The newest Facebook BC Awareness game

by Holly Raby, guest blogger

Spoiler alert- I’m going to reveal one of the latest Facebook games going around!

In past years, women have been asked to update their Facebook status with their bra color, the location of their purse, and other odd statuses in the name of Breast Cancer Awareness.  One of this year’s versions is to post a heart as your status.

This is supposed to promote Breast Cancer awareness.  Can anyone tell me how, since one of the rules of the game is “if anyone asks you why you have a heart as your status, don’t tell them”?  What’s the point?  How does that spread awareness?  And besides, isn’t everyone already aware of Breast Cancer?

How about something more useful?  If you want to do something meaningful for October, do something that will actually help yourself or someone else.  Don’t settle for posting a heart and buying a pink water bottle. Start a conversation.  Take a stand.

  1. If you’re 40 or older and haven’t had a mammogram in the past 12 months, schedule one.
  2. If you’re told “it’s probably just a cyst”, or “probably just an area of dense tissue”, or “you’re too young” (breast cancer can hit at any age- even teens) demand an ultrasound or mammogram to confirm.
  3. Make a donation to Metavivor (www.metavivor.org) – a volunteer organization that provides grant money to researchers looking into cures for Metastatic Breast Cancer.
  4. Make a donation to Metastatic Breast Cancer Network (www.mbcn.org).  MBCN’s mission is awareness of mbc, education for patients and advocacy for treatments to extend our lives.
  5. If you’re in the Twin Cities, shop at Hope Chest For Breast Cancer (http://hopechest.us/) – proceeds provide emergency financial support to women with Breast Cancer to help them cover their rent, utilities, and transportation costs so they can get to doctor appointments, and don’t have to make the decision of whether this month’s paycheck goes to chemo or their landlord.  (And Hope Chest has super cute stuff!)
  6. Before throwing random pink items in your shopping cart, find out how much, and to where, that company is donating.  If the company doesn’t or can’t tell you, reconsider the purchase.
  7. Join Army of Women (www.armyofwomen.org) , and help researchers find the cause of Breast Cancer.  They need women of all ages, with or without any prior history of breast cancer.
  8. Post some of the following facts, instead of a heart, as your FaceBook status:
    1. 280,000 women and 2,000 men will be diagnosed with Breast Cancer this year in the US.
    2. According to American Cancer Society, 39,520 women and 450 men died of breast cancer in 2011.
    3. A lump is not the only sign/symptom of Breast Cancer.  One type, Inflammatory Breast Cancer, doesn’t present with a lump at all.
    4. Risk factors include being a woman, being overweight, not exercising, not eating healthy, smoking, getting older, and drinking alcohol.  You can control most of these.  Learn more: http://www.breastcancer.org/risk/factors/.  But doing everything right doesn’t make you immune, either.  You can’t prevent Breast Cancer, but you can reduce your risks.
    5. 1 in 8 women will be affected by Breast Cancer in her lifetime.
    6. 20-30% of women diagnosed with an early stage (stage I, II, or III) cancer will have the cancer return months, years, or decades later as stage IV (metastatic). 6-10% of women (like me) will be diagnosed with Metastatic Breast Cancer from the get-go.
    7. There is no cure for Metastatic Breast Cancer.
    8. Only 5-10% of Breast Cancer cases are due to genetic factors.
    9. Check out some of these blogs to get a glimpse into the daily life of someone with Breast Cancer:

My Big Girl Pants- http://mybiggirlpants.blogspot.com/

Planet Toddler- http://toddlerplanet.wordpress.com/ (Sadly, the author of this blog died in February 2012, but her blog leaves a legacy of her fight to the very end)

I Hate Breast Cancer- http://ihatebreastcancer.wordpress.com/

F*ck Cancer- http://fckcancer-carla.blogspot.com/

Any of these, named best breast cancer blog of 2012- http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/best-breast-cancer-blogs#1

Thank you, on behalf of all women currently living with Breast Cancer, for helping us spread meaningful and useful information about this.

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13 Responses to The newest Facebook BC Awareness game

  1. Are You KIDDINGME????? Again with the Facebook stupidity???? Ok. I’m posting this blog on my Facebook page. In fact, I’m posting the spoiler in my status update.

    Can I add one more thing to your fan-freakin-tastic list? JOIN the new Health of Women Study which was officially launched today by Dr Susan Love Research Foundation…… This will be open sharing of information.

  2. Judy says:

    I started noticing a bunch of people putting hearts as their status. I figured it was that time of year and this was the newest “support breast cancer” status. Too bad people don’t get it.

    Great ideas here. I will have to share.

  3. katherinembc says:

    Reblogged this on ihatebreastcancer and commented:
    Holly Raby, guest blogger at MBCN Buzz says skips the Facebook “heart” and other breast cancer awareness games. Here are 9 Meaningful October Activities…

  4. Excellent! I will reblog as well. I’m also tweeting and noting on facebook. Thank you again for a terrific post and for remembering Susan Niebur.

  5. Reblogged this on Musings on Health Communications and Health Advocacy and commented:
    This post gives people a terrific list of USEFUL things to do during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

  6. Terrific post. I wish everyone could read this. And AnneMarie is right: join the new Health of Women Study. I just did. xox

  7. dropjohn says:

    https://www.healthofwomenstudy.org/

    Free, user friendly, online, easy, open to *all* women (and some men), and potentially incredibly useful. This I would appreciate. Take the survey, share it on social media – the more women participate, the more accurate the results are likely to be.

    I did it.

  8. [...] ways to support the cause and links to some of the best breast cancer blogs out there, check out this post on the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network by blogger Holly [...]

  9. Holly Raby says:

    Thanks ladies, for reading, re-posting, and telling others that it’s long past time to move from awareness to action! The HOW study wasn’t available when I originally wrote this, but I’ve been pushing everyone I know to participate. Love to you all!

  10. Holly – You make a great point. I believe that posting the silly status on facebook, without a doubt, spreads the word about breast cancer to audiences who may not have dealt with it or don’t even think about it. I believe that we should continue to use the status as a platform to get the audience, and once we’ve achieved that, we should use our platform to share facts about breast cancer. This is how i will do it moving forward. Thanks for the great insight! xo

    • P.S. The reason why i found this blog, is because my friend’s status on FB was “8 1/2 inches, 8 hours”…it peaked my curiousity so i asked her about it and she told me it’s to help raise breast cancer awareness. So i went to google and here i am :)

  11. Joan Howaniec says:

    I found your blog while researching the facebook status change game. I wish I had found this first! Very informative and I did share this with my f/b friends. As a breast cancer survivor I should have known better.

  12. Great ideas, except I’d soft-pedal the “You MUST get a mammogram every year after 40″ one. Pushing mammograms as the key to breast cancer survival is looking worse every day. What we’re finding is that they do a great job of finding relatively harmless, slow-growing cancers and getting them overtreated, but not so good a job of finding quick-growing, more lethal ones.

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