My brother, age 17, wore a shirt to school today that said “F*** Cancer” (bleeped out). Needless to say, the school got pretty mad, and made him write an apology. In turn, his apology, sent to the entire student body and faculty, was probably the most powerful message toward the fight against breast cancer. Here’s the letter he wrote:
I wanted to give an explanation for the shirt I wore today that some of you may have seen. Some of you might have considered it offensive, even as far as saying that it made fun of cancer and victims of cancer.
However, it was not my intention to do any of the above, in fact, my intention was to spread the awareness of this perfectly legitimate charitable organization. If you wish to know more about the website you can find them on, or anything about the organization that I didn’t make clear enough here, please email me.
The following is directly off of their site. For purposes of distributing this, I will remove the offensive words within the passages. The rest is word for word.
Under “Why **** Cancer?”
Because cancer doesn’t deserve to be treated with respect. One question we’re often asked is, “why ‘****’Cancer”? Isn’t that a little crude? Won’t that turn some people off? Doesn’t that limit the scope of your campaign?” Perhaps. But we’re done being polite. And with thousands of people proudly involved in the movement already, we think it’s a sentiment that is widely shared.
**** Cancer is intended as an affront to the disease, not your sense of decency. It’s not sexual, it’s not violent, it’s defiant.
Saying “**** Cancer” may make some people uncomfortable; we`re okay with that. Talking about cancer openly may also make people uncomfortable; we`re not okay with that. Despite the advances in treatment that have been made over the past few decades, cancer remains a highly stigmatized disease
We`re raised not to talk about our bodily functions or to swear. Well, **** that. We`re going to do both in this campaign. This movement represents a much-needed change in attitude as well as diagnosis.
We get that you may not want to drop an F bomb in front of your grandma- fret not, we’ve got you covered. We`ve developed censored versions of our stickers and T-shirts that you can sport comfortably anywhere, from the Retirement Castle to next Gaga show. Our concern is not how you wear it, but why you wear it. So, why are you wearing our shirt? Read on if you`re not sure.
The important thing is we do it, and that we believe it.
Early Detection and Treatment
“Prevention vs cure”
These days we’re so obsessed with finding a cure for cancer, but it’s more likely that our grandchildren will see this happen. Where does that leave us? What are our options?
Today, 95 percent of cancers are curable if caught in Stage 1. We can only diagnose them if we’re looking for them, and we can only know what to look for if we talk about it. So let’s start talking, people.
Early Detection is about self-awareness. It’s about knowing your risk level. It’s about recognizing the early warning signs. It’s about tuning in to what your body is telling you and reacting accordingly.
We don’t have the luxury to be embarrassed about our symptoms or to be afraid to ask questions. So talk to your family, and talk to your doctor. Don’t just be a patient, be a medical consumer. Come on, you get a second opinion from your mechanic, and not your doctor? When did that become the status quo? While you can trade your car in any time you feel like it, you’re stuck with THIS body for life. Ask questions like your life depends on it, because it just might.
While there is no replacement for personalized, professional medical advice, **** Cancer’s goal is to provide educational resources that are reliable, relatable, and easy to understand. We want to create a community that allows cancer “****ers” and those who care about them to connect, share, and communicate in a safe space online. We want to make tangible improvements in our ability to detect and treat cancer early — and to improve people’s lives in the process.
Looking for cancer instead of finding it is our best option.
Use of Proceeds
For as long as cancer has been around, we’ve been looking for the cure. Despite significant progress in many areas, however, there is no magic bullet to date. **** Cancer isn’t saying forget the research – we’re saying let’s fight this disease as effectively as possible until there is a cure. We’re all about education focused on early-stage detection. Because the earlier you catch it, the better your chances are of beating it.
Initially, we were hesitant to run an educational campaign for **** Cancer. After all, in our lifetimes, what have “educational campaigns” really achieved? Actually, a lot.
Research has shown that strategic educational campaigns have a real impact on people’s behaviour. Campaigns against drinking and driving, smoking, and global warming have flipped the switch for entire generations. Now, it’s time to flip the switch on cancer.
Our goal is for society to start looking for cancer instead of accidentally finding it – which can often be the difference between life and death.
We know that we have our work cut out for us. Educational campaigns can be dry, long-winded, and downright confusing. We want to change that, so get ready for a new era of education. This is more than pamphlets and public service announcements: it’s turning pain into purpose by changing the way we think about cancer.
So what does this kind of education look like?
It looks like thousands of people proudly wearing their **** Cancer t-shirts and becoming educated FC ambassadors.
It looks like influential designers putting their name to limited-edition **** Cancer shirts to raise awareness and funds for the movement.
It looks like masses of Generation Y reaching out to their parents to get on top of their cancer risk profile and screenings.
Cumulatively, it looks like a generation of newly informed medical consumers who are asking the right questions of their medical professionals – questions that enable them to find cancer in the earliest and most treatable stages.
Of course, this kind of education also costs money. Unlike research, however, it doesn’t cost billions. We run a lean and effective organization where every dollar raised truly makes a difference.
So how will we use your donation? Funds received will go towards educational information to teach people how to take responsibility for their own health and become medical consumers through the following calls to action: knowing their cancer risk profile, recognizing the earliest warning signs, and navigating and taking ownership of their own health and bodies. This will be achieved through traditional media, social media, and thoughtful on-the-ground campaigns that resonate with target demographics.
In short, your donation funds change. It funds a much-needed paradigm shift. Your donation, in a very real way, helps us flip the switch on cancer.
Thank you for your support
I hope this cleared up the qualms some people may have had over my wearing this shirt today. I had only the best of intentions, and personally know what it is to lose someone to cancer, having had my grandmother pass away a few years ago due to breast cancer, after battling it for over 5 years, when the doctors gave her 3 1/2.
What did I do? I went on this website and wrote a note of her story, along with the thousands of people who have done it as well.
Everybody have a nice day