Alcohol campaigns upset many

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Posted Wed, Oct 13, 2010

DENVER – The word cancer raced through her mind.

It was late August 2010.

Robin Frye, 50, faced a grim fear that many American women face – several lumps were discovered during a routine mammogram screening.

Weeks later the results of a biopsy would put her mind at ease – the lumps were benign.

With summer giving way to fall, October is a busy month for many. Not only is it a month for candy and costumes, but a month to help raise awareness of a disease that takes the lives of many women and men every year.

 Breast Cancer.

“I’m very thankful that my biopsy came back benign. I can’t even imagine the struggle and fear that the men and women have who weren’t as lucky as I was,” Frye said.

 Shopping centers such as King Soopers and Safeway donate large portions of proceeds from its groceries to foundations to help find a cure.

            Other companies, however, have recently come under fire despite their efforts to support finding a cure.

 “Mike’s Hard Lemonade has given over $500,000 in the past two years to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation,” says company president, Phil O’Neil. The company’s personal support of Breast Cancer research began in 2009 when, Jacqueline S., a long time member of the Mike’s family lost a long battle with breast cancer. The $250,000 donation that Mike’s has made this year in not tied to consumer purchase of the limited Mike’s Hard Pink Lemonade. The new drink is not just about a new flavor, but also about honoring Jacqueline and the many others battling the disease.

“This donation does not constitute a partnership,” said BCRF spokes woman Ana Deluca, “and the donation was not on sales of their products. BCRF in no way, shape, or form endorses the consumption of alcohol.”

Frye like many survivors are concerned with the new alcoholic beverage and what it promotes. The consumption of alcohol can increase the risk of breast cancer. Many people have become outraged at the company for promoting a drink that may contribute to breast cancer.

 “Anybody trying to sell alcohol to promote breast cancer awareness should be ashamed of themselves,” said Barbara Brennen, executive director of Breast Cancer Action, an advocacy group. The American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute both say that even moderate drinking increases breast cancer risk.

            Chambord, another company catching some heat makes pink vodka and other pink liqueurs. The market of these products urges consumers to “pink their drink,” claiming by “adding a splash of Chambord to any cocktail, you’re supporting breast cancer awareness year round.”

Despite the donations ($50,000 for the Breast Cancer Network of Strength) and awareness represented in these campaign adds, some people still aren’t buying it.

            Approximately 200,000 American women are diagnosed with breast cancer ever year. Of those 200,000, 65,000 will die. About 2,000 men are diagnosed every year with breast cancer and approximately 500 of them will die. With so many women and men affected by breast cancer, it is no wonder so many people are sensitive to add awareness campaigns.

“Raising awareness and money is what these charities and communities need,” said Robin Frye.

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