Do you think this FB/breast cancer thing is a load of shite?

(91 Posts)

I've seen a couple of statuses from friends saying they're off to live in (insert random city.) They've all had responses from friends asking all about it, loads of people texting and calling to see what's going on...

Turns out it's one of these shit "awareness" things that is supposed to promote breast cancer awareness. I don't see how it does anything of the sort - in fact is it anything to do with breast cancer or has some numpty just made it up?

I've just been sent the email explaining about it and I just thought - ffs.


BelleEnd Thu 10-Nov-11 12:13:06

I thought the same. The one where you put the colour of your bra was cringeworthy I thought, but at least it had some kind of link to boobs. This one is utter shit and I can't see how it would raise awareness at all.

I don't really understand?

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Thu 10-Nov-11 12:14:26

Not at all. It's attention-seeking that does nothing for awareness. I really detest these kinds of self-serving notifications on FB. All secrecy and silly-girlness, pathetic in adult women.


"Hey ladies

It's that time of year again It's time to raise awareness for breast cancer. Remember the status about our bra colour or where we put our purse?? It made more people aware of the problem as it went viral on FB and made the news.

Don't tell any men what the status means. Copy, paste and resend this message to all your girlfriends, let's see if we can make it work like before, keep them guessing, let's see if we can make the news.

The idea is to use your birthdate and month only, no year. Write I am going to live in (see corresponding city below for your month) and your birthday will be for how many months you are going.

Eg: if your BD was on February 14th, then
" I am going to live in London for 14 months!!!!

January - Mexico
February - London
March - Miami
April - Dominican Republic
May - France
June - St. Petersburg
July - Austria
August - Germany
September - New York
October - Amsterdam
November - Las Vegas
December - Colombia"


I have found it really annoying because we are planning on going away for 2 years, but I cant tell my facebook friends or everyone will just think I have put it because of the cancer thing!! Does the place and amount of months mean anything then? Or is it just randomness?

UrsulaBuffay Thu 10-Nov-11 12:15:14

I'm going to live in Germany for 16 months.



x-posted. Thanks!

DesperatelySeekingPomBears Thu 10-Nov-11 12:16:08

What annoys me the most is that they always start with someone ridiculous 'don't tell the men tee hee hee' line...

Heaven forbid some bloke might read something about breast cancer and think 'hmm, wonder if the wife/girlfriend checks herself? I'll ask her tonight'. Because we all know breast cancer only ever has any kind of effect or impact on those with tits.

Plus I now feel like a proper nob head after writing a long email to someone involved about what a good idea that is...

gypsycat Thu 10-Nov-11 12:16:15

Isn't it "that time of year" every couple of months? I HATE copy/paste facebook status's and stupid shit like this with a passion! Angry

ViviPru Thu 10-Nov-11 12:16:22

YANBU. Shite.

Merrylegs Thu 10-Nov-11 12:17:25

YANBU. There are so many things that irritate me about it I don't know where to start.

But here is just one thing... "I am going to live in Austria for 20 months.'

No you're not. No one says they are going to live anywhere in MONTHS, unless it's, say three or four. If you were really going to live in Austria for 20 months you'd say 'I'm going to live in Austria for a couple of years.'

So as a status update it just doesn't work.

SoupDragon Thu 10-Nov-11 12:17:48

Personally, I think anyone that does this is an attention seeking fool.

"don't tell any men about it!" yes, let's raise awareness by posting something nonsensical and not telling 50% of the population what it means.

I'm thinking of deleting anyone who does copy and paste updates.

StrandedBear Thu 10-Nov-11 12:18:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

working9while5 Thu 10-Nov-11 12:19:15

My MOTHER posted this, YES my MOTHER is on fb, and I was visiting my sister in Liverpool when I had a text from my husband to ask why my mother was going to live in Austria for a month. Cue sister and I discussing how cool it would be to have this happen for about an HOUR, wondering if it would be before Christmas so we could go and see Christmas markets etc before realising.


It does NOT raise "breast cancer" awareness, it is SPAM.

I hate all the copy and paste to your status things - I never do any of them, they are all bollocks

bahhumbug emoticon

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 10-Nov-11 12:22:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Cherriesarelovely Thu 10-Nov-11 12:22:16

Glad I'm not the only one that finds this extremely annoying and pointless. What on earth does it have to do with breast cancer?

