While it is well-known that pink ribbons represent breast cancer awareness and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, I wanted to see how many people make that association immediately, without being prompted to directly. So, I asked my friends this simple question: “What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of or see the colour pink?”
It was definitely entertaining reading some of the answers that I received. Some answers were typical like girls, salmon, bubble gum, flowers, ballet, berries, ponies and cotton candy. Others were a bit more abstract (Nyan cat? Really?) To my surprise, one person said breast cancer awareness. And no, that one person was not myself, this actually happened.
Something I noticed that almost all of the responses had in common was that the things that came to mind first were generally positive in nature. Breast cancer, on the other hand, is not often seen as a positive, which may have contributed to it not being the first thing that came to mind for most people. Thus, not only would I like to see breast cancer mentioned more often, I’d like to see similar feelings towards approaching breast cancer. The word “cancer” comes with extremely negative connotations and for good reason. But what if, instead of despair, we greeted cancer with hope? Perhaps if it is portrayed in a positive light, people will be more willing and inclined to talk about the issue openly. It is my hope that someday, breast cancer will be one of the things that pops into their mind first upon seeing the colour pink.
When I first posed this question to my friends, I wasn’t expecting anyone to answer with breast cancer, and the original point I was going to make in this blog post was on the lack of awareness of breast cancer among youth. But I am so glad someone did, because it shows that there are people out there who care, and it is these people (like you reading this) who will help us get others talking about breast cancer. I know we are not alone, and that is what motivates me to help create a future without breast cancer.
Connie is a Youth Advisory Council Member in Edmonton and a guest blogger on Unhooked.