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Tanning salons drag a pink herring.

September 29, 2009

You know how I feel about all the corporations selling pink stuff related to breast cancer… annoyed to put it mildly. For example, even though breast cancer patients are told to avoid wine, you can buy wine with a pink label that is supposed to make you feel better about breast cancer — presumably if you drink enough of it. It begs the question: Are they trying to raise enough money to save the lives of the women whose health they’ve already ruined? But pink wine labels pale in comparison to the latest pink campaign run by tanning salons.

It’s called “D-Feat Breast Cancer,” and is likely to be posted on a nice pink sign in the window of your local tanning salon. The purpose is to have tanners donate money toward research into how vitamin D can reduce the risk of breast cancer. While I think that there might be a connection, and that the connection deserves research, the tanning salons are obviously trying to use a curtain of pink ribbons to obscure their own contribution to another terrible form of cancer — malignant melanoma.

Studies show that tanning in a salon can significantly increase your chance of getting malignant melanoma. Further, malignant melanoma is quickly rising to the top of the chart for deaths caused by cancer.

D-Feat justifies itself on the premise that tanning generates vitamin D through the skin, vitamin D might reduce breast cancer deaths, therefore tanning is healthy. D-Feat also notes that breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in North America, which is about 45 times more cancer deaths than those caused by non-melanoma skin cancer.

Please note that they specify non-melanoma skin cancer. Here are some statistics to note. There are over 1 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancer diagnosed in the US per year, and 2,900 deaths.  Much non-melanoma skin cancer can be treated during a single visit to the doctor’s office. By way of contrast, there are about 69,000 cases of melanoma diagnosed in the US per year, and about 9,000 deaths.

So I re-iterate. Think carefully before you support a “pink” cause. Many organizations are trying to cover their own smelly trails by dragging a pink herring.

And if you want to know if you’re low in vitamin D, you can get a blood test and take supplements if you need them. Stay away from the tanning salon.

**************************

A couple of updates about me. First, I’ve been fighting a cold, so I’m behind in emails and answering comments. I’m feeling better now, though, so I’ll be catching up soon. Second, I had my first Avastin treatment last Friday. I seem to be doing fine. Third, I no longer require pre-meds for chemo so I won’t be too sleepy to drive myself home. Yay! So, I don’t need any more rides, but anyone is free to visit me.

Finally, a couple of people have commented about my reference in my last post to having a terminal illness. I do. I have stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. Unless I get into some sort of accident or die of some other sudden illness (or old age!), then this will kill me. Frankly, I don’t think it will, but I could be wrong. Plenty of you are praying that it won’t.

Please keep in mind that there are terminal illnesses and TERMINAL ILLNESSES. For example, some people live with diabetes (which is terminal) for one or two years before it “gets” them; others live for 80 years. Maybe a better way is to think of this as a chronic condition. It might go into remission and not bother me for quite a long time, during which time many new treatments could be developed. Given its previous slow-moving behavior, it’s likely to be that way….. as long as I take my vitamin D, eh?

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35 Comments leave one →
  1. September 29, 2009 6:26 pm

    You state, “D-Feat justifies itself on the premise that tanning generates vitamin D through the skin, vitamin D might reduce breast cancer deaths, therefore tanning is healthy.” That is not what the indoor tanning industry states. If used properly, an indoor sunbed is a good source of “the Sunshine Vitamin” or Vitamin D. The indoor tanning industry does not promote burning or overexposure. Overexposure is not good. The fact is that sun exposure, whether indoor or outdoor is the best source of Vitamin D. As opposed with supplements, when the body is exposed to sunlight, the body produces Vitamin D. It will not overdose you either, as you can do with supplements.
    Another interesting question is begged. What is the only item on the Group I World Health Report that you can not live without? Sunshine/Indoor Tanning.
    Cardiologists often recommend a glass of red wine a night; it has more benefits than risk. It too is on the list of Group I carcinogens. I have lived the last 10 years without red wine myself. And I am nutritionally and pleasurably sound. I do not believe I would be if never exposed to Sunshine.
    I believe thatthe benefits when used properly, far outweigh the risks…whether outdoor or indoor UV exposure.
    You are correct that there are FAR MORE breast cancer deaths and MANY with reportedly low levels of Vitamin D. Infact, not only breast cancer but many others linked to low Vitamin D levels.

