It seems like we're right in the middle of disease walk-a-thon season. Now I certainly don't have anything against fund raising. I'm just starting to have an issue with the whole "my disease is more serious than your disease" syndrome. It seems that everywhere I turn there are pink ribbons everywhere promoting breast cancer awareness. That's all good and well. But what about the dozens of other cancers out there. Why single out breast cancer? Is it because it primarily effects women and therefore it should deserve special interest? Testicular or prostate cancer isn't as important because it effects only men? Is there still that feeling out there from the women's lib movement that the medical field is dominated by men and therefore women are somehow being treated as second-class citizens? Do some women feel that men don't care if they live or die? Perhaps the abortion issue factors into this since it seems like men want to control the reproductive rights of women.
And what is it about cancer that seems to be special? It's a freakin' disease! It should be treated as such and nothing more. I see an awful lot of, "Hi! I'm John Smith, cancer survivor!" Why would you want to make that a part of yourself. Yes! You survived a terrible disease that kills more often than not, but you don't see folks walking around going "Hi! I'm Bill Smith, car crash survivor!"
Diseases should be treated as what they are, health issues. They should not be opportunities for celebrities to feel important about themselves. How much "awareness" do we need? I watched 2 close family die from cancer. I don't need walks and rallies to remind me of that fact nor to remind me that cancer is a terrible terrible thing. I'm sure that people who have never experienced the loss of someone will somehow think that cancer is not that bad of a thing and needs to be made aware that it's a bad thing. And judging from the number of people who smoke, it doesn't really matter to them that their risk of cancer is greater than the average person. And like many diseases, it doesn't matter what you do or how you live your life, you'll still get it, so there's not a hell of a lot you can do prevention-wise.