But the jury is still out on the big question: will more women's lives be saved? Yes, the healthcare industry is catching more cancers earlier. But the slow-growing ones may not have ever killed their hosts, who end up being subjected to life-diminishing therapies; and the fast-growing cancers can apparently not be stopped permanently.
So the upshot may be a great increase in the number of cancers detected, a great increase in the number of "cures," but possibly a net improvement of zero in actual lives saved. I'm no statistician, but it really makes me wonder.
Don't get me wrong: There are a number of women I care about, and have cared about, who have fought the good fight against breast cancer, and are doing so to this day. My prayers are with them for stamina and peace and healing and whatever else they need, and with their doctors for wisdom.
But I have a question: Are these women and their loved ones really better off because of these "awareness" campaigns? Yes, they raise a lot of money for the organizations whose job it is to raise money for themselves, as well as for "sister" organizations like Planned Parenthood. And they certainly make participants and supporters, both individual and corporate, feel good about their contributions; who can argue against a boost in self-esteem?
But here's a far more important question: Are we raising awareness of the wrong disease?
The fact is, underlying all this frantic "awareness" activity is the idea that longevity is the ultimate goal in life -- that, in the end, living just as long as we want to live is our entire reason for being. Which makes some sense for those clinging to the idea that this life is all there is.
But these folks are tragically wrong, because it's demonstrably true that we will all live eternally one place or another. And it's demonstrably true that our personal destinations for all eternity depend exclusively on our relationship with Jesus Christ.
This is what makes it so sad that most of the world, led by a spiritually blind news media, spends so much time and effort on eternally useless fund-raisers.
I think we Christians should launch our own awareness campaign. Maybe we could get whoever decides these things to declare April Jesus Christ Awareness month. We could suggest a magnificent explosion of media coverage on 4/20, which is Resurrection Day this year.
Just think of the message: The disease is sin, the solution is repentance and faith leading to salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ, and the cure is eternal. And no donations (or brightly colored accessories) are needed! How could it fail?