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Komen’s pink ribbons raise green, and questions

“Supporters of Susan G. Komen for the Cure are used to seeing the group’s founder, Nancy Brinker, at fundraisers such as Race for the Cure.

But some breast cancer survivors said they were surprised to see Brinker recently on the Home Shopping Network selling perfume. The new fragrance, called Promise Me, comes in a rose-colored bottle with Komen’s trademarked pink ribbon, and its manufacturer has pledged to donate at least $1 million to the charity. The perfume is the latest in a long line of products bearing Komen’s pink ribbon, from kitchen mixers to gardening gloves, that have helped the group raise $1.9 billion for breast cancer causes.

And though some of Komen’s marketing partners have become the butt of jokes (KFC’s pink “Buckets for the Cure” was even satirized on The Colbert Report last year), none of these pink-ribboned products has angered as many breast cancer survivors as the new fragrance.

Patients treated with chemotherapy often become hypersensitive to scents, and perfumes can give them headaches, dizzy spells or nausea, even years after treatment, says survivor Brenda Coffee, 61, author of Breast Cancer Sisterhood.”

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