    Please do not form the incorrect conclusion that the indoor tanning industry is promoting overexposure…it is NOT.

    See http://www.tanningtruth.com for a source of some good factual information.

    Fear and hype is not the solution. Education is everywhere! Isn’t it better to educate those Skin Type I & II populations, and those with many Nevis-Moles, or those who had Melanoma in their family history, that they are potentially one’s that need to be extra careful regarding Melanomas, and maybe they should have a check-up bi-annually; mealnomas caught early are often easily treated and are not life threatening. Maybe in their case they need to walk a finer line to balance the benefits of Sunshine and the associated risks…but surely low Vitamin D levels are not something anyone needs.

    • Jill permalink
      September 29, 2009 8:09 pm

      First of all, thanks for your prayers. I appreciate them. And note that I didn’t have to approve your comments for my blog, but I think your voice should be heard too. Still, I have some issues with what you say.

      Can you show me where the tanning industry is warning those at risk not to use tanning beds? Are they relying on the teenage clerks in the tanning salons to warn people against tanning? I’d hate to put my life in their hands.

      Also, you assume everyone with malignant melanoma will catch it early. The implication of your comments from the perspective of someone who has cancer is that if they don’t catch it early it’s their own fault because they should have had that bi-annual checkup. Would you go to a funeral and say something like what you said to their families? You might want to filter such statements. Most people I’ve known who catch malignant melanoma early do so purely by chance. Also, doctors miss things during checkups, as do pieces of highly technical equipment. My breast cancer didn’t show up on a mammogram because it came up quickly and aggressively between regular checkups. The same thing can happen with melanoma.

      You must understand how those of use with breast cancer perceive this marketing campaign by the tanning industry – it’s desperate, cynical, and manipulative. It’s a seeming attempt to trade a bad cancer for a worse one.

      You cite the World Health Organization report/fact sheet, but where does tanningtruth.com address it? The fact sheet states: “A study conducted in Norway and Sweden showed a significant increase in the risk of malignant melanoma among women who had regularly used sunbeds.” Are you saying all those Scandinavians were overexposed (and, again, should have known better)? The WHO fact sheet seems to imply that the amount of exposure needed to get a tan is sufficient to increase malignancy, and tanning is the goal of a tanning bed/sunbed, isn’t it? So is merely getting a tan overexposure, and how does one know where to draw the line? Or is everyone going in there just to get vitamin D? And maybe Scandinavians have the riskier skin types, but where else would tanning beds be as needed for getting and maintaining a tan as in the northern climates populated mostly by pasty people?

      As far as supplements, WHO also states, “While sunbed use may increase vitamin D synthesis, predominantly from the UVB component, for the majority of the population, incidental exposure to the sun, combined with normal dietary intake of vitamin D, provides adequate vitamin D for a healthy body throughout the year. If people require more vitamin D than the sun can provide (for example, because of living in polar regions) this should be supplemented through diet rather than sunbed use.” Further, a link to the vitamin D council from tanningtruth.com states that the risk of vitamin D toxicity (overdose) from supplements is overblown: http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/vitaminDToxicity.shtml.

      I am not a person who recommends no sun exposure whatsoever. In fact, I wish I hadn’t worn sunscreen on my face all those years, thus likely reducing my vitamin D intake and possibly contributing to my breast cancer. I drank that Kool-aid, and I hope you don’t make the equally dangerous mistake of drinking Kool-aid of a different flavor.

      • Tracie permalink
        September 30, 2009 1:00 pm

        I tan in the winter months specifically for my Vitamin D levels, and my salon does skin typing tests that take into account my heredity and suntanning history. Then, they tell me what skin type I am. I am a normal, type three. All professional salons will NOT tan sensitive type 1 people. I know this because my husband is a type 1 and he has tried several times to tan, and all the facilities we visit tell us no.

        Anyway, I really hope that you beat the cancer. You are in my prayers also.

        • Jill permalink
          September 30, 2009 3:34 pm

          Thanks, Tracie. It’s good to hear your perspective and to know your direct experience.

  2. September 29, 2009 7:22 pm

    Also…wanted to note that I will pray for you …that you turn your illness around.
    Hope you beat it!!!

