Monday, October 1st, 2012


Mellan is helping to raise awareness!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and it’s a time not just for donating but raising awareness to those not yet affected by the devestating disease. I know that for many, mothers, sisters, fathers, brothers, friends, and family have been lost, which is why early detection is key. The message of October, for me, has always been about spreading this knowledge. Anyone can get breast cancer–male or female–and chances of survival are greatly improved if it is detected early.   Make sure you know your risk factors, the ones you can’t change but also the ones you can (like lifestyle behaviors).

Get Tested

  • Mammogram | This is an x-ray and can detect cancer at earlier stages, even before a lump appears. Women over 40 should have one performed every year, and if you are younger but have a family history of breast cancer, you may want to speak with your doctor about whether to get them (or other screening tests) performed earlier. Read more on mammograms.
  • Clinical Breast Exam | This is done by your doctor and part of a general exam, which should be done every three years between 20 and 39, and then every year at 40 and older. Consider asking your doctor to show you how to do a self-exam at home as well.

And also? While we’re on this topic, and because I know the demographic here on Temptalia skews younger, so for our ladies under 26, please consider finding out whether you’re a candidate for the HPV vaccine, which can help prevent certain types of cervical cancers. Ask your doctor about it and see if it is something that you could benefit from.

Thoughts on BCA Products

When I first started Temptalia, I included several round-ups of various products involved in raising money for BCA. In the past two years that focus has lessened, because of the significant increase in brands hopping on the bandwagon. Any money raised is a great thing, but at the same time, buying a product that gives 5% back that you don’t really want or need under the auspices of helping the cause isn’t what October is about. I’m particularly leery of any product that does not specifically list the amount, e.g. “portion of proceeds” or “contribution will be made.”

For that reason, my focus is only brands/products that make significant efforts to donate and raise awareness. My motto is if you were going to buy that product anyway, why not buy one that donates X percentage/dollars to the cause?  (A lot of household items, like toilet paper and paper towels, give back!) But you’re better off donating your money (or even half of what you would have spent, in most cases) directly to a charity if you want to help.

  • Estee Lauder Companies offers a slew of products but they also do a fair amount of awareness raising. A lot of their core brands, like Clinique, offer bestselling products (e.g. something you might already buy or need to buy) that also give to the cause. I linked directly to the BCA Campaign, which includes a breakout of what brands and products are participating. Jo Malone is donating $30,000 and purchases of Jo Malone products have NO impact on that amount.Most of the other brands have participating products but are only donating 10-20% of the purchase price.
  • Philosophy Shower for the Cure Shower Gel ($20) donates 100% of net proceeds towards Women’s Cancer Research Fund.
  • Jare Iredale Cherish Lip Fixation ($34) will have 100% of profits from the sale go towards Living Beyond Breast Cancer.
  • eos Delicious Berry Blossom Hand Lotion & Smooth Sphere ($6.99) will donate 100% of profits from the sale to further the advancement of research.

If you know of a product that is donating all or most of proceeds towards the cause, feel free to let me know! 

Consider Donating

If and when you’re able to, consider donating to your preferred charity or organization. There are many available, and of course, all of them can benefit from additional donations. These are a few of the major organizations and some of these I’ve personally donated to over the years:

If there is another organization you’re thinking about donating to but aren’t sure about, look to see if they’ve been rated on Charity Navigator.

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36 thoughts on “Breast Cancer Awareness 2012

  1. Valerie C.

    I write the biggest check I can afford each October in memory of my mom who I lost so young to this disease. I encourage everyone to do whatever they can :) Thanks for this post!

  2. danielle

    I think it’s great that you are raising awareness for this. In the past 6 months, two people close to me have been diagnosed with breast cancer. I’ve always been supportive of the cause, but having it hit so close to home made it that much more “real.”

    • danielle

      Also, I really like that you are encouraging young women to get their HPV vaccine. People don’t realize how important it is to protect yourself.

      • Susan Nevling

        Danielle, I thank you for mentioning the HPV vaccine. So many parents will not have their daughters vaccinated because they think it will encourage early sexual activity. Nothing could be further from the truth and it saves lives.