Clossaintjacques Thu 10-Nov-11 12:22:28

YANBU about the stupid facebook thing, I remember seeing those before I deleted my account!

YABU to use the word numpty though wink

SoupDragon Thu 10-Nov-11 12:22:58

Do you actually think that the awareness of breast cancer needs to be raised any further?

By which I mean awareness without any kind of fundraising or information.

ViviPru Thu 10-Nov-11 12:25:49

I think its rather inappropriate.

This going to live in X for X months was posted by an old work colleague who I know has been bravely battling breast cancer. She has had numerous replies to her status with heartfelt words of encouragement and support for making such a courageous decision from people who clearly are unaware its an 'awareness' thing. All a bit confused IMO

what really bugged me about it...

The lack of consistancy in the locations. They should be either cities or countries. How lazy to just put a country cause the idiot who made it up CBF to find out the capital of that country!!


Takeresponsibility Thu 10-Nov-11 12:26:39

I have posted this on my FB account and lots of people have asked me about it and I have said I will tell them in RL. This prompts us to arrange something and then I get to explain this status and how it is supposed to make people aware then ensure that the conversation goes on to how some women still don't check for lumps (and as a side issue).

It is then in people's minds so next time they see such a status the first thing they think of is breast cancer.

Of course just posting about it doesn't promote BC awareness, one has to make it work, but it does start people talking about it.

Thank you for posting this OP, because although people on here are not specifically talking about BC, it is now in the forefront of their minds.

Cancer isn't something that only happens to other people.

SoupDragon Thu 10-Nov-11 12:27:32

"It is then in people's minds so next time they see such a status the first thing they think of is breast cancer."

That won't be the first thing I think of.

TheCountessOlenska Thu 10-Nov-11 12:31:16

Agree SoupDragon - it's not like women haven't heard of breast cancer! If it was raising awareness of something specific like the importance of checking yourself . . . but aside from that it's just really really lame!

working9while5 Thu 10-Nov-11 12:31:20

Takeresponsibility, I don't believe for a second that BREAST CANCER is in the forefront of people's minds because of this, Takeresponsibility. It really annoyed me, it hasn't made me check my breasts.

Cancer, including all the other types that there is far LESS awareness of like mouth/colon/pancreatic cancers, isn't something that only happens to other people, that's true.. but this doesn't have any direct link.

From a behavioural perspective, I got excited when I saw my mother was going to Austria for a month. It was not a leap of the imagination, she is doing a particular job that means something like this while not probable was certainly possible. So, finding out that something exciting isn't going to happen just makes thinking about breast cancer awareness negatively reinforcing e.g. it would be more likely to DECREASE me taking the "campaign" seriously than lead to me engaging in a conversation about breast cancer.

The bra one made some sense, this doesn't AT ALL.

working9while5 Thu 10-Nov-11 12:32:37

Ooops, sorry. Only meant to put name in once.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Thu 10-Nov-11 12:32:43

One of the best awareness campaigns (I thought) was an e-mail I received with this cartoon lady walking in front of a huge queue of people - both genders, all colours, basically everybody. The strapline was something like "This is Beryl, she is walking her way around the world to let everyone know that breast cancer can affect anybody at any time"... it then went on to give the relevant website links.

I was transfixed watching 'Beryl' and the other cartoon people joining the queue.

So simple but for me, very effective - and inclusive.

gypsycat Thu 10-Nov-11 12:32:56

Awareness campaigns are useless if they don't actually encourage people to take action. None of these silly country, bra, underwear, nipple what have you status things comes with a call to action. While everyone might be talking about it, how many women have actually gotten a mammogram because of it? I'm guessing 1%? Less?

Therefore, it's completely useless.

Also what really irritates me is this "no telling the men thing" Ummm, this is about BREAST CANCER (supposedly) some of the most successful breast cancer campaigns have urged men to urge the women in their lives to get mammograms and do breast self exams, why should they be kept out of a supposed "awareness" campaign?

