Friday, April 27, 2012

Rethinking pink

The Komen hoopla over Planned Parenthood funding managed to put breast cancer spending under a microscope. There is a known benefit to having mammograms but more money needs to go to research which will ultimately save more lives. Mammograms only find the cancer but if you can't cure it, what's the point of the screening? Okay, that's a little harsh but I think its true.

Breast cancer charities abound. Its one of the most common cancers and that means there are lots of voices to lead the rallying cry. But what if the money spent on pink things, went to research instead of to making things pink? Who really gets the pinked money anyway?

I detest the pinkification of breast cancer. Making it pink, does not make it go away, kill fewer, or cure anyone. We have plenty of pinkification these days, primarily thanks to the Komen Foundation (for THE cure). I think they have done wonderful things to raise cancer awareness but spending all their money on races and other pinked events and things doesn't do much for me.  

'The Komen foundation allots 23 percent of its funds to research and 16 percent to screenings; 37 percent goes to education, 7 percent goes to treatment, and the rest goes to fundraising and administration.' So if I can do math this early in the day while on my first cup of coffee, 23+16+37+7=83%, leaving 17% for fundraising and administration, which isn't that great but isn't that bad either. However if they are for THE cure, why are they only spending 23% on research?  That does not do much for THE cure, does it?

Call me an early morning cynic this morning (my husband claims I woke up too early and that means I'll be crabby all day). I just think that pink does not cure breast cancer but more research just might. If you are looking for a worthy cause to donate to breast cancer research, skip the pinked, and look at some others:

National Breast Cancer Coalition - has set a deadline to end breast cancer by 2020. I admire their efforts but think a deadline is a little unrealistic. I mean if they find a cure, why do they have to wait until 2020? If they don't find a cure by 2020 are they declared a failure?

DOD's Breast Cancer Research Program - no you can't donate to this I think but an admirable effort as well. They are the ones who developed the vaccine that is in stage III clinical trials (that I didn't get into) to prevent breast cancer recurrence.

I also like Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Crusade.  "...the executive director of the Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Crusade, says his organization splits its funding for screenings and science fairly equally. The foundation allots 75.5 percent of its funds to grants, including breast-cancer research and programs that include screenings; the rest goes to fundraising and management. “Research will end the disease,” he says, “but we have to take care of women who have the disease today." I like the part about taking care of women who have the disease. Some one has to. Pink things don't take care of us.

Let's take care of those of us with cancer and do some research to find a cure so there don't have to be as many of us in the future. You can do that without being pink.

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