Facebook Fallacies about Breast Cancer

If you are on Facebook, then you have probably witnessed some things that you are not fond of. Whether it is Farmville, Poking, or perhaps status memes that are alive and well. The reality is that many of these items are part of Facebook streams each and every day.

Recently, a blogger friend pointed out a new variation of one that is a pet peeve of mine. Basically, a private message is sent to people asking them to post something in their status message. This is what Irene was asked to do:

Women are supposed to put the number of their shoe size, followed by the word inches and a frowny face.

The basic thought by the person that created this status meme is that they are spreading breast cancer awareness. Are they? The reality is that the meme is secretive if you are just looking at it and does not help to get the word of awareness out. On The Crafting Hobbit, Irene really hits home about it in her post titled Breast Cancer Awareness is so much more than a Facebook Status.

So why am I mentioning this now?

1 – Breast cancer has personally hit my family. My Aunt S was diagnosed with it just weeks before NHL was born. She is now an eight year survivor who has battle scars to show her strength and courage. My great-grandmother was not as lucky. She was diagnosed when she was about my age and passed away when she was about 37 years old. My GYN asked me to get this history because she needed to know to schedule my first mammogram. Yes, it would seem likely that I will be getting mine within the next year. Of course, I plan on blogging about my experience to reinforce the importance of this testing and women’s health. My little guy gets to hug Aunt S today thanks to early detection.

Hugging Aunt S

2 – Then, there are women like Rene Syler of Good Enough Mother who shares her story. Rene opted to have a preventative mastectomy in 2007. Both of her parents were breast cancer survivors. Although Rene was not a carrier of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes (the only two linked to breast cancer to date), she made this decision and talks to women about how this changed her life. A reader on Good Enough Mother wrote in several months ago asking Rene about Preventative Mastectomy and she wrote about it. Lunch with Rene Syler

Much like Rene, Irene, who wrote the post I mentioned, is planning to have a double mastectomy this fall. Her mother is a breast cancer survivor, and her grandmother passed away from it at 36. She is a carrier of the BRCA2 mutation which gives her an 84% chance of developing breast cancer before she is 70. As the mother of an almost two year old, she is taking the preventative approach.

Irene and her son

These two women are brave and have shown their dedication to educating people about breast cancer. There are some amazing resources on The Crafting Hobbit and Good Enough Mother if you want to help yourself, a friend, or family member. Let’s remember cancer awareness and early detection is key for everyone.

So my question for you this week is:

Do you have a Facebook pet peeve? What is it and why does it bother you. Also, please pay tribute to any breast cancer heroes that are in your life. We can celebrate these people now, not just in October.

It's Me 
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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  • Lynn says:

    Great post! I organize a local breast cancer walk to help spread the word about it as well. Thoughts and prayers to your family and everyone else touched by this

  • I agree with you that these statuses don’t say much about their cause. I thought about that last time I saw these statuses being posted.
    My Pet Peeve is when people attack other for their beliefs, political or otherwise. I choose not to share my political thoughts on Facebook, and am frustrated by those who attack people who have beliefs that are different from their own.
    My Great-Aunt is a breast cancer survivor, and my grandmother just had a biopsy last week. Thankfully, it came back benign.

  • Tracey says:

    I just received this in my Facebook inbox the other day. I don’t get what your shoe size has to do with breast cancer awareness. But anyway…I do have quite a few pet peeves when it comes to Facebook. I could make up a blog post of my own with just those in it! But the 3 worst ones are: people who always do the “Post this as your status if…” (hello just like a chain letter!); the overuse of the heart symbol, especially if you’re over 18; and those who continue to brag about how much they love that special someone (especially in every status update every day…yes we know you’re in love, is there something else going on in your life?). I’m sure everyone has at least a couple of people on their friend lists who do all of that.

  • Teawithfrodo says:

    Other than the one in this post…
    those “97% of people won’t post this” status updates. Although I admit to constantly talking about my kid…whoops.

    Of course lack of customer service from klout has become my latest social media pet peeve.

  • Like Irene, I also hate the “97% of people…” things. Most Facebook memes irritate me, particularly when, as you mentioned, “awareness” campaigns are hardly that. I also hate when people don’t use their own pictures as their profile pics on FB. You are not a cartoon character,

    That being said, I think that women like Rene and Irene are very brave to undergo such drastic preventative procedures. If I knew I was carrying such a gene, I hope I would have the same courage.