• Cancer related TV commercials; does anyone else find them really off putting

    Asked by Bengal on Sunday, December 15, 2019

    Cancer related TV commercials; does anyone else find them really off putting

    One thing that has really become a pet peeve since my diagnosis and especially during the traumatizing months of treatment but even now when I'm well beyond that phase; I'm trying to relax and find distraction by watching one of my favorite shows. Cut to commercial break. "This is Julie. She has Metastatic breast cancer.........". THIS IS WHAT I'M TRYING TO GET AWAY FROM! I think commercials for cancer drugs on television can be very disturbing to those of us who are dealing with cancer. Anyone else feel similarly?

    25 Answers from the Community

    25 answers
    • Bug's Avatar
      Bug

      I don't like the fact that they make it sound like if you take the drug everything is going to be fine.
      That isn't the case for everyone. I think many of the ads are misleading.

      about 1 month ago
    • ChicagoSandy's Avatar
      ChicagoSandy

      Not just annoying, but hits home that for those of us with ER+ early stage cancer, after a decade every passing year increases the odds of recurrence. I hate being reminded of that. And you're right that not everyone gets good results with Ibrance or Verzenio, can tolerate the side effects, and has insurance coverage for it.

      They don't tell you in the ads that if you have Medicare you are stuck with a five-figure monthly co-pay unless you are low-income enough to qualify for financial "extra help." That's because manufacturer discount or co-pay coupons cannot be used by anyone with Federally-subsidized insurance (Medicare, Medicaid, Federal Employees). Those of us on Medicare not wealthy enough to painlessly pay out of pocket but too wealthy to qualify for aid are screwed.

      about 1 month ago
    • MarcieB's Avatar
      MarcieB

      I hate the one with the young man with thinning hair, and red rimmed eyes, says, "I used to have more hair, I used to have more color, I used to have cancer..." It makes me feel insecure about how I look and I am working so hard to get myself back. It wouldn't be so bad if it was only once in a while, but it has been on daily for a year or more now. This particular one is to encourage people to donate to the Cancer Society, which is a good cause, but change up the ad!

      about 1 month ago
    • Lorie's Avatar
      Lorie

      All in the name of money. Shame on them. This is one of the reasons I tape most shows I watch and fast forward thru commercials. Lorie

      about 1 month ago
    • beachbum5817's Avatar
      beachbum5817

      I thought that I was the only one who felt this way. Ever since I was diagnosed, I feel like they are the only commercials on TV. In addition to the ones about cancer medicines, I also dislike the ones for cancer centers. Not everyone has the choice of centers for the same reasons that they don't have the choice of medicines. I don't think any of them are necessary.

      about 1 month ago
    • ChildOfGod4570's Avatar
      ChildOfGod4570

      Here comes the soap box! Oh yes, the commercials make it look and sound so darn easy ... take this pill, and cancer is under control; go to this cancer center, and get the most personal treatment plan; get this shot, and your journey will be more comfortable and convenient; bla bla bla. Is it me, or do they make cancer look as easy as dealing with the sniffles? Let's not forget when I, as many of you have, was going through chemo, it seemed there were more than the average hair product commercials on TV; funny, when my hair grew back, the commercials eased up. Upon diagnosis, I had no choice what center I was going to, nor did I get to choose my treatment plan; they just told me this is what we were going to do. On Ibrance, I am sorry to say I had a friend whose wife took it, and she didn't fare the same as the lady in the commercial. She passed away in early October from cancer. :( OK, maybe they shouldn't make the commercials bummers, but they should make them of normal every day people and not go from one extreme to the other. Some of us are put off by how the commercials look like a fairy tale while others are upset when a commercial shows how grizzly someone's cancer battle is. We are slammed with millions of pieces of advice and opinions, and it has a way of making our heads spin sometimes. We don't really need cancer commercials to add to the jumble. Well, I've ranted long enough, and I still have to take my pills. Putting the soap box away for now. ;) HUGS and God bless.