  3. September 30, 2009 6:21 am

    Jill;

    I’m sorry to hear about your breast cancer and wish to shed some light (no pun) on indoor tanning and melanoma.

    You are correct that melanoma will be fatal for an estimated 9,000 in the US–of which 90% are over age 45, a median age of 60 and mostly male according to the SEER report from the American Cancer Society. But that doesn’t correlate to the indoor tanning industry which is predominately female and between 22-35 in age. The ACS does not track non-melanoma skin cancer in this report, as I’m told by them, because it largely is treated on an outpatient basis.

    And note that according to new research, it seems that melanoma incidence may in fact be vastly overstated. Read more at http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS187982+22-Jun-2009+PRN20090622

    Lastly, it’s hard to believe that anyone would criticize any effort to raise funds for something as important as breast cancer awareness.

    Nonetheless, my prayers are with you as you combat it.

    Joe

    • Jill permalink
      September 30, 2009 8:26 am

      Those are quite interesting statistics. Thank you for sharing them.

      One thing I appreciate about the tanning salons’ campaign is their focus on alternative treatments and root causes. I wish that some of the larger awareness campaigns would do the same — look at root causes and alternative treatments rather than focusing on “early detection.” What they forget is that 30% to 40% of breast cancers return, whether detected early or not. When breast cancer comes back it’s automatically Stage IV “terminal” cancer.

      That said, the salons’ image might be improved vastly in the eyes of at least this cancer patient if they made a direct donation to vitamin D research rather than using breast cancer as an image booster.

      I note that the Reuters article you cite discusses misdiagnosis of melanoma and has little to do with the subject at hand which is tanning salons. Further, I know plenty of men of the affected age group who have used tanning salons. Is it acceptable to ignore any of them who have melanoma simply because they don’t fit in the cited statistics?

      As far as criticizing efforts to raise breast cancer awareness, you will note that I also criticized wine manufacturers who use pink labels as a marketing ploy even though there is some evidence that alcohol consumption is linked to breast cancer. Their motives might be good, but their image might be better served in the public eye by a simple corporate donation to the cause.

      Further, given all the pink that we’re going to be buried under in October, do you really think that breast cancer awareness needs yet another boost? What about melanoma awareness? What about pancreatic cancer awareness? What about lung cancer awareness?

      I would also object if I saw a cigarette package with a pink label, thus raising breast cancer awareness at the expense of lung cancer patients. As much as you seem to support the tanning industry, and whether or not the statistics fit, you simply must face that this is how this campaign will be perceived in the public eye.

      The simple fact that so many people I don’t even know seem to have a need to protest so much doesn’t necessarily help.

      • September 30, 2009 9:25 am

        Jill,

        Actually the reuters release has a lot to do with tanning salons. Melanoma incidence is typically cited as being an epidemic and largely linked to indoor tanning. That release now tells us that research supports that its probably widely overestimated and due to our litigious society, moles are bladed off if there is any doubt. If melanoma is not on the rise, it could gives promise that people are actually tanning in moderation and avoiding sunburn–both possible in the controlled enviroment of indoor tanning.

        I’ll pass along your comments about where contributions on breast cancer awareness should go.

        All the best,

        Joe

        • Jill permalink
          September 30, 2009 9:54 am

          Thanks, Joe. I appreciate your tone and your comments. You’re giving good balance to the other side of the issue.

  4. Mori Goldlist permalink
    September 30, 2009 7:00 am

    “??? Think sunlight is dangerous…. Try living without it!”

