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Breast Cancer: How America Invented Pink October

2022-10-02T19:31:11.129Z

MEDICINE STORIES - Each year, October is dedicated to breast cancer and the promotion of screening. An idea born of a partnership between the industry and the American Cancer Society in 1985, but whose roots actually go much further...



“I AM

sorry, Madam, but the

New York Times

cannot publish the word breast or the word cancer in its pages…”

When, in the early 1950s, Fanny Rosenow heard these words from an editor of the newspaper, she is disappointed, but probably not surprised.

Treated for breast cancer, she set up a support group for women affected by the disease and wants to advertise it, say Jimmie Holland and Sheldon Lewis in

The Human Side of Cancer

(Harper Collins, 2001).

But in the America of the 1950s, cancer leads its way in silence: we are silent and we suffer at home.

“Perhaps you could say that there will be a meeting on diseases of the rib cage…”

, tries the journalist awkwardly.

A few decades later, another atmosphere:

“You can no longer look away”

, proclaims the

New York Times Magazine

on the cover, in 1993, with a full-page photo of the artist Matuschka showing off the scar of his mastectomy.

In between, the activism of…

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Source: lefigaro

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