Humorous Awareness Campaigns

We all know about ‘laughing through the pain’, ‘gallows humour’ and ‘finding the funny’, but many would argue that trying to take a humorous stab at breast cancer is not funny at all.

Breast cancer awareness bracelets such as these,

school-breast-cancer-bracelet-ban-BD2SDNM-x-largeAnd campaigns like this, from the Breast Cancer Foundation in Singapore:


… receive a lot of flak from some breast cancer patients, cancer activists and support organisations.

Others take a different view, maintaining that taking a light-hearted approach to self examination campaigns and general breast cancer awareness has more success than a doom and gloom strategy. When one honestly assesses the frightening statistics around breast cancer diagnosis one can see why those of us unaffected by the disease may wish to shy away from it altogether.

Ask yourself, when sitting in a doctor’s waiting room would you be more inclined to read something colourful and funny, or a sobering poster of facts which speak to our greatest fears?


The argument against campaigns such as these is not just that cancer’s no laughing matter, but a real concern that this becomes all about the breasts and not the patient.

The marketing equivalent of staring at someone’s chest and not their eyes.

But as breast cancer starts affecting younger and younger patients, and more and more women who seemingly have no risk indicators, maybe there is room for a broad spectrum of awareness campaigns.


What do you think –making breast cancer awareness as far-reaching as possible or going too far?


2 thoughts on “Humorous Awareness Campaigns

  1. “Love it” – Being a male breast cancer survivor I would lie if I hadn’t thought on more than one occasion that I’ve been a little flippant over the whole experience. “Yes” – I am more than aware of where I’ve been and what’s happened, the repercussions are far reaching; the mastectomy the medication and the ‘Tamoxifen’ has taken it’s toll (Other than I didn’t suffer with a ‘Dry Vagina’)!!!
    I am a 68 year old light hearted type of guy – I also have a weird sense of humour which fortunately appeals to most people. I most definitely think the patients benefit from being able to poke a little fun at each other or one’s self. I have met people that live in very dark places and just can’t raise themselves above their own situation. I would like to think that having shared my story with a bit of a chuckle has allowed them to reappraise their own situation.
    I have been very fortunate to get involved with a few wonderful organisations working hard to spread the word about breast cancer; especially male. I have given talks about my experience and met some wonderful people. I am more a member of a very ‘Elite Club’ rather than a victim of breast cancer.
    “A problem share is a problem halved – Bless you all”

    1. Hi John
      Wouldn’t you like to contribute a post to our blog? We’d love you to share your story, and your sense of humour. Contact me at lynnesmitz (at) gmail (dot) com (sorry for the bits in brackets… trying to thwart spammers!)

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