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I had the great good fortune to be listening to Washington DC’s NPR affiliate, WAMU, early last week (yep, still love the radio – and particularly love that there’s an app for that on my Droid ;>) and heard a promo for a guest on that day’s Kojo Nnamdi Show: Dr. Gayle Sulik, a sociologist and researcher whose latest book is …

Pink Ribbon Blues: How Breast Cancer Culture Undermines Women’s Health 

(note: I would have inserted an image of the book cover here, but WP isn’t playing nice today. Meh.)

The topic of Gayle’s book identifies one of the core reasons I kicked off #teamplaid – “pink” has done a great job making early detection a viable, life-saving way to avoid dying from breast cancer that isn’t diagnosed in the early stages.

I’m living proof of the viability of mammograms as early detection.

However, the focus on a cure – which has driven Komen to all kinds of questionable business partnerships, like the one with Kentucky Fried Chicken (really??) and the pink-cleated NFL in October 2010 – has watered down Komen’s early detection message.

If awareness is the goal, Komen achieved that at least a decade ago. Now it seems to be all about Komen’s brand visibility (see my buddy Alicia Staley‘s terrific post Lawsuits for the Cure (part 1 is here, part 2 is here). Moving from advocating for breast health and early detection to flogging fried chicken, pro football, perfume, and paraben-laden skin care?

I’m out.

And in with #teamplaid – lending my voice to the chorus seeking early detection for ALL cancers. Including lung cancer, which is now killing more women than breast cancer – the majority of which diagnoses and deaths are not smoking-related.

So: out with pink. Build your own plaid ribbon, and join the chorus.

Pink Ribbon Blues + Why #teamplaid
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