Pink doesn’t cure breast cancer

Veronica Wernicke, Staff Writer

Veronica Wernicke is a freshman at UNCW majoring in Communication Studies and is a staff writer for The Seahawk. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. Veronica Wernicke may be found on Twitter @itsveronica98. All suggestions and inquires may be sent via email to

It’s October, so you know what that means: People buying anything pink and wearing all the pink they can because they think it will cure cancer. As the daughter of a breast cancer patient, I’m here to dissuade you from wearing and buying anything and everything pink during the time of the year that has been coined as “Pinktober.”

1 in 8 women each year and 1 in 1,000 men in a lifetime are diagnosed with breast cancer. Of those eight women about 40,610 women and 460 men will die due to breast cancer, according to the American Cancer society. My mom was one of those 40,601 women, so I get pretty heated during this time and for the right reasons.

Nothing makes me angrier than seeing stores sell pink items in October for breast cancer awareness, because they either aren’t donating money to any research organization or are donating to organizations which don’t conduct research and instead look to “educate.” Most recently I was caught off guard at Forever 21 where I spotted their “breast cancer awareness” line, which, with further research, I found that they in fact don’t donate any of the profits earned off that line to breast cancer research.

Seeing things like that makes my blood boil because so many people think just wearing pink will raise awareness and cure breast cancer and just to remind you, it doesn’t. It’s only the first week of October and I have already seen a giant pink ribbon in my residence building which read “On Wednesdays GH wears pink,” which in turn made me roll my eyes. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for breast cancer awareness, research and donating to reputable research causes, but I’m also pretty sure most of the population is aware of breast cancer’s existence. There is also much cause for concern if people actually think that simply wearing the color pink during October will actually cure cancer.

So, as a society, we need to get better awareness about where we are donating our money towards breast cancer research, instead of just throwing our money at anything with a breast cancer ribbon on it.

Another important fact to note is that it is more than just breast cancer awareness month, but also metastatic breast cancer awareness month as well. Metastatic breast cancer, also known as stage IV or the most advanced stage of breast cancer, is a breast cancer in which the cancer has spread throughout the body and past just being in the breast. Stage IV is also commonly referred to as “stage IV needs more” because organizations like Susan G Komen donate less than seven percent — yes, you read that right less than seven percent — towards metastatic research even though the five year survival rate after being diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer is 22 percent, according to a Healthline article.

So, I’m urging you to not only donate to breast cancer organizations, but also metastatic breast cancer research, because they really do need a bigger push and advancement in research.

Instead of buying anything and everything pink, think about donating money to reputable breast cancer research organizations like METAvivor, Metastatic Breast Cancer Network, Living Beyond Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer Research Foundation, The Young Survival Coalition and The Breast Cancer Site.

These are just a few options of organizations where you can wholeheartedly know that your donation is actually making a difference and actually going towards reputable breast cancer research. Again, making an actual monetary donation is going to do a lot more for research and progress towards a cure then you wearing pink every Wednesday.

Another alternative to wearing pink is holding fundraisers like bake sales or other fun events where you are donating the money afterwards to reputable organizations like the ones listed above, and again you can truly know your money and support is making a difference.

So if you’re going to wear pink this October, I’m begging you to understand that alone wearing pink doesn’t and won’t stop breast cancer. I also hope that you take the time, use your resources and do your research about the products you’re buying, that you are buying products and clothing that actually benefit breast cancer research, and that these brands or companies are actually donating a significant chunk of proceeds to reputable organizations and research, instead of one dollar. Nothing is going to help cure this horrendous disease unless we are accurately informed about donating, especially during “Pinktober.”

All of the organizations mentioned above are linked below if you are interested.