SoupDragon Thu 10-Nov-11 12:33:20

I may change my status to:

I'm feeling my breasts.
Remember to feel yours too

Then a link to a breast cancer awareness site.

working9while5 Thu 10-Nov-11 12:33:36

And no offence, but if you said to me you would tell me in real life and then had a chat with me about how you were trying to raise my awareness of breast cancer, I would be very hmm about it.

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 10-Nov-11 12:33:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheCountessOlenska Thu 10-Nov-11 12:35:23

And also, I saw that a "friend" has posted that they were leaving the country for 20 months and thought "thank God!" - now I am gutted!

DreamsOfSteam Thu 10-Nov-11 12:37:02

it's really annoying angry

I never get the emails so spend age's tring to work out what the fuck everyone is going on about.

Every one who does it then has to spend ages explaining to everyone that actually no, they are not pregnant/moving home/enjoying some bizzar sexual act.

And most of all it does not raise awareness of breast cancer its just a stupid gimmick that leaves people feeling exclueded from the in joke

OldGreyWassailTest Thu 10-Nov-11 12:37:10

No way am I going to live in Amsterdam!

DreamsOfSteam Thu 10-Nov-11 12:38:16

I like your idea much better Soupy

Soup I nicked that grin

handbagCrab Thu 10-Nov-11 12:40:25

My friend did this yesterday and hers was really plausible considering the country, length of visit and her current circumstances. I was gutted actually to find out it was spam because I thought it was an amazing opportunity for her.

I might bring back old fashioned chain letters to raise awareness of the cost of stamps smile

GalaxyWeaver Thu 10-Nov-11 12:40:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

porcamiseria Thu 10-Nov-11 12:40:51

I hate breast cancer awarness in general, It really does NOT hit it for me

The pink shite, the stupid campaigns, the TV adevrts, what just cos I am a woman I want a pink bow????

Its hugely important but the way they market it really disenfranchaises me

catpark Thu 10-Nov-11 12:41:10

It's spam.

The not telling men thing annoys me. Breast cancer is not exclusive to woman, men also get breast cancer. We should be raising awareness to that fact.

BigBlueBear Thu 10-Nov-11 12:41:28

Annoys me too. I understood the bra one, but this is utter attention-seeking randomness.

I also feel a bit silly because when a friend of mine wrote about going to live in Mexico, I was one of the (admittedly quite a few) people who commented, saying things like "That sounds really exciting".

Which proves that it isn't working as an awareness campaign!

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Thu 10-Nov-11 12:42:34

Yes, SGM, I would.

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 10-Nov-11 12:43:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hackmum Thu 10-Nov-11 12:43:27

The breast cancer thing sounds dreadful, so yanbu.

I just hate the "awareness" thing, anyway. Everyone knows someone who's either had breast cancer or died of breast cancer - I know several, sadly. I couldn't actually be more aware of it than I am, and I don't know what I'm supposed to do about it. Research into breast cancer is better funded than research into many other kinds of cancer anyway. If it means "awareness" in terms of checking your breasts, well, OK, except doctors seem to argue about the usefulness of that anyway, just as they argue about the usefulness of mammograms.

I think the one thing I'd do in an ideal world is raise the awareness of GPs, so that when a woman goes to them with a lump, they don't say "Nothing to worry about, go home" but refer her to a specialist.

Flossie69 Thu 10-Nov-11 12:46:35

There was one of these campaigns a few months ago, where basically people were posting "I am x weeks and craving y chocolate bar" My friend posted without explaining, and was inundated with congratulations, including my heartfelt ones. She then had to explain to lots of people that she wasn't pregnant, or even trying!

Another friend has just posted 'am off to France for 6 months', and lots of friends have posted lovely comments wishing her well - it makes me feel sad knowing this is the actual reason!

Sure, it starts conversation, but not about breast cancer!!!

DreamsOfSteam Thu 10-Nov-11 12:47:39

On a slightly related note I get really bugged by the charity runs for breast cancer (can't remember the official name, there are so many) why are they only for women to take part? Are there no men in the world who have lost a mother/wife/sister/grandmother/daughter or even another man as is does affect men too?
Surely they are just cutting off a avenue of millions of pounds worth of donations by exclueding men from participating.

worldgonecrazy Thu 10-Nov-11 12:48:33

I always respond with a link to

These are shite at raising awareness, one person yesterday when I commented on a FB status update, said she didn't know what the status update was about but she'd joined in for a bit of fun, so obviously it is failing as an awareness raiser.

