English learners now eligible for child care assistance

Source Gov. Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 273 by Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, D-Solano, a priority bill for the California Legislative Women’s Caucus this year. The governor signed it during a public ceremony held at Women’s Empowerment in Downtown...

read more

Ceremony starts Anderson Springs project

By Tammy Murga | Source ANDERSON SPRINGS >> About 80 people gathered in Anderson Springs Saturday morning to mark the start of a recovery project by breaking ground on a new wastewater system and homes for the area. The celebration was co-hosted by Senator Mike...

read more

Local reps secure funding for farmworker housing

Source The California State Legislature approved the 2017-18 State Budget, with $250,000 included to support farmworker housing in Napa County. Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, D-Solano, and Senator Bill Dodd, D-Solano, championed this funding proposal, which will...

read more

Aguiar-Curry Wins Assembly Seat

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | Source Winters Mayor Cecilia Aguiar-Curry will represent the 4th Assembly District in the state Legislature for the next two years, having defeated Republican Charlie Schaupp in Tuesday’s general election. Aguiar-Curry had received 63.6...

read more

Aguiar-Curry Thankful For the Support

Source I am gratified and overwhelmed by the supporters across District 4 that came out to vote for me for Assembly on June 7th. I want to thank them and the many volunteers and individual donors who helped make our campaign possible. And I want to congratulate all my...

read more

St. Helena Star Endorses Cecilia Aguiar-Curry for Assembly

By the Editorial Board | Source Winters Mayor Cecilia Aguiar-Curry is an energetic, accomplished, down-to-earth candidate who would be an effective advocate for rural communities in the State Assembly. Aguiar-Curry, a Democrat, is competing with Republican Charlie...

read more

By Laura Friedman | Source

This October you’ll see a certain color popping up around town. You’ll pass by ribbons, vehicles and an untold variety of products lining store shelves — all pink.

Since its founding by the American Cancer Society and the pharmaceutical division of the Imperial Chemical Industries, Breast Cancer Awareness Month has made pink the color of October to raise awareness for breast cancer.

Over the past three decades, awareness campaigns have saved women’s lives. By bringing what was originally a hushed conversation to light, countless women have benefited from routine breast screenings and from the knowledge that breast cancer isn’t an automatic death sentence. Last month I joined forces with Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters) to introduce House Resolution 61 declaring October “Breast Cancer Awareness and Prevention Month” in California. However, my motivation isn’t to repeat the typical message about “awareness.”

The truth is that many in the breast cancer community dread October. The endless supply of pink products, commercials, events, stickers and more are emblematic to breast cancer patients and survivors of the commercialization of a terrible disease, and of the systemic problems in breast cancer treatment. During October, corporations will obscenely line their pockets with the profits from pink products, and organizations will solicit well-meaning donor’s dollars for campaigns that have little accountability and oversight — all in the name of awareness.

We in the breast cancer community call this “pink washing.”

I say “we” because I am 11 years out from my treatment for invasive breast cancer.

Awareness has its place, but it’s time to move the conversation forward.

First of all, let’s be honest about where we spend our limited resources. The stated goal of most awareness campaigns is to get women to do yearly mammograms starting at 40. For years we have poured most of our money into mammography. In fact, the nation spends $8 billion annually on mammograms, even though the U.S. Prevention Task Force has recently recommended that our total mammography spending should be about $2 billion a year. Contrast that to the amount of money we invest in all breast cancer research, which is only $4 billion per year. Of those research dollars, only about 5% goes toward researching metastatic breast cancer, which is the type of breast cancer that kills. We’re investing even less to study the causes of breast cancer, including possible links with environmental toxins.

Then we have yet another systemic problem: Many women don’t even bother to seek screenings, not because they aren’t aware of breast cancer, but due to lack of health coverage. If we were serious about women’s health, we would have universal healthcare for all Americans.

My goal isn’t to discourage Breast Cancer Awareness Month, or criticize the efforts of well-meaning people and organizations that each year band together to fight one of the leading causes of death for women. Instead, I want to make a new call for action.

Let’s take Breast Cancer Awareness Month back to its roots. Let’s once again call attention to that which is being ignored. Let’s stop the crass commercialization and be responsible about where we put our resources. We need to raise awareness, but shift our focus toward addressing the deficiencies in breast cancer research and treatment.

If we are going to be serious about stopping breast cancer deaths, then we need to invest our attention, energy, and dollars toward research, real prevention, and better treatment. And, we need to ensure that every woman has access to healthcare.

Our success cannot be judged on how loud we get or how pink our clothes are — our only success is reducing the number of women who die from breast cancer.