        • Danielle

          You’re absolutely right. People think they don’t need to vaccinate their daughters because they aren’t promiscuous, but it really doesn’t matter. You never knew who the person they eventually end up with was with.

          • Danielle

            And why not take every precaution available?

            • xamyx

              My daughter is only 6 now, but we plan to get her the HPV vaccine. You’re right; you never know who someone has been with, or who their previous partners have been with, and so forth.

  3. Chrystie

    I just wanted to thank you for including information about the Gardasil(HPV Vaccine)in your thoughtful and informative post. Two years ago I lost my mother to cervical cancer, a horrible debilitating disease that ended her life far too soon. After finding out my family medical history doctors consistently ask if I have had the vaccine (My mother had my sister and I inoculated before she was even diagnosed). It is truly such an important means of prevention that can safeguard us from the terrible impact of this disease later in our lives. Thank you for being a voice of awareness!

  4. Thank you for this post. Also, I’m glad you mentioned the HPV vaccine. Sometimes you can get approval if you’re over 26 from your doctor/insurance to get the vaccine.

  5. Chances are someone with breast cancer has touched your life:

    Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Canadian women (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer).

    In 2012:

    An estimated 22,700 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 5,100 will die of it.

    An estimated 200 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 55 will die of it.

    On average, 62 Canadian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer every day!!!

    On average, 14 Canadian women will die of breast cancer every day.

    Support how you can, even if it just in spirit!

    • Susan Nevling

      Thanks for the statistics and also mentioning breast cancer in men. They are often unaware that they can get breast cancer.

  6. Susan Nevling

    Christine, Thank you for bringing awareness to the search for a cure of breast cancer. My mother had 2 different cell types of breast cancer that she survived but died about 7 years later of a third type of cancer- neuroendocrine- they were unable to find the primary site. I also lost a friend to an aggressive form of breast cancer in her early 40′s.
    As an RN, I would like to mention a thrid type of testing becoming more common in early detection.A breast Ultrasound is being used for women with dense breast tissue and further clarification of questionable sites. Mammograms are becoming digital in many areas and allow physicians to detect suspicious areas more clearly and are becoming more accepted by insurance companies.
    The beauty industry, especially salons, are also quietly offing services to women being treated for breast cancer including supplying wigs and shaving heads when the hair begins to fall out and mats. PPL can take washed wigs to local cancer treatment centers to be sanitized and given to women with treatment related hair loss. The best contact for donation would be the social workers in the oncology (cancer) departments.
    Again, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
    Sue Nevling

    • RS

      I’m actually having a breast ultrasound and mammogram this Friday; I have dense tissue and I’ve been told that I have ‘nothing to worry about’, but you cant help but worry a bit when you’re told at 32 that you need to have a mammogram.

    • Angela

      As a 38 year old woman was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer two years ago I want to thank you Sue and Christine for bringing awareness to a very important topic.

      Sue,I can’t thank you enough for bringing up how Ultrasounds are a helpful way to detect suspicious areas. I used to give myself breast exams every month,but as a large breasted woman I never noticed the lump growing in my breast because it was so close to my rib cage.

      I had a conversation with a friend who is a radiologist last year and he spoke about how he wishes more young woman would get ultrasounds to check their breasts because most young woman have breasts too dense to accurately catch growth on the mammograms.

      I wish they would recommend ultrasounds for large breasted women,it would have saved my life. I wish there was more focus on young women getting cancer because sometimes I think young woman feel like they are immune because they can’t even get a mammogram until age 40. I know I felt that I didn’t have to worry until that big 40 came along…how wrong I was.

      I also want to thank you for mentioning that talking with the staff at Oncology is a good way to find out where to make a donation.

