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Against the pink and blue ribbon campaigns.

Every year, our country explodes in an advertising fever that covers almost all public institutions and private organizations. The fight against cancer. In principle noble and well intentioned, but misguided outside the advertising context. All participants do so to remain valid to the public opinion. Otherwise, they would be criticized by everyone, so we are clear in the irony of our criticism. However, we ask for patience and reach the end of this post before dusting your tridents and torches.

 A little history...

 The use of ribbons is not new in its current form, although it can be traced to an initiative of artists trying to raise awareness about the AIDS pandemic in 1991, but its use in the West is much older. In our country, we now have nationwide campaigns with pink ribbons for breast cancer and light blue ones for prostate cancer, two of the main cancers in women and men. However, there are worse cancers, much less popular, such as lung and stomach that do not have such well-established campaigns, but that take even more lives.


 Cancer, quite the opposite of everything said and repeated in campaigns year after year, cannot be prevented, only detected early. A late diagnosis is almost synonymous with death. ... but, in magazines we read on a daily basis about this or that measure to prevent cancer. Are they wrong?

 Yes. Studies are not done in people we know will have cancer, but in groups that share certain common biological characteristics, such as age or gender, but are subject to one or some different environmental factors, such as a dietary or exercise regimen specifically, to then compare statistically which group has less or more cancer.

 The other problem is that the articles are taken out of context from a detail of scientific studies, such as the presence of a certain molecule in a food, to promise cure or prevention to its readers. This does not take into account the dose, which can often be toxic, so you have to read it as a curiosity, not as a fact.

 And what do we propose?

 A few years ago, an initiative of the first lady's office, wasting resources trying an advertising feat. We all criticize the measure, with good reason. However, we turn a blind eye to the spending of different actors on pink or blue items, organizing walks and promotional campaigns for cancer awareness.

 The money spent could well be used to supply public hospitals with the necessary supplies to provide the necessary services throughout the year, or for private centers to reduce costs hence facilitating access to such necessary services.

 The problem with this measure is that the Panamanian public does not take responsibility for the preventive aspect of their health, but rather they react emotionally to the campaigns or when a family member or friend becomes ill. People are simply not ready to take medical check ups into their agendas, even for their birthdays.

 Another point against this is that advertising for breast and prostate cancer awareness represents a form of promotion from which all parties involved benefit ... except patients.

 Some final words ...

 Many organizations and individuals want to participate in helping cancer patients, starting from a genuine interest. However, the community itself and local governments are not organized in a way that facilitates cooperation. Every year, high school students fulfill an ephemeral social service that has the same function as the campaign we have decided to criticize in this post. The youth's intervention does not change the situation of people in social vunerability at all, and they only seek to meet the required hours to obtain a diploma.

Public offices and private companies also do not have an organized interest to help these cancer patients or facilitate preventive health campaigns throughout the year, so that we are not optimistic that social dynamics will change in the near future to benefit patiens in the entire Republic.

 Perhaps all you need is you to get interested, dear reader.

Cáncer, camaign, pink, blue, ribbon, breast, mam, prostate, prostprostatic, gland, prevention, Panama, October

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