I was also told that I had no sense of humour for thinking that awareness campaigns should actually raise awareness, rather than making people think they are doing something useful when they aren't.

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 10-Nov-11 12:49:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Thu 10-Nov-11 12:49:38

Amen to that, DreamsOfSteam, the exclusivity is a really negative point, I think. Anybody and everybody should be encouraged and enabled to take part in everything to support it.

ColdSancerre Thu 10-Nov-11 12:50:26

Oh, I now understand a status update that made me think 'eh?' the other day. Thanks.

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 10-Nov-11 12:50:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

porcamiseria Thu 10-Nov-11 12:51:50

agree, in a wierd way it like BC have done what they need

we are aware
recovery rate is high
women get treated well and fast
treatments have come along loads

I only gave to BC run thingy as my friend had it, but secretly I think that there are far more deserving causes

I feel really mean writing that, but I am just being honest
I have so much compassion for people that have it, but something about the charity does not sit with me

SoupDragon Thu 10-Nov-11 13:00:07

Wasn't October breast dancer awareness month? shouldn't it have been done then?

SoupDragon Thu 10-Nov-11 13:02:41

This is Movember, raising awareness for men's cancer.

May change my status to

Squeeze your man's nuts today
Testicular cancer link.

Except I have no Facebook friends grin

Breast dancer? Like strippers? grin

hackmum Thu 10-Nov-11 13:07:25

@porcamiseria: "I have so much compassion for people that have it, but something about the charity does not sit with me"

Agreed. It's the jollification and prettification of the disease I can't stand. I have had people very close to me die of breast cancer, and other close friends survive it, but whichever happens in the long run (and let's face it, you don't know at the beginning), it's always a devastating diagnosis.

DreamsOfSteam Thu 10-Nov-11 13:12:34

ROLF at breast dancer gringringrin

DreamsOfSteam Thu 10-Nov-11 13:13:05

ROFL even blush

KatAndKit Thu 10-Nov-11 13:14:04

Last time one of these was going round (the dreadfully tactless pregnancy craving one) I made the point that cancer is not a fucking joke and my opinion is just the same about this load of rubbish. People die of cancer so why not raise awareness in a serious and sensible way rather than a silly "don't tell the menz" injoke thing.

TheTenantOfWildfellHall Thu 10-Nov-11 13:15:53

oh that explains why one of my FB friends posted yesterday saying she's going to live in Germany for 3 months.

I did think it was a bit odd, she's a TA and just started a new job in a new school! Cue lots of her friends asking if her son is going with her and why she's going/when and what's going to happen about work.

Bloody stupid.

KatAndKit Thu 10-Nov-11 13:16:48

I presume her birthday is on the 3rd of whatever month?
These things have become much too easy to spot now.

GeraldBostock Thu 10-Nov-11 13:17:11


Oh Great!! - now i have to tell my DH that one of our good friends isn't going to St Petersburg for x amount of months and i'm jealous (and a bit tearful) and why don't we move to somewhere nice and exotic for a while (and how dare she leave her dog).....

.....then i will punch her in the face for lying to me when i was feeling low grin

SmellslikeDEMONcatspee Thu 10-Nov-11 13:17:18

These status updates are the biggest loads of shite out FFS there’s not even a link to a page telling the signs and symptoms etc.
Adding to that can someone tell the prat that started this that Shh crap MEN GET BREAST CANCER TOO!!

And as with female breast cancer the sooner it’s discover the better the chances are.

And another thing it’s blood November, you want to campaign about something talk about prostate and testicular cancer.

And while I have my soapbox out Breast cancer run people stop discriminating against men

TheTenantOfWildfellHall Thu 10-Nov-11 13:18:07

I still don't understand how they're supposed to work.

Minus273 Thu 10-Nov-11 13:19:12

I was thinking the same as catpark, men can get breast cancer too.

TheTenantOfWildfellHall Thu 10-Nov-11 13:19:32

ha whaddya know? Her birthday is 3rd August.

August being germany.

Well if it wasn't for MN it would wasted on me. I thought she was being seconded abroad. grin

tocha Thu 10-Nov-11 13:22:18

yanbu. am all in favour of sharing useful links about cancer awareness, but can't abide these oh so hilarious "gotcha" games.