    Obesity may in fact show itself to be the leading cause of deaths. Do you suggest banning food? Do you see McDonalds or Burger King etal telling people that they’re too fat and will not be served?
    Have you checked the quality of air that we breath? How about the water we drink?
    Of the Malignant Melanoma that causes death, why is it that most are located on parts of the body that never see sunlight?
    Are you so certain that the food manufacturers that claim to produce foods with Vitamin D actually have any Vitamin D at all or that the Vitamin D that they use is D2 instead of the D3 that works so much better and lasts so much longer in humans?
    You’re correct that many tanning salons are ill staffed and uneducated in the tanning procedures and safety requirements. BUT how about those restaurants? Rat infested kitchens and who knows what is spewed into your food by disgruntled employees. Any idea of how many avoidable deaths occur in hospitals?
    If all goes right, there is an attendant/adviser behind the counter of a tanning salon that will suggest a bed and time spent under that bed based on the client’s skin type, tanning history and personal wishes.
    The tanning bed shuts off, the sun isn’t that kind to us if we fall asleep. A typical 15 minute session under tanning beds provide about 15-18,000 international units of Vitamin D3. Any idea how many gallons of milk you would need to drink to get that? AND why is it that humans are the only animals in existence that not only continues to drink milk after weaning but actually drinks the milk of other species? Answer?… The Milk Marketing Boards and the governments that allow them to push that white poison onto the public so the dairy farmers won’t go broke. And fish oil? sure dose of mercury poisoning!
    When the smoke clears and humans begin acknowledging that the Pharmaceutical giants don’t make money off healthy people they’ll understand that our “health” system is geared entirely towards selling procedures and medications for all ailments and side effects that those medications and treatments cause rather than trying to make sure that we don’t get sick in the first place! But oh, what about all those fat-cat shareholders that demand that Big Pharm keep earning huge dividends, no matter what the cost to human health.
    You like having been blessed by that first commenter so will you then acknowledge that G-d would not have put us naked under his glorious sun if it was going to kill us rather than nourish us. Put your trust in G-d not Big Pharms!

    As in all things moderation is the key. Get your sunlight wherever you can but don’t overdo it! UV exposure is good.. UV OVERexposure is bad. Is that so difficult to understand?

    • Jill permalink
      September 30, 2009 8:47 am

      I understand also about OVER exposure being bad as is OVER eating at McDonalds. What we’re talking about here is people who can’t go backward and UNDERexpose themselves. The tanning salons are completely ignoring those people, which is the essence of the problem.

      As far as the McDonalds clerks telling people they’re too fat and won’t be served, the tanning industry is expecting attendants to tell people they’re too pale and won’t be served. The people behind the counter at McDonalds are not nutritionists, and the people behind the counter at tanning salons are not dermatologists.

      You mention, too, that the tanning attendants base their recommendations in part on personal wishes. Most people who go to a tanning salon personally wish to be very very tan. How many of them personally wish for their daily dose of vitamin D3?

      You said: “Of the Malignant Melanoma that causes death, why is it that most are located on parts of the body that never see sunlight?” Maybe those are the parts of the body that get exposed in the tanning bed.

      D2/D3 — Go to the supplements aisle. Supplement manufacturers (many of which are not big pharms) are all over D3 today. And I never mentioned milk.

      I also never mentioned big phrams, but you seem to have a bit of an axe to grind there. Ditto rat-infested kitchens, fish oil, and hospital deaths. I don’t see the logical connection to the topic at hand. You might want to take those topics to your own blog as you seem passionate about them.

      You have no idea how much more I trust the Lord than any kind of medication. He’s the Great Physician. Still, I don’t advocate public nudity.

  5. September 30, 2009 9:04 am

    Wow, there is certainly some spirited debate going on. I thought the original issue was a misguided (at best) ad campaign.

    I do have a comment about something mentioned in one of the tangents. Once I found out I was lactose-intolerant, and reading as much as I could about the condition, I came to the conclusion that the milk lobby must be a really powerful organization. My research taught me that after about age 5, the human body does not need milk any more, and in fact, many more people are lactose intolerant than are aware of it. They just keep taking meds for cramps and diarrhea. The only lactose tolerant human beings came from northern Europe. When people moved into that region, many died from not getting enough sun exposure. The only people who survived were the ones who could digest milk. I don’t have time to go into all of the statistics (it’s month end, and I’m an accountant), but I think comment above about the milk boards is pretty spot-on. (Many countries, especially in the middle east, don’t have milk as part of their diets, so this is probably mostly an American issue.)

    Secondly, I’d like to pass along what could be an easy way to lower your chances of sunburn. Since I read the following, I have started going outside without sunglasses for a few minutes before putting them on: “It has been argued that the optic nerve stimulates the pituitary gland to produce a hormone that triggers the melanocytes in the skin to make more melanin. When wearing sunglasses, less sunlight reaches the optic nerve which in turn causes less warning to be sent to the pituitary gland and thus less melanin is made. Since melanin is required in greater quantity, one might be limiting cells from producing a necessary compound to prevent the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation, and thus increasing the chance of sunburn.” So I figure a few minutes without sunglasses won’t really hurt my eyes much, might give me more natural sun protection, and might also (just a guess) make my body more receptive to the Vitamin D from the sun.

