The Cancer Culture Chronicles: Changing the Breast Cancer Conversation

Rachel Cheetham Moro was a Breast Cancer Action member and activist who died on February 6, 2012 of metastatic breast cancer. Rachel’s powerful writing and activism on her blog The Cancer Culture Chronicles was, and continues to be, a resource and inspiration for thousands. Rachel dissected with incisiveness and humor the “pink ribbon razzmatazz” culture around breast cancer and advocated relentlessly for a sea change in how we understand and address the breast cancer epidemic. She was asking important and critical questions about mainstream breast cancer fundraising and advocacy long before the mainstream media caught on.

Sarah Horton, author of Being Sarah, and Rachel’s mother Mandy Cheetham have compiled Rachel’s writing in the book, The Cancer Culture Chronicles. We are grateful that Rachel’s words will continue to reach people and change how we think about and address the breast cancer epidemic. Sarah writes on her blog: “Rachel’s posts expose precisely why thinking pink won’t make things all right; how and why it won’t be all right. Ever. At times this is not an easy read – as her world shrinks with the progression of the disease, some readers may find her detailed reporting harrowing. But no one seriously concerned about dealing with the epidemic that is breast cancer can afford not to read it.”

Rachel’s mantra was, “It’s time to move beyond pink ribbons and messages of ‘breast cancer awareness’ and start agitating for real and meaningful action in the fight to eradicate this disease for good.” We could not agree more.

Very little research funding goes to metastatic breast cancer, which is what killed Rachel and ultimately kills most women who die of breast cancer. We know far too little about how to stop this disease from developing in the first place let alone how to stop it once it spreads. Our screening tools are imperfect. Our conventional treatments are expensive and toxic. Chemicals linked to the disease are largely unregulated and pervasive. As Rachel reminded us time and time again, the breast cancer status quo covers these ugly truths with pink ribbon paraphernalia, to the detriment of women’s health. If you’ve not read her powerful essay “The Dark Side of Pink Awareness,” you can read it here.

The Cancer Culture Chronicles is a 5×8 hardback book, 384 pages and available at cost from – here – price $30.95 plus shipping. Please note there are no profits in the book, but if you like the book, please consider supporting Breast Cancer Action and METAvivor Research and Support, Inc. with a donation in memory of Rachel.

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