Breast cancer is not just a “pink” thing; it can be a male thing, too. What I find so ironic is that the color pink, not blue, was affiliated with boys up until the 19th century; most children before World War I wore white, usually until the age of six. White clothing was much easier to clean and it wasn’t later in the century until dyes became popular when children began wearing pastels — boys mostly wore pink, girls wore blue.
History tidbit via Smithsonian, no charge: A June 1918 article from the trade publication Earnshaw’s Infants’ Department said, “The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.” Other sources said blue was flattering for blonds, pink for brunettes; or blue was for blue-eyed babies, pink for brown-eyed babies … In 1927, Time magazine printed a chart showing sex-appropriate colors for girls and boys according to leading U.S. stores. In Boston, Filene’s told parents to dress boys in pink. So did Best & Co. in New York City, Halle’s in Cleveland and Marshall Field in Chicago. Today’s color dictate wasn’t established until the 1940s, as a result of Americans’ preferences as interpreted by manufacturers and retailers. “It could have gone the other way,” … So the baby boomers were raised in gender-specific clothing. Boys dressed like their fathers, girls like their mothers. Girls had to wear dresses to school, though unadorned styles and tomboy play clothes were acceptable. – Source: http://goo.gl/3ToviR
So why are men capable of developing breast cancer you ask? Well, evolutionarily speaking, humans are deemed mammals, yes? Yes! Mammals have body hair, three middle ear bones, and modified sweat glands otherwise known as mammary glands, or breasts. That’s right, boobs are really modified sweat glands – not so sexy when you look at them that way, eh? All embryos begin as “female” and it isn’t until around the embryo’s sixth week when the male chromosome “kicks” in for it to become male and therefore develop male characteristics. Nipples and breast tissue in men are vestiges of their “female” beginnings. As a result, men can get breast cancer and may develop other medical issues which may cause their breasts to enlarge.
Which brings me to the documentary — Pink and Blue. It will be coming out shortly and discusses the social disparities between the genders in regards to having the BRCA mutation. I had the pleasure of meeting Alan Blassberg, the producer of the documentary last week when I was in L.A. If you’re a reality TV junkie, chances are you’ve seen some of his work — Wife Swap? We all know the women who are BRCA+ have significant chances of developing breast and ovarian cancer; but men also who are BRCA+ are at risk of developing breast and prostate cancer, melanoma, and others. Comparable to Lynch syndrome, those with the mutation have a 50/50 chance of passing it on to each of their offspring. This year 2,190 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 410 will most likely die from it.
Alan and I have so much in common and it was totally serendipitous that we meet– through that we realized how small the world really is and that is was part of the Universe’s plan that we meet. #ILOVETWITTER! He and I hit it off right from the get-go — we sat and spoke for a few hours as is we had been friends forever. I encourage you to watch a clip from the documentary; I think it is a beautiful, progressive piece of art that Alan has created from the misery he has seen and endured; he has lost grandmother, aunt, and sister, Sammy, all from cancer; Alan is also BRCA+. Like me and my brothers, who all hold/held the Lynch mutation, Alan and his two sisters also hold/held the BRCA mutation. We both know what it’s like to lose a sibling and to be mutation carriers; we are both looking for progressive, creative ways to educate and help others and lessen the misery in the world.
Cancer is cancer and no one should ever have to go through it because much of it can be prevented.
To learn more about the Alan and his documentary, please click on the following links:
This is a quote from www.cherrypepper.fr, one of my favorite blogs, which I wanted to share with you. Words of wisdom: realize, evolve, and act.
Have a stellar weekend.
Be well, be mindful.