“Your Man Reminder”: Sassy App Encourages Breast Cancer Awareness

Credit: Rethink Breast Cancer
Credit: Rethink Breast Cancer

Shirtless hunk Anthony rubs his muscled pecs and tells viewers, "You can do this anywhere: on a bed, in the mirror, or even in the in shower." Soft-core porn for the ladies? Nope. It's an ad for a free app developed to raise breast cancer awareness.

When Alison Gordon, of the Canadian non-profit Rethink Breast Cancer, was waiting to see her organization's final version of "Your Man Reminder," she was a little nervous the app would be too silly and fun. And she was right-it is silly and fun, words not generally associated with breast self-exams.

Your Man Reminder lets users pick a hot guy of their choice to teach them about "TLC" ("touch your breasts," "look for changes," "check with your doctor") and provide weekly, monthly, or surprise breast check reminders. It has been downloaded more than 70,000 times. "We wanted a way for young women to be reminded to be familiar with their breasts in a fun, cute way that would not spark fear…" Gordon told Good Morning America. "It really centers on early detection. We want to make sure young women know what their breasts look and feel like regularly and check with their doctors if they find anything unusual." Rethink Breast Cancer was originally launched to provide support, encourage activism, and foster awareness in "the under 40 crowd."

Some experts discourage self-exams because they rarely detect breast cancer and can provide a false sense of security, but Gordon says the app teaches women how to become more familiar with their breasts so they can spot any changes earlier. For the same reason, the American Cancer Society recommends that women start performing self-exams in their 20s, along with having regular checks by a physician.

Rethink Breast Cancer's video promotion of the app was recently named one of TED's 10 Ads Worth Spreading. Some viewers have complained the ad minimizes a serious, sometimes deadly, health concern. Others call it "heterosexist." However, most appreciate its attention grabbing humor and, shall we say, light touch.

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