A lot of people are starting to wonder about this. It’s not so much that consumer products companies are exploiting concerns about breast cancer to sell more yogurt or lipstick, although that’s part of it. The real issue is that we don’t have much to show for all the ribbons, runs, and billions of dollars spent on research.
Instead we’ve built a vast breast cancer industry that generates lots of jobs, profits, and awareness, but so far nothing that will prevent breast cancer, and nothing that will reliably stop it besides the knife. (…)
What hasn’t appreciably improved is breast cancer incidence — that is, the number of women who contract the disease. Despite some improvement in the past decade, it remains about 25 percent higher than it was 30 years ago.