WELCOME TO CANCERLAND A mammogram leads to a cult of pink kitsch. By Barbara Ehrenreich. I was thinking of it as one of those drive-by mammograms. Barbara Ehrenreich: Welcome to Cancerland. In this essay Ehrenreich takes a surprising and somewhat controversial take on Breast Cancer. Barbara Ehrenreich is a freelance writer and feminist activist who wrote the award-winning article “Welcome to Cancerland”, to express her own.

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Barbara and her peers remember the people who had succumbed to the disease with candle light vigils. But what upset Ehrenreich the most in my opinion were the labels and connotations which were given to her solely based on her unfortunate situation.

It is all guesswork.

I started the article, sensing her confusion and anger at her diagnosis. These same companies, she argues, have also manufactured carcinogenic pesticides that pollute the environment. She decides to cling to herself and her identity until the very end, refusing to bring that dreaded pink ribboned teddy bear with her, and implicitly encouraging affected women everywhere to do the same thing. Physically speaking, Barbara experienced what we all know to be the painful affects of being diagnosed with breast cancer but on other levels she was rocked worse.

In the end, Ehrenreich focuses more on her relationship with the cults that are breast cancer societies. What hit me the most was the surprising message behind the essay. You are commenting using your Facebook account. In some ways, in many ways, I agree with Ehrenreich. One of the main ideas that I felt was very strong was the struggle with identity loss. The second irony lies in the role of the pharmaceutical industry which fosters the pink power movement —the ribbons, the teddy bears, the marathons– while manufacturing the expensive poisons that seem to have anticancer side effects.

To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: Posting these thoughts on a chat line, she discovers that most women berate her attitude and suggest she needs a psychiatrist.


This essay is very powerful though. Here she was bombarded with comments that advised her to see a counselor, or to find ways to be happy. It is indeed an interesting and very different point of view from a breast cancer survivor. Barbara discovered hundreds of websites dedicated to the issue, breast cancer pamphlets, several books cited within the article, a monthly magazine called Mamm, and she also found out that there are four, nationally supported breast cancer organizations that financially support many programs geared toward breast cancer awareness and funding for a cure.

Many doctors and epidemiologists also worked with feminists—sometimes even engaging them with their statistics–to bring about the demise of those eclipsed medical evils.

Yes, she want to maintain her identity, but at the same time she finds herself torn between condemning the cancer or admiring it. October 22, at 7: D in cellular immunology, she understood how cells are shaped and how they function and knew how to illustrate these cellular terminology and knowledge to readers. Your email address will bxrbara be published. Barbara also points out how one should be careful in her celebrations, because a cancer can always return somewhere else or in a different form, causing the same if not more damage.

In this essay Ehrenreich takes a surprising and somewhat controversial take on Breast Cancer.

I fall into a state of unreasoning passive aggressivity: Recent statistics suggest that present modalities actually do help, though no one involved with administering them would argue that they are perfect. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: When you are diagnosed with a life threatening disease its strange to think that you must make yourself happy.

Hoping all is well. The feeling that the diagnosis was replacing the person that she thought she was. What a good book! Instead of the blessing that these cults twist cancer into, the author presents her cancer very realistically: Edition November And if some are comforted by teddy bears, why not?

Analysis of “Welcome to Cancerland” | WRT Science and Society

That circles the trip back to that final defeating blow that life bestows upon us. Cancer Center, click here. She is no longer a person, but only a lump of flesh with a cancer. The whole nature of the ehenreich of cancer brabara be under scrutiny while reading this piece. Having said this, one of the main themes I took from this essay beside the ones that have already been mentioned is the struggle of conformity.


Welcome To Cancerland

You are commenting using your WordPress. Barbara makes this simile to help readers visualize and understand how these cells look like because she understands that the general public has very few or no scientific background. The fear she went through when the radiologist will not answer any questions about what they may or may not have seen on her mammogram results was apparent and the length of time she had to wait to get her mammogram results bothered Barbara as well.

Missing you immensely Twisty- please come back! Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. On Not Getting By in America.

Welcome to cancerland

They have not been defeated and life and still have an opportunity to achieve and live. In the end, what really separates a survivor from a victim? She points to the teddy bears, ribbons, and crayons among other items and states that these objects and ideas that come with them are wrong. It is go this reason that she feels that the entire breast cancer trinkets have very little value to an actual cancer patient.

Barbara resorts to her knowledge of cell biology, asks to see her own tumor under the microscope, and contemplates the meaning of visualizing the malignant cells even if she does not believe the exercise can help her.