A new book takes down Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
This way, we'd have ample resources to help directly. We could provide cab service for the woman with brain metastasis forced to drive 40 minutes each way for a scan. We could pay for a counselor—couples' or otherwise—for the women whose husbands turn mean after their diagnoses. "He tells me he's waiting for me to die," one posts on Breast Cancer Insight. Women could get housekeeping services during the molasses days of chemotherapy, child care for scan days, money for a lawyer if their jobs are suddenly declared "redundant" upon diagnosis. If we can't yet abolish breast cancer, then let's at least tackle the social ills that come with the disease. We wouldn't even be diverting the majority of Komen funds from science. Only 23.5 percent goes to research, anyway.
Corrections, Nov. 12, 2010: The statement "The stats are dismal" was originally cited as a verbatim quote from the book. It does not appear there. ( Return to the corrected sentence.) This sentence originally failed to note that this chance of survival applies only to women with invasive breast cancer. ( Return to the corrected sentence.)
Katherine Russell Rich is the editor of Dreaming in Hindi: Coming Alive in Another Language. Her first book was The Red Devil: To Hell With Cancer—and Back.