      about 1 month ago
    • MerryMaid's Avatar
      MerryMaid

      There are more adds out for cancer drugs now than used to be for sure. One reason is just a change in marketing plans for those companies. They used to stay in the shadows and only advertise to the oncology and other medical professionals who would be prescribing them. Now, times have changed and lots of patients have a hand in their treatment plan. If a patient sees an ad on TV and suggests to their oncologist that they would like to use that drug then that one person probably paid for that whole ad campaign. Another thing is the impression that makes it seem to us cancer patients that every ad on TV is targeted towards us. Before cancer I know those ads were on TV but I just didn't focus on them like I do now. My senses for anything cancer related are hyper. I wish the best for you all, may we all cross the finish line on the good side!

      about 1 month ago
    • Bengal's Avatar
      Bengal

      Wow! Guess I didn't expect so much feedback so quick. Theses ads really bother me. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one. I don't think they should be on TV. It can be actually traumatizing as some of you mentioned. When I was in treatment I had to get up and leave the room when they came on or wanted to throw something at the screen to make it stop! I also get really XXX when they start talking about the "new normal". I despise that term. There is nothing "nornal" about any of it.

      about 1 month ago
    • gpgirl70's Avatar
      gpgirl70

      I’m right there with you. My mom has been stage IV for 12 years and while these drugs have saved her life, it hasn’t been a picnic. Her WBC counts go so low sometimes she can’t go out. She certainly can’t work. With Ibrance there are so many common side effects that many can’t live anything close to a normal life. And the costs of the drugs are insane. A patient is told that there is a drug that could extend their life but oh it’s $12,000 a month. How stressful and then you wait to see if you are approved for reduced price. Then the real rub is that the same drug in Canada or Europe is much lower in cost because their regulations cap drug prices. Meanwhile in the US, we get screwed. Oof, anyway let’s just say I turn the channel when these commercials come on.

      about 1 month ago
    • ChicagoSandy's Avatar
      ChicagoSandy

      I have a friend who was dx'ed Stage IV at the outset and is still here (and working) 15 yrs. later. But after 13 yrs., Ibrance failed her and she was switched to Verzenio. Had her husband not been a top personal injury attorney, she'd never have been able to afford these drugs. Were I to get mets, the only way I could afford them would be to use up our retirement savings and give up being able to leave our son anything.

      about 1 month ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      One thing that I don't care for on some of these new drugs is at the end of the commercial when they tell how much greater the life was made for the person that takes it and the results might only be 4 or 5 months longer on average. Don't get me wrong, I would probably like to have that 4 or 5 months too when it comes down to it. But the ads will build up the newest drug that's out as a game changer. I know that one day these drugs will be better than they are right now, all in good time. I just don't like them playing to our desperate desire to live a little longer.

      about 1 month ago
    • Coloman's Avatar
      Coloman

      It seems like since I was diagnosed that everything I see on TV, commercials and programs alike, are talking to me. I notice anything to do with cancer, drugs of any kind, medical conditions other than cancer too. I even have started comparing my own cancer diagnosis with other possible health issues I could have. I'll see them advertising something for heart attack patients and I think to myself, which one would be worse? It's like I have a contest going on in my head to see who would be in worse shape.

      about 1 month ago
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar
      BuckeyeShelby

      If I'm watching live, I channel surf. If I'm on my DVR, I fast forward. I don't tend to watch commercials very often...

      about 1 month ago
    • Grandy's Avatar
      Grandy

      "Metastatic Breast Cancer is RELENTLESS!" I try to change channels ASAP!!! Seems like everyone who dies in movies was from cancer. It's in our face ALL THE TIME!

