Breast cancer awareness month products tug at shoppers' heartstrings

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and health professionals want you to take notice. (WRDW-TV / Oct. 4, 2011)

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and health professionals want you to take notice. (WRDW-TV / Oct. 4, 2011)

News 12 at This Morning / Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- It's estimated that this year alone, more than 230,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. As awareness for the disease takes center stage in October, marketers are rolling out a pink ribbon campaign for nearly every product.

With an entire city turning pink -- from the water to the building -- it's hard to forget about a disease that affects thousands of women like Tamika Cook, who was diagnosed 10 years ago at age 27.

"Starting to do things on my own, starting to grow up, and bam -- you're diagnosed with breast cancer," Cook said.

Cook detected it early and beat the odds. She says it's because she was aware of what needed to be done and for years now, awareness has been raised through pink ribbon campaigns on just about every product you can think of.

From your deli meat to chips and the containers you pack your food in, products come in all shapes and shades of pink to raise some money for research.

But are marketers turning pink to turn a profit? We checked and found out yogurt products like Yoplait and Activia donate 10 cents to the cause, but you have to send them a lid or code back. SunChips will give 25 cents to the cure for purchasing their pink package.

Even Cook has seen offers.

"The salon where I get my hair done, they started a whole pink campaign," she said. "Every portion of a hair cut was donated to cancer society."

Nicole Aenchbacher, a breast health navigator at Georgia Health Sciences University, recommends keeping your money local.

"It's easier find out where your money is going," Aenchbacher said.

With millions of dollars being raised each year, breast cancer has seen more advances in treatment, even with 3D mammography to help with earlier detection. However, there still is no cure for one of the most popular causes marketers push. When you are buying products to help out a cause, look up the logo online and you can learn more about the foundation and see what portion of your money is being donated.

Locally, you can donate directly to GHSU's cancer center. The Breast Cancer Prevention Coalition of the CSRA is another local group that puts money toward research and patients.


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