    Okay, that’s my two cents. 🙂

  6. September 30, 2009 10:08 am

    Your blog is so informative … ..I just bookmarked you….keep up the good work!!!!

  7. Lisa permalink
    September 30, 2009 12:56 pm

    Wow! I was all ready thinking that as I read the blog, then the responses.. So first, continued prayers and good thoughts! I hope the cold passes quickly.

    Hmmm…

    I will say since you posted about your issues with ‘pink’ I used that as an example in one of my graduate classes and it really got people to thinking. I did not identify you obviously, but still feel the need to say that. This conversation, reminds me of my classes as well, as people hold such a need to tell other’s what to think and in what means.

    Discouraging to me personally. I would think that a person living with any disorder/disability has a right to feel what they do. You also have as much of a right to interpret medical “knowledge” as any other person, if not more so.

    This Summer a study came out on tanning beds and clearly linked an increase in melanoma. For those of us who used those, yes me too, before this was known — where does it leave us? I figure I’m dinged on so many levels by now as I fit all of the melanoma categories, have a parent who had it and too many family members with too many kinds of cancers – guess all that is left unknown is when it will hit me?

    Yet, the issue of terminal is something else entirely. We are all terminal, but no one tells us this and we dont’ really talk about it. Still… well, my heart goes out to you and yours. I truly hope that like my son, you are a case that goes on to prove there is more unknown with science, then known.

    I take my Vitamin D supplements and spend at least 10 minutes outside a day for sun without using a sunscreen, which last I read.. should cover the Vitamin D debate.

    PS Kim C, yes the milk lobby is a very strong organization and most campaigns are funded by our tax payer dollars. After milk almost killed my son and I realized I had many unsolved physical conditions, we have been mainly milk free for 13 years. We do eat some milk products, but do not consume milk itself. No broken bones yet and I find it doubtful from what I read and we are healthier then many I know who do drink milk.

    Even my Dad a retired farmer who is also battling Cancer, says look at all of those chemicals we used? Look at all that food we ate?

  8. Lisa permalink
    September 30, 2009 1:36 pm

    And Jill, kudos for being much more patient then I 😉

    Who knew some one supported tanning beds? *LOL*

    • Jill permalink
      September 30, 2009 3:40 pm

      Lisa, I pray you never experience cancer yourself. Feel free to use me as an example if you want. 😉 And you’re right that we’re all terminal. Sad, but true.

  9. mom permalink
    September 30, 2009 6:11 pm

    May I suggest you find time and place to keep this debate going. Could be you might find the solution to these problems and save a lot of peoples lives. Send it in to CDC or whoever will listen. What do you think?

    • Jill permalink
      September 30, 2009 7:21 pm

      Well, it will remain here at least. It looks like tanning fans will keep this going. I think the CDC is already aware — as is the WHO.

  10. John permalink
    September 30, 2009 7:14 pm

    Sites such as http://www.uvtalk.com can help many educate themselves when it comes to uv exposure.

    Also, I concur with Mori.

    • Jill permalink
      September 30, 2009 7:29 pm

      Okey dokey. Concuring with all Mori had to say could be quite a lengthy process, so good luck with that.

      • Lisa permalink
        October 1, 2009 7:53 am

        OMG I’m dying laughing…

        This could be why I don’t have a blog up 😉

        Hang in there! As long as you are finding it interesting, that is all that matters… I think I’d be blocking some people.

  11. Cristina permalink
    October 1, 2009 12:40 pm

    I agree with Lisa’s 10-1-09 post. Having complete strangers who don’t know your character (pet peeves, sense of humor, etc,.) post paper-page-long comments with is one of the disadvantages of a public blog. But amusing at times 🙂

    Adding to the collection of “Pink-ribbon mania” sightings…I read through a local grocery store’s weekly Ad and noticed that nearly half a page was devoted to pink-ribbon products. Amusing and a bit ridiculous. I think the Marketers have discovered a new way to differentiate their products and are going overboard with the theme of “Buy our product and help [charity name or purpose]” that tugs at our heartstrings. Ford sent me an email advertising a drawing for a pink-ribbon Fusion with Martha Stewart ‘touches’. As far as I could tell, the car’s paint was not anywhere close to a MaryKay shade of pink…
    And this morning, the newscasters on a local TV station were wearing pink. Just what I dreaded…

