Breast cancer is by no means a matter for ridicule. But it has become the politically correct cancer, without a doubt.
There is a time during the baseball season when players wear pink caps and pink armbands, and when some of them even wield pink bats. There may be similar occurrences in basketball and football, but I don’t follow those sports, so I wouldn’t know.
The clincher came this morning, in the form of a special 24-page supplement to the Austin American-Statesman (known only as the Statesman in lefty Austin). The supplement not only contains articles about breast cancer and everything possibly related to it, but it is printed on pink newsprint. (NB: Newsprint is the kind of paper on which newspapers are printed; the impressions on the paper are made with printer’s ink.)
This latest evidence of enlightened concern about breast cancer led me to wonder if the disease really is quite the threat it’s made out to be — statistically, that is. (I know that it’s a devastating, life-threatening scourge to those who contract it.) Well the answer is “yes and no.” According to statistics for 2002-2006 (the most recent statistics published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), female breast cancer is by far the most prevalent type of cancer among women in the United States. Here are the stats (annual incidence per 100,000 women):
|Lung and Bronchus||55.8|
|Colon and Rectum||43.6|
|Corpus and Uterus, NOS||23.7|
|Melanomas of the Skin||14.7|
|Kidney and Renal Pelvis||10.2|
* * *
But look at this comparison of the top 10 cancers among females (left) and males (right):
|Lung and Bronchus||55.8||Lung and Bronchus||86.8|
|Colon and Rectum||43.6||Colon and Rectum||59.1|
|Corpus and Uterus, NOS||23.7||Urinary Bladder||37.9|
|Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma||16.3||Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma||23.1|
|Melanomas of the Skin||14.7||Melanomas of the Skin||22.6|
|Thyroid||14.2||Kidney and Renal Pelvis||19.6|
|Ovary||13.0||Oral Cavity and Pharynx||15.9|
|Kidney and Renal Pelvis||10.2||Leukemias||15.9|
* * *
Why does breast cancer get so much attention relative to prostate cancer? And why isn’t the greater overall vulnerability of males a big issue? In fact, Table B on page 5 of this official publication indicates that males are not only more vulnerable to cancer, but are generally more vulnerable to just about everything that causes death. Why isn’t there a national crusade against premature male demise?
I’ll tell you why males get short shrift. It’s the old story of opinion-and-media elites adopting the causes of groups they favor. Why are those groups favored? Because they were, at one time, oppressed by the straight-white-male-dominated “system.” (Though women — in America, at least — were neither as oppressed nor as powerless as elites like to imagine.)
And what happens when oppressed groups are no longer oppressed? Well, they remain favored by elites, who have it in their minds that an oppressed group is, by definition, morally superior to the group that had oppressed it. Thus “black” crime is somehow less blameworthy than “white” crime; the requirement to present a photo ID when voting is anti-Hispanic, not a precaution against voting fraud; AIDS is an “epidemic” to be fought by government, not a preventable disease transmitted by irresponsible sexual conduct; and so on.
Whatever happened to equality? Elites like to proclaim it as an ideal, but they choose not to practice it. (Or, if they do, it is to favor equality of outcome over neutrality of process.) The political correctness of breast cancer is just one point in evidence of elite hypocrisy.