PootlePosyPumpkin Thu 10-Nov-11 13:32:33

It really is a lorry load of old poop (to quote Celia Imrie in Dinnerladies) grin.

I actually wouldn't mind going to Austria for 26 months though!

KatAndKit Thu 10-Nov-11 13:37:52

I'm sure the Dominican Republic might be lovely but I think I'd have had enough long before 25 months were up!

ItWasABoojum Thu 10-Nov-11 13:48:06

YANBU. In cringeworthy-ness, it's second only to those 'change your profile pic to a cartoon character to show that you're against child abuse' things. Is anybody pro child abuse?

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 10-Nov-11 13:57:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

it is absolute shite and my heart sinks when I see it - the awful all girls together type thing which excludes men irritates the hell out of me for a start.
I have mixed feelings about the pink thing -it sort of sanitises what is a pretty horrible disease. I do stuff to support breast cancer charities like raising money at a strawberry tea and designing cards for them to sell and I guess I do it because both me and my SIL have had breast cancer.
I hate the other statuses that say things like 'only some of my friends will repost this blah de blah' followed by some mawkish thing about remembering people who have died of cancer because I think it's just people showing off how compassionate they are.

DizzyKipper Thu 10-Nov-11 14:13:40

Oh I hate stuff like that, if you're genuine about wanting to help a charity then actually do something. To me all these statuses do is enable people to feel as though they've done something when really they've done sweet fa. Even if people realise the connection and for that split moment actually think of breast cancer - so what? What actually does that do? How many of those people really then go on to do fundraising or genuinely spread awareness or indeed anything that will help in a practical way? How many will even go on to check their breasts for lumps as opposed to thinking "oh yes I really must do that" and then proceed not to as they get on with fb browsing? We've all heard of breast cancer, we know it exists, we know we're meant to check for lumps. Having a transitory moment of thinking of breast cancer because of some one's stupid status doesn't actually change much.

This particularly irritates me because my dad fought with and died from cancer. I really hate with a passion that people will actually congratulate themselves for this pseudo-effort when that is all it is.

KatMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 10-Nov-11 15:11:47

Hello. We've moved this thread to 'Facebook', as we think it's the best place for it.

DizzyKipper - I agree. DH's dad died very recently from after a very short but excruciating illness and having seen him go through that makes all this FB crap seem incredibly trite.

DreamsOfSteam Thu 10-Nov-11 15:29:11

there's a facebook topic? well who knew?

topic cull!
<<coughs again>>

Sorry don't know what came over me there grin

Dear god, i now have posts in the facebook topic?!

SoupDragon Thu 10-Nov-11 16:53:58

Heavens... MNHQ has a cat?

I thought they decided on a tortoise?

SoupDragon Thu 10-Nov-11 17:01:08

Perhaps it is a tortoise called Kat then.
Which is confusing.
its one in the eye for the Doghouse whichever way you look at it.

DilysPrice Thu 10-Nov-11 17:25:45

Breast cancer kills more men than testicular cancer does, it's very roughly 100 vs 70 men in the UK each year (though in terms of years of life lost testicular cancer is worse because it strikes younger).

shock I did not know that, Dilys.

Are you sure? It says on the Macmillan site that only 300 men per year are diagnosed with breast cancer, but 2,000 per year with testicular.

Fo0ffyShmooffer Fri 11-Nov-11 10:47:52

Agree with all the above. If anything it shows a distinct lack of awareness of what is effective campaigning and the "lets keep it a secret girls" aspect leaves a really nasty taste actually.

I have stolen soupdragons idea for an FB status. smile

DilysPrice Fri 11-Nov-11 11:19:40

Testicular cancer in men is not uncommon, but it very rarely kills, it has a 95% + survival rate because its easy to spot and easy to treat. Awareness campaigns are always a good thing of course, because it's all about speed of action.

DilysPrice Fri 11-Nov-11 11:27:04

Actually you've just prompted me to go to the ONS to check the very latest statistics, and they now do report for male breast cancer, which is new. So the definitive figures for 2010 were 62 men died of testicular cancer and 63 of breast cancer.

That's really interesting, I had no idea.

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