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Letter: Pink is a reminder

Marcia Fenske re breast cancer

Published on October 6, 2017 12:01AM

My story is different from Laura Snyder’s (“Breast cancer? Think more than pink,” The Daily Astorian, Sept. 29). I am a breast cancer survivor and remain “cancer-free” almost 11 years later. I know that the cancer could rear it’s ugly head again. There’s no way to ever be certain; no ability to claim “cured.” But, I have no problem with “painting the world pink” every October.

I agree that awareness is not the issue it once was, yet I am frequently amazed by the misinformation I hear. It seems to me that people are not really aware of breast cancer until they are touched personally; until a loved one has been diagnosed with this horrible disease. Then, the research and education begins — they become aware.

The mortality rate for breast cancer is decreasing. And yet according to, 252,710 women and 2,470 men in the U.S. will be diagnosed with some form of breast cancer in 2017. Yes men, you are not immune. The fact that 20 to 30 percent of those with early-stage breast cancers will get metastatic disease is scary. But, that also means that 70 to 80 percent of those early-stage cases will not. Early detection and early intervention remain key.

That is why I like to see all the pink. It starts conversations. It reminds women to get that mammogram they’ve put off. It presents people with multiple foundations to support — Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center are both excellent. I agree that people need to check into how much of that money is funding what projects vs. lining someone’s pocket. Fordcares/Warriors in Pink donates 100 percent of the net proceeds.

Yes, The Susan G. Komen Research Foundation is a behemoth. But, in addition to research, it funds education, services and treatment. Women in this area who are uninsured or underinsured have received mammograms free of charge, and some medical and travel expenses reimbursed, thanks to Komen.

Marcia Fenske



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