Respect Life while Supporting Breast Cancer Awareness

October is LOUDLY and vividly proclaimed as breast cancer awareness month. Pink ribbons adorn almost every known object – some that really puzzle me (dog food???) — as various organizations vie for funding to promote “awareness” of breast cancer. Much less awareness is raised for the “Catholic” Respect Life month. However, both should and CAN be jointly celebrated and proclaimed. You ask, “Why am I so sure of that?” and “How can that be?”

Because my daughter (almost 2) and I (30 years old) are LIVING PROOF!!  I was diagnosed at age 28 while I was 20 weeks pregnant with her.

It is DEFINITELY possible to respect life and support breast cancer awareness/research without sacrificing one ideal over the other. Some breast cancer organizations do sacrifice to the altar of destroying life (abortion) to ‘save’ life (Susan G. Komen is one — read the Komen statement by Archdiocese of Baltimore; American Cancer Society is another). Sadly, even now, some of the big names in breast cancer awareness still proffer abortion as a necessary step in seeking treatment for breast cancer. Others have (since my frantic searching) updated their sites, but few offer real world support or even more than a vague “it’s possible to have chemotherapy/treatment when pregnant, but…”. This saddens and disappoints me. Especially since MD Anderson has published article(s) in peer reviewed journals as well as press release(s) indicating that women who get treatment while maintaining their pregnancy do BETTER than their non-pregnant (or abortive) counter-parts. The ambiguous wording on these “cancer awareness” sites is un-acceptable.

I have appointed myself as the Pro-Life Breast Cancer Awareness bull-horn.   I try to spread my story with humor and truth to everyone. I’m not opposed to showing someone a photo of my daughter & then launching into our struggle for survival. Some organizations promote life both for women who are victims of breast cancer as well as potential victims of abortion (see list below). I submit these organizations to you as ideas for your donations. I also suggest supporting your local cancer patients by participating in their fund-raisers and benefits. Helping people is what these big-name organizations are supposed to be doing, but the funds do not trickle down to the victims in a realistic or helpful way.

Breast Cancer Prevention Institute
PolyCarp Research Institute
National Breast Cancer Foundation
MD Anderson Cancer Center **

Its also important to note a little known scientific fact: Abortion has been linked to Breast Cancer… Not just by the so-called Christian-Right-Wing, but by a PRO-CHOICE researcher (you can also check out the references in the Arch diocese of Baltimore letter)!  As the earlier article by MD Anderson implies, aborting prior to treatment does NOT increase survival — in fact, the reverse is true! Oral contraceptive use has also been found to INCREASE risk of certain types of breast cancer in some groups of women according to another article. Yet, few of the well-known breast cancer organizations proclaim this scientific fact!

So when you are tempted to “Run for the Cure”, “Race for the Cure”, or any breast cancer awareness event remember this: many/most of these organizations are actually supporting the causation of breast cancer, by actually hiding information from women. Contrary to their public service announcements, ad campaigns, etc, they are not making women aware of their true options, nor are they truly interested in a very effective way to prevent breast cancer. I have, since I began writing this article, found that as early as 1956 it was postulated that abortion does NOT increase survival of pregnant women with breast cancer. That’s over half a century BEFORE I was diagnosed. How many children have been “theraputically” aborted due to cover-up of the facts?

If this month is truly about Breast Cancer Awareness, why not supply women with ALL the facts? Please, support breast cancer awareness with respect for life — ALL life born & unborn.

In addition to their favoring of aborting children, many of these “research” organizations routinely use embryonic stem cells — another  violation of human babies’ rights. Many are also not nearly as effective at using your donations as you assume. A HUGE portion of donations go to furthering more advertizing and paying the salary of the organization’s managers. Some of these organizations are also in the process of suing smaller organizations for using “for the cure” or even the pink ribbon that is universal for breast cancer awareness. Again, your donations may be paying the litigous lawyers pursuing this suit. Before you buy a pink be-ribboned item thinking you’re helping erradicate this terrible disease, ask yourself some questions… Foremost of those, “Does this organization really stand for *my* ideals?” as well as, “Does this organization really use my donation to do research and help women or is my money lining someone’s pocket?”

Please use your computer, smart phone, fingers (dial the phone), etc to ensure your donation is really going where you intend it to go. Don’t necessarily take only my word for it, find out for yourself. It is the wave of the future for everyone to have almost everything accessable to their fingertips. This is a luxury that we should not squander! Think, pray, research, etc before you buy pink!

* Since my diagnosis, these organizations have added a small blurb about treatment being possible during pregnancy, but the information is underwelming to someone actually dealing with such a diagnosis. Calling local offices is actually worse than visiting their online sites — every ACS or SGK representative I have spoken with had no idea that chemotherapy while pregnant was possible, much less well-documented.





**I have since been notified that MDA uses embryonic stem cells (ESCs) for research purposes. While I definitely do not condone their use of ESCs, I will continue to use MDA for my cancer center. However, I WILL be drafting a letter to the head of research (or some such) objecting to their use of ESCs. In 2005, when my mother sought treatment with them the laws limiting ESCs use were still in effect and there was a statement made by MDA that said they did not and/or would not use ESCs. I guess they changed their minds. It is up to people like you & me to change their minds once again!


**ETA {edited to add}: Courtesy of friends and family who love Erika, there is a fan page set up on Facebook to help defray costs for an upcoming FIFTH surgery that Erika will soon be facing – details can be found on the fan page. If you would like to join, thank you! If you would like to donate pray for Erika, thank you! If you would like to donate a small contribution, thank you! If you kindly share the link to friends and family, thank you!

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