Pancreatic Cancer Action just played dirty.
Its new video campaign shows a person saying he wished he had testicular cancer and another person saying she wished she had breast cancer. The message being that both individuals have something far worse than either cancer – pancreatic cancer.
I have a friend with Stage IV pancreatic cancer, and another friend’s mom died of the disease. Pancreatic cancer is a horrible disease, and it’s a shame there’s insufficient funding available. I’ve also had friends die of other cancers, including breast cancer.
That being said, it is never a good practice to say one’s cancer is worse than another’s. Metastatic cancer of all kinds kills. Regarding breast cancer, it’s not uncommon for people diagnosed with early stage to develop metastases. And, contrary to popular belief, there is no cure for breast cancer.
There are no good cancers.
Comparing two cancers is like comparing apples to cats.
Supporters of PCA tout the video campaign as instilling “shock value” to get the conversation going. These supporters insist the outrage over this campaign is because people are misunderstanding it. First, this video gets a feud – not a conversation – going.
It is divisive.
Second, the campaign’s goal seems clear: to express cancer envy toward what the organization and many people perceive to be the “good” cancers: breast and testicular.
As someone in the breast cancer realm of things, I can tell you, I have heard all types of cancer envy hurled at me. People have expressed jealousy that the disease that affected me gets all the attention, thanks to the high-publicity pink washing.
PCA denies responsibility for this video campaign by saying these testimonials are the views of real people with pancreatic cancer. I’m sure many moving examples from people with pancreatic cancer could’ve been used instead, but PCA chose not to do so. When the organization put its name behind a piece, then in reality, it is condoning it.
I had no idea that people turned upside down by a cancer diagnosis were in the Whose-Cancer-Is-Worse competition. We should all be united in agreeing that all cancer is horrible.
Once we start competing, everyone loses.
Tags: " breast cancer, "good cancer, pancreatic cancer, Pancreatic Cancer Action, testicular cancer