    As for my two cents on tanning…why pay for artificial UV light when I can get it free from the sun? I am not the type to fall asleep in the sun (since I don’t go out and vegetate on a lounge chair), and I am not a fan of tan lines. Spray tans for me! (then again, what chemicals are used? and do those chemicals have links to diseases?) Not to mention the fact that my facial skin produces freckles instead of an even tan. And I am of that age when wrinkles are starting to crease certain spots (fatigue cracking) and the thought of liver spots scares me. As for the cancer rates– men tend to resist going to the doctor and therefore might be diagnosed later in the disease’s progression. We might not see the true impact of today’s tanning until decades later…when those 20-somethings become 50-somethings.

    This “D-feat” campaign sounds fishy to me. It sounds as if they are asking me to help fund a tanning-industry funded study to see if there’s a link between Vitamin D levels and breast cancer. Why don’t they discuss Multiple Sclerosis? Researchers suspect Vitamin D may help reduce the chance of Multiple Sclerosis, but do you hear the tanning-industry advertise that possibility? No– it’s not as ‘sexy’ and it doesn’t target well towards the tanning-industry’s target audience of young women. Breast cancer gets that audience’s attention.

    • Jill permalink
      October 1, 2009 1:04 pm

      Good points, Cristina. I was wondering about MS myself — why leave that out other than it lacks sexiness as you say.

      And you’re absolutely right about men not going to the doctor as often. I think there are some statistics out there about it. It’s too bad because it really does shorten lives to bypass the doctor.

      You don’t have any fatigue cracks!

      My favorite pink craziness of the day is MyStyle.com’s Fight with Style campaign (http://www.mystyle.com/mystyle/fightwithstyle/index.jsp). I was laughing my head off looking at the “celeb survivors gallery” and the link that encourages you to “show your love with a cancer care package” by (in one case) providing the cancer patient with an iPod (probably pink) because “Your friend will like being able to listen to music or watch movies during chemotherapy appointments.” roflol. Actually, your friend would like not barfing during the appointments.

      Then there’s the crossword puzzle book to help your friend wait for all those appointments. Like someone with chemo brain can do crosswords.

      Hank looked over my shoulder and said, “What is this? Stylin’ while you’re dyin’?” He knows my sense of humor. I thought that was funny.

      Anyway, the site has some good suggestions, but it’s so danged “fluffy” it makes me want to go pop some anti-nausea meds. Honestly, when has everyone in history ever tried to put so prissy a face on a deadly disease? It’s mind-boggling.

      I’ll let Hank post about this on his blog. I was going to do a separate post, but this will work.

      As far as blocking those other posters, I think they deserve a voice too. And some of them are pretty funny.

    • Lisa permalink
      October 2, 2009 7:33 am

      There also is science to show Vitamin D deficit could be a factor in Autism occurring as well as Schizophrenia.

      Indeed I keep seeing the ‘pink’ everywhere and each time I say a prayer for you Jill, plus I also get a good giggle. I swear it is worse this year as there is pink on everything!

      I was watching mindless TV last night and wahlaa LA Ink was doing a whole show on pink and tattoos. While out shopping this week and reading the paper, I have seen pink pages and displays .. here are some of the more amusing products – Swifter, Sharpie Pens and file organizers.

      I must confess the cynical part of me, would like to know just how much of the money for each of these products goes to Breast Cancer research.

      I believe you have another treatment today. I’ll send out some extra prayers and healing white light.

      • Jill permalink
        October 2, 2009 7:54 am

        I have a chemo break today, which is good because I also have a cold, so I need the break to heal.

        Well, if pink gets me more prayers, then I’m a little more happy with it.

        How much of your purchase goes toward breast cancer research? Many times not as much as you think, which is a huge issue for me. Plus, often the companies spend more in pink marketing than they ever end up donating to breast cancer research. Thus, they would have made more difference just doing a straightforward donation, but of course it’s often more about image. The Seattle Times did an article about it a couple of years ago: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/living/2003296672_thinkpink10.html.

