Lung Cancer (and Pancreatic Cancer) Awareness Month is almost over. Like any ‘awareness month’, the end of it is a signal that the world has been loosed from its month-long obligation to be aware of our suffering. For those who live with and suffer from cancer or whatever condition or ailment warrants its very own month, we continue to be painfully aware of our conditions day after day after freaking day.
Awareness is great. Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s important for people who suffer to have support. But by marketing awareness, what do we really do? We make people feel good, recognize their unfortunate status, thankful, perhaps that their condition is not ours, and move on. Oh, and we also buy stuff.
Awareness can also spur donations, a (sometimes small) percentage of which goes to treatment research, which is very good and very necessary. But the question for me is why are we not spending more money looking for causal agents? I understand that this is a huge undertaking, especially considering the vast varieties of cancer types and sub types that are just being discovered. But think of the money that we as a society spend on cancer t-shirts, rubber wrist bands, NFL sweatbands, and pink just-about-everything that could be used for researching why so many of us are getting cancer in the first place.
So as you turn the page on your calendar and turn your thoughts from those with Lung and Pancreatic Cancer, you can say hello to December – International Safe Toys and Gifts, National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention, Season Depression Awareness, Identity Theft Prevention and Awareness, and Young Children’s Safe Toys & Gifts Awareness Month.
I've just ordered rubber wrist bands for all of them.