Sunday, October 11, 2009

Off-topic: Men AND women die of other cancers, too -- why the heavy attention for breast cancer?

Pink is everywhere this month as government and commercial entities alike have joined hands to urge us to fight breast cancer. More than 40,000 women will die of it this year, according to the American Cancer Society. American Cancer Society.

What is often lost in the tidal wave of pink is that more than twice that number of men will die this year of lung cancer. More than 27,000 men will die of prostate cancer. When was the last time someone urged you to eradicate prostate cancer?

And, yes, women die of other cancers, too. For example, far more women die of lung cancer than breast cancer.

So why the push to fight for breast cancer to the exclusion of other cancers? Is it because any help to fight breast cancer will almost exclusively benefit women while efforts to fight other cancers will also benefit men? And isn't society much more prone to want to help women than men? And doesn't this suggest a latent misandry?

Sounds cynical? OK, then explain why we largely ignore all other cancers except breast cancer.