      I hope you don’t mind me linking these two posts on “Pinkwashing”,it’s an interesting topic most people are not aware of. http://www.forbes.com/sites/amywestervelt/2011/11/04/the-pinkwashing-debate-empty-criticism-or-serious-liability/ http://thinkbeforeyoupink.org/?page_id=13

  7. Joli

    Just FYI, it’s not just women who should get the HPV vaccine. Cervical cancer is the most common cancer caused by HPV but it can also cause prostate cancer as well as head/neck cancer. I know this first hand because my father had throat cancer and HPV strands were found. He beat the throat cancer but not before it spread to his lungs. He’s still alive and fighting 2 years later, but its considered a terminal diagnosis. He has time but we don’t know how much and it’s a constant tug of war between finding treatments that work but aren’t so harsh that they’ll kill him before the cancer does.

    My point is HPV is not just a women’s issue. Some doctors are just starting to recommend the vaccine got young men as well as women, so you might want to tell your brothers/boyfriends/ and other male friends to look into whether their doctor will give it to them.

    Also, don’t be so quick to judge when you hear someone is dying of cancer in the lungs. My father never smoked, so it’s insulting when people assume his cancer is something he brought about by lifestyle choices.

    • Very informative post. Wishing your father the best. Making assumptions is the worst insult to people who are ill… like som ehow you did it to yourself. Perfectly healthy and active women and men die from these diseases.

    • Lark

      Right on! But still Ladies, get that Pap smear every year. The Annual Manual as my doc calls it. My aunt died a horrid cancer death from cervical cancer found too late. I had an iffy result, was closely watched, then was hauled into out patient surgury when the worst flared up – carcinoma in situ. (Pre cancerous cells about to turn the corner) They removed those cells, I was cured. Ten more days and Welcome To Cancer.

      Schedule the whole shebang at once on your birthday (make the call, not the visit lol). Or any anniversary that works got you. Out of birth control works too. But even though it’s Breast Month consider Women’s health care a package deal to keep up with. Simple, but so important!

      • blueraccoon

        The actual recommendation for Pap smears is now every three, depending on your risk level (I’m low risk, for example). You should still get an annual well-woman exam every year, but you don’t need a Pap smear every year unless you have a history of abnormal Paps or your doctor says you’re higher risk or whatever.

  8. xamyx

    I was at Walgreen’s yesterday, and I saw a couple of displays in the cosmetics aisles stating for each specified product bought, $1 USD will be donated, however I don’ty recall all the exact details. The point is, if you happen to be there, keep an eye open for some of the signs. One product I do remember were a couple of Revlon Lip Butters & lipsticks in various pink shades (I don’t wear pink, but I did consider the purchase).

    • Thanks, Amy! Excellent to hear. We definitely shop pink on our household items in particular, since we need the items, and it’s great when they give back!

      • xamyx

        We “Go Pink” as well with household items, more often than not. My mother had both breast cancer & uterine cancer, both detected early. Her mother died of breast cancer when my mom was 15. I’m actually set to have a mammogram in a couple of weeks.

  9. Alex

    What a great post. There are a lot of beauty blogs out there, but one of the things that really makes Temptalia stand out is the thought that goes into each post. You could have just listed a bunch of products and charities, but instead, you took the time to research which ones contribute the most of their funds and proceeds to the cause. I see this same attention to detail in your honest reviews and assessments of products, too (I had never even thought about the amount of product included in an eyeshadow before reading Temptalia, for instance), and it’s things like this that add value for me as a reader and consumer of beauty products. I appreciate that you devote the same thought, time, and energy to a post about such a worthy cause. Thank you, Christine/Temptalia!

  10. AnGeLwInGz

    You can donate at Ulta stores. Depending on how much you donate you receive a gift but only a portion of the proceeds will go to BCA. If you decline the gift 100% of your donation will go to BCA. Specify to the cashier that you would prefer to donate without receiving the gift.

  11. Quinctia

    If you’re wanting to donate, think about sending some donations Planned Parenthood’s way, if you’re in the US. They’ve been getting some unfair bad rap lately (and even from the Susan G Komen foundation last year, which has led to me avoiding anything pink ribbon related), but the fact remains that they are often the only source of affordable healthcare women have. They provide breast cancer screenings, pap smears, pelvic exams, so also procedures to help detect cervical/ovarian cancer.