  12. Cristina permalink
    October 2, 2009 7:57 am

    Jill, the fatigue cracks might not be found with the “General Visual Inspection” that is possible from standing 2 feet away, but they are found during the typical “Detailed Inspection” that one does 3 inches away from the mirror after a long day of laughing or squinting. LOL

    Hope your treatment goes well today.

  13. October 2, 2009 9:18 am

    Yesterday I was at the grocery store, and I discovered new pink-ribbon Lean Cusine’s. I’m not kidding. Nothing says “We fight cancer” like a Lean Cusine.

    db

    • Jill permalink
      October 2, 2009 11:35 am

      I’ll say. I’m completely inspired by the mere thought.

  14. heidi permalink
    October 5, 2009 6:23 am

    Hello Jill. I’m sorry you have a cold, but am glad you got a break from the Chemo. sorry to be sort of out of touch with you. I often think, “should I call her, or would she be feeling sick or resting” so I resist. I think about you all the time though, and keep up with everything you blog. Things are busy around here with school, soccer, work etc. Steve had rotater cuff surgery 3 weeks ago but is healing pretty well. Nothing like the back surgeries! Do you feel like visitors? I suppose it depends on when the last dose of chemo was done. I have Monday’s and Thursdays off. Hope your cold is going away. Enjoy the beautiful sunny day’s we’re supposed to have this week.

    Love you,
    Heidi

  15. Roger Ingalls permalink
    October 5, 2009 8:12 pm

    Hey Jill!

    I’m just now reading all the controversy you have generated.

    First, let me once again congratulate you on your terrific writing, and your willingness (maybe need?), to share it with the world at large.

    Second, your patience to respond to all these folks is admirable, while you work at fighting your own conditions.

    Third…on the subject of melanoma…I’m no expert, but my Mom got it when she was 44 and lived to 76. I don’t think she ever went anywhere near a tanning bed.

    The cause of her death won’t SAY melanoma, since she was not actively sufferning from the conditions at the time of her death, but certainly the multiple treatments from the recurrences of melanoma contributed to her somewhat early death, and most assuredly detracted from her quality of life.

    So, in a way the 9,000 annual deaths from melanoma could be a misleading statistic. No one should get that disease, for the sake of vanity.

    But back to your point, which is that organizations promoting a cause sell the rights to affiliate a product with the cause, often inappropriately.True, like when American Heart Association sold out to the junk food makers as documented in Michael Pollan’s book “In Defense of Food”, slapping Heart Healthy stickers on Lucky Charms.

    Anyways, as a member of our small virtual world, you are always in our prayers…may you find the strength to fight this wherever and whenever you need it.

    Life is a terminal condition….it’s all about how we choose to use what time we have!

    • Jill permalink
      October 5, 2009 8:17 pm

      Excellent points Roger. Thanks.

      “Heart healthy” Lucky Charms. lol…. My sister got me a box of Cocoa Puffs so I can sugar up on chemo days (boosts the effectiveness of the chemo). That box says “boosts the immune system” on it. Craziness!!

  16. Lisa Welch permalink
    October 5, 2009 9:29 pm

    Hi, Jill – Been thinking about you. I’m hoping your cold is on its way out by now. I’ve read this thread and have to admit, every melanoma death statistic and tale of multiple recurrences gives me the heebie jeebies and sends me to the mirror to examine every spot my dermatologist might have missed! I’ve graduated to yearly checks, though, so, hopefully, he knows what he’s doing! Just in case, I’ll definitely steer clear of the tanning beds! 😉
    The pink stuff fundraisers remind me of the PTA school fundraisers. I almost always just write a check to the school for the full amount I want to donate, rather than buy wrapping paper, icky cookie dough (and, really, how do they make it icky? It’s cookie dough!), or tickets to a car wash I never frequent. Same goes with any other charitable contributions.
    Keep up the writing. You have such a gift.

    • Jill permalink
      October 6, 2009 7:29 am

      I’m glad you’ve graduated to yearly checks. Congratulations!!! Definitely stay away from tanning beds as well as icky cookie dough. Good to hear from you.

  17. Jill permalink
    October 20, 2009 2:41 pm

    Just thought I’d post a link to this article: Tanning Beds Pose Serious Cancer Risk, Agency Says http://www.cancer.org/docroot/NWS/content/NWS_1_1x_Tanning_Beds_Pose_Definite_Cancer_Risk_Agency_Says.asp

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