      On the positive side, I am stage 4 BC. I am a 7+ year survivor. I've been cancer free almost 7 years.

      about 1 month ago
    • ChicagoSandy's Avatar
      ChicagoSandy

      Bravo, Grandy! BCO is full of multi-year Stage IV survivors, and there's even a specialized charity called Metavivor dedicated to research to find a cure for Stage IV. Metastatic BC is not curable, but it is treatable, livable, and not "terminal" until the end (it ain't over till it's over, and that can be a long, long time away). It's not the doctors or cancer centers who profit from these MBC-specific biologic drugs--unlike chemo, they don't buy & resell them to patients, they only prescribe. And as the wife of a physician, I can tell you they don't get paid or rewarded for what they prescribe; the notoriously extravagant incentive freebies from pharm reps are a thing of the past. (I can no longer add to my "Just Say Yes To Drugs" ballpoint pen collection).

      about 1 month ago
    • ChicagoSandy's Avatar
      ChicagoSandy

      And the pharma companies are downsizing their rosters of drug reps ("detail persons"); these days, they're pouring their money into those excruciatingly long direct-to-consumer commercials and 3-page print ads. (For some drugs, the commercials don't mention the drug but instead, symptoms of an arcane disease that had never occurred to patients--with the admonition "talk to your doctor about..." Doctors HATE this--and it's creating a whole new generation of hypochondriacs).

      about 1 month ago
    • Bengal's Avatar
      Bengal

      "Metastatic breast cancer is relentless" for sure. I truly hate that ad. What advertising genius thought that was something we'd want to hear repeatedly on our TV's? And as for the advice we're always hearing in those ads to "talk to your doctor"? My experience with most doctors is they are always so pressed for time. I've been lucky to find a few good ones but one guy actually said to me, when I tried to talk something over with him, "We need to move this along.". I was so shocked I just stopped talking . I don't think drugs should be advertised on TV or in print. It only serves to frighten people or, on the reverse, think that all they need to do to be cured is take a certain drug.

      about 1 month ago
    • Grandy's Avatar
      Grandy

      Bengal, my oncologist NEVER acts like she's in a hurry! I've had other docs be that way though.

      about 1 month ago
    • coolteach51's Avatar
      coolteach51

      ...and how many of use chose a treatment from a commercial? Like, Oh, since you tell me that's what is happening to my body, I remember a commercial...so I want that medicine." That is not how treatment works, so I'm not sure who their target audience is. Facebook isn't much better since they "know" when you search cancer topics then throw in advertisements all over your newsfeed. Can't get away from it...all about $$$

      about 1 month ago
    • fiddler's Avatar
      fiddler

      Bengal ...............YES !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      I mute the tv every time and look away

      about 1 month ago
    • Bengal's Avatar
      Bengal

      I just went to check the weather forecast on my kindle. Up pops an ad for another breast cancer drug. This sh__ is frickin' everywhere. Someone should tell drug companies that people who have cancer or have had (and may have again someday) DO NOT WANT this stuff constantly thrown in their faces while they are just struggling to go about their daily lives. It sucks!!!!! Oh, and it's going to be below zero here for the next three nights. Yippee.

      about 1 month ago
    • Bengal's Avatar
      Bengal

      Since the start of the New Year there are a few new commercials, a couple for cancer drugs, one for Cancer Centers of America. All feature beautifully dressed and coifed, energetic, smiling people. This is NOT an accurate representation of most (if any) of the people I know who are newly diagnosed, in treatment or in post treatment recovery. Such bull----!

      12 days ago
    • Lorie's Avatar
      Lorie

      Not bulloney, righ lol. I Agree. Lorie

      10 days ago
    • Leuky's Avatar
      Leuky

      Some of those adds make it seem like your cancer will go away, you will get thinner, better looking and travel far and wide enjoying the new life that you never had before.

      10 days ago
    • Grandy's Avatar
      Grandy

      I BET who's listening to commercials about BC is our relatives, and friends. Then they tell us there is this new drug. THEY are scared because they hear it’s relentless and are scared. Can you iMAGINE hearing one of those commercials, and next week you have metastatic cancer??? Talk about scary!!!!!!! BUT if you take their drug, you'll be skipping down the street like a person half your age! Ha!

      8 days ago

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