by Christine Lewis, PWCG Founder
Hey you! Over here! Do you hear me??? I’m buried beneath all the algorhythms and fluff on social media. Like the tree that falls in the woods, I make a sound. I actually make a really LOUD sound, but I’m pretty sure most of you haven’t heard it. I’ve been trying to get your attention, but I’ve been buried beneath the forest of these top 10 topics on breast cancer:
1) breast cancer symptoms and signs
2) breast cancer awareness
3) breast cancer quotes
4) breast cancer surgery
5) breast cancer support
6) breast cancer crafts
7) breast cancer survivors
8) breast cancer inspiration
9) breast cancer tattoos
10) breast cancer shirts
They sound useful, right? I mean we DO want to know the symptoms and signs of breast cancer. We DO want more TRUE awareness about breast cancer. I’m gonna stop right there before I move on. These ARE very RELEVANT topics.
But there’s a problem. There’s a HUGE problem. The problem is that breast cancer hasn’t been ABOUT YOU, or BY YOU, or FOR YOU. Sure, survivors have blogged and vlogged about breast cancer since that’s been a thing. We’ve written books and articles about the topic before blogging and vlogging was a thing. But institutions have taken over as authorities on breast cancer, taking priority over those who actually EXPERIENCE and SURVIVE breast cancer. BUSINESSES make the top 10 breast cancer searches relevant in the search engines. How do I know this? I’m a SURVIVOR. I’ve faced a BREAST CANCER DIAGNOSIS. Yet the top 10 search topics on breast cancer don’t ALL resonate with me, and I’m pretty sure they don’t resonate with YOU. Who I DO think they resonate with are people wanting to take advantage of this topic for their own selfish reasons. It’s about time. It’s WELL PAST TIME to change that. Breast cancer should be about US: the people who’ve received a BREAST CANCER DIAGNOSIS. It should be about SURVIVORS.
I mean, what would WE know about breast cancer? WE’VE only just experienced a BREAST CANCER DIAGNOSIS in OUR lives. We’re only (I don’t know) SURVIVORS. Yet businesses have typed those top 10 topics into the search so many times that they pop up as the topics WE apparently think are VITAL to OUR lives, as SURVIVORS and people who actually have a BREAST CANCER DIAGNOSIS. I KNOW breast cancer as a PATIENT and SURVIVOR. While some of those top 10 topics are relevant to US, many of them are more relevant to people from the outside looking in. Some truly have our best interests at heart, and others just want to profit in some way or another. Those 10 topics are apparently what WE, with a BREAST CANCER DIAGNOSIS or as a SURVIVOR actually looking for? Do we even know how to word what we truly represent or look for? Sometimes speaking from the heart doesn’t have a searchable language compared to speaking in a clinical or business/ sales-like tone. So my mission is buried beneath all those surface topics.
Here’s what I have to say about those top 10 topics and why searching for these topics isn’t necessarily going to solve OUR problems with breast cancer:
When I was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma in 2015 I wanted my journey with breast cancer to have a purpose. First and foremost, my family was my motivation to fight this disease. I made a lot of lifestyle changes so that I can be around for my family for many years to come, but I also felt inspired to archive my journey so that others could benefit from what I’ve learned and applied.This was why Pink Warrior Calendar Girls was founded.