    Also, this means if you’re not insured and were worried about being able to get any of these exams or access to the HPV vaccine, they’d be a great place to get in touch with!

    • Lark

      Planned Parenthood has, unfortunately, been under attack by groups who don’t seem to understand what they do and why women’s health services are important. Having escaped cancer in the nick of time because of community women’s health services, This is a big deal to me and Planned parenthood along with clinics like it need your support more than ever.

      It’s not just donating- email your elected representatives and tell them that as 55 % of the population you resent having services de funded. Even the most conservative of women still don’t want cancer and other diseases. If you’re in financial straights this was what stood between you and death by distinctively female health issues. No American woman should die of cancer as political football!

  12. Joanna

    I donated my wedding dress to a breast cancer charity.

    My mother-in-law is a breast cancer survivor, my father died from cancer and a friend of mine is battling sarcoma, so cancer is close to home for me.

  13. Lark

    And it’s happening! Announcement that three different types of cancer happen in breasts when before it was assumed to be one. Different treatments for each should improve outcomes. I haven’t heard of a gene profiling process in Breast cancer, but it’s known that different gene set ups respond best to different treatments even in exactly the same cancers but in different individuals.

    Stopping cancers from happening in the first place would be ideal; people are traumatized by the experience. Supporting pure science will do this one day. Science feeds technology, The Human Genome Project was pure science. Using individuals genetic codes to know what treatment will cure their cancer is technology. Science is never wasted and government drives pure scientific inquiry more than any other entity.

    Something to think about in the bigger picture. We want a cure for breast cancer. And all cancer! And that will come from an NIH lab geek poking around exploring. You want to support her too. Do good with your taxes.

  14. Adele

    Thank you so much for this post! As a cancer survivor (although not breast cancer) I get so fed up with people who paint their nails pink and buy something that gives 5% to Komen and call it a day (assuming, of course, they can afford to do more). Donating directly to actual research organizations or getting products that give a significant amount to them is so much better if you want to make a difference!

  15. Joan

    I think whatever one chooses to do, be it painting one’s nails pink or wearing a pink tutu, if it matters to you in anyway, then do it. Just as small gestures matter, small donations matter because they add up, and whatever bit of good can be achieved you bet IT MATTERS.

    It would be a travesty to dissuade anyone from making a small contribution, because it’s small.

    As a cancer survivor, I no longer have my breasts but I have my pink nail polish and I’ll proudly wiggle my toes with their pink lacquer and THANK GOD that someone somewhere gave a damn and a $1 that just might have spared my life.

  16. Melissa

    Thank you thank you thank you for pushing reputable charities instead of that giant one that’s more interested in pushing products and suing over the phrase “for the cure” than in actually curing breast cancer.

  17. Steph

    This is a great post – I’m glad that in addition to the useful information you provide, you also urge readers to consider how much of a product’s purchase price actually goes to charity. Too many people buy without considering how the for-profit selling the product is using the charity’s name to make those sales, and they don’t consider what the charity actually gains from it.

    For what it’s worth, I work as a charity regulator in a state Attorney General’s office. In our state at least, these arrangements (called commercial co-venturers) are required to be registered with the office and they must file financial reports disclosing how much went to the charity. I know that other states have similar filing requirements (as well as requirements regarding disclosures that must be made at the time of the sale). For anyone looking for more info, I would trying doing some searches using the term “commercial co-venture” to see if your state has such filings and makes them available to the public.

    Having given these types of arrangements great thought due to my job, I always suggest that people who truly want to make a difference make a direct donation to your charity of choice. Often times, the contracts signed by co-venturer and charity are such that there is a maximum donation made to the charity, so your individual purchase of a “pink product” may not have any impact at all on the donation made by the for-profit. Purchasing these products makes the buyer feel good, but you would feel so much better knowing that 100% of your money is helping the cause!

  18. Sabrina

    Thank you for this post. I recently lost my mum to Breast Cancer so this Breast Cancer Awareness month is extremely relevant as well as difficult…