Stop It, Facebook Women: There is no “Breast Cancer Prevention Week”

I’ve received this message from (well-meaning, awesome) friends at least a half dozen times in the last few weeks. Does it look familiar?

Hello, can you put a ❤ on your wall, without comment, only a heart, then send this message to your female contacts. After putting one ❤ on the wall of the person who sent you this message. If anyone asks why you have so many hearts on your wall do not answer. It is for women only to remember its the week of breast cancer prevention! ❤ Check your boobies!!
Hold your finger down on the message and hit forward.

I would like the author of this bullshit to come forward for opprobrium*. Here’s a starter list of why this is dumbness.

  1. “Without comment”? “Do not answer”? Is breast cancer a secret shame?
  2. “It is for women only”? Breast cancer affects men. Men GET breast cancer, in their breasts. Men know women who have breast cancer. Transgender people who have breasts can get breast cancer. 100% of people are potential breast cancer victims.
  3. There is exactly zero chance of me forwarding anything with this many spelling and punctuation errors.
  4. “Boobies”? Seriously? Are we on spring break at Myrtle Beach?
  5. Mammograms do not prevent breast cancer, nor do breast exams or screening prevent breast cancer. Mammograms and breast exams detect cancer; mammogram results may increase and promote treatment. Huge difference.
  6. There is no such thing as Breast Cancer Prevention Week.
  7. Even if we declared 2017 “Breast Cancer Prevention Year” and painted the entire fucking country pink, and required every single human to get a weekly breast exam or mammogram, it wouldn't *prevent* breast cancer even a little bit.

*GRE vocab word, so underused.

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