. Currently, we probably don’t need any more cancer awareness, at least not in my social circles. But the world would certainly benefit from more campaigns for mental health (and a long list of others).

I strongly believe that the biggest reason a good friend of mine was able to fully recover from bipolar disorder was because her family and friends all understood mental illness and were extremely understanding and supportive. Apparently, that’s rare which really needs to change. But since people with cancer and disabilities were ostracized not too long ago, I know that the same change can happen with mental health issues too.

Amanda’s gravatar

You know, I never actually thought about it but you’re right. There are so many other things than breast cancer that at least deserves some recognition because it’s actually a pressing matter. I’m pretty sure yeah, organizations and businesses always pick breast cancer because it’s something they’ve heard of ’cause I want to say that most people don’t have a clue about the other things that October (or any month for that matter) can represent.

Agent Q’s gravatar

One word: marketing. People buy into the concept to feel good about themselves. There are individuals out there who are genuinely concerned, but I’m convinced that they’re the exception. For that reason, I cannot discount the significance of such awareness month. On the other hand, we have a good number of people who want to assert their righteousness by showing they care, but with an ulterior motive. Some are at a subconscious level, of course.

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