Beyond the Pink Ribbon: The Real Breast-Cancer Battle

"We spend too much time rocking pink ribbons already and not enough money on actual prevention and treatment," Kirsten West Savali writes at Clutch magazine. 

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"We spend too much time rocking pink ribbons already and not enough money on actual prevention and treatment," Kirsten West Savali writes at Clutch magazine.

... With African-American women being the victims of the most aggressive form of breast cancer, and higher mortality rates than their counterparts, we can not afford to get caught up in the hype. We owe it to ourselves to research our options beyond the pink ribbon. We owe it to ourselves to donate our time, money and resources to organizations that directly benefit black women, not gives us the change that's left over after big salaries are paid.

When my older sister was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007, my world tilted on its axis. The disease became real for me when I thought I would lose the woman closest to me in this world. Our family was helpless as she underwent chemotherapy, and heroically battled nausea and fear. This summer marked her 5th year cancer-free and I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, how truly blessed we are that she is still here, because so many of our sisters do not make it.

This is not an attack on SGK and early detection has, and will continue to save lives. I am simply stating that the breast cancer fight did not begin, nor does it end with them. Awareness is the first step, but for African-American women in particular, it is by far not the last one. Breast cancer is more than just a pretty cause, and it's time that we look beyond the ribbon to help fund grassroots organizations around the country more interested in a cure than a paycheck.

Our sisters' lives may very well depend on it.

Read Kirsten West Savali's entire piece at Clutch magazine.

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Kirsten West Savali is a cultural critic and senior writer for The Root, where she explores the intersections of race, gender, politics and pop culture. You can always find her where the good fight is—or good cookies. Follow her on Twitter.

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