The history of the Walk has evolved over the years. It began in as a community effort to raise awareness about breast cancer and establish a boutique for people with cancer. The Unique Boutique, a collection of shopkeepers who provide products and services for patients with cancer, and The Walk for Beauty Fund, has enabled patients with cancer to purchase wigs, prosthetics, and other special products. In , the Walk broadened its scope to include prostate cancer research. All of the funds from the Walk will support breast and prostate cancer research carried out by SBUMC researchers seeking ways to diagnose disease earlier and discover more effective and targeted therapies. This past summer they set up about 20 stands and sold lemonade in honor of cancer survivors and to support the Walk.
Main article: Pinkwashing breast cancer Komen is a key entity in the controversy over pinkwashing. The term "pinkwashing" has been used to describe two different situations; 1 organizations getting disproportionately large amounts of publicity for donating very little, and 2 organizations that use the pink ribbon to promote products that may be carcinogenic. On Mother's Day, breast cancer survivors were eligible to be used as bat girls in games where pink bats were used. Several water bottle retailers have partnered with the Komen Foundation. The collaboration garnered criticism from media outlets, including The Colbert Report  and Bitch magazine ,  and raised criticisms about the promotion of unhealthy eating habits, as KFC chicken is known to contain carcinogenic chemicals.