Breast cancer awareness month started today. I know that, because suddenly everything is pink. People are purchasing pink items, wearing pink items and selling pink items. I have wondered for a long time, how much of the money people spend to “go pink” goes to find a cure for breast cancer? How much goes to the patients who desperately need it? This is what I learned: Any company can put a pink ribbon on its products. The pink ribbon is a recognized symbol, but it isn’t regulated, and anyone can use it. Seeing it on an item, does not mean that the money generated from it combats breast cancer. Also, it in no way shows that the product itself is free of carcinogens.
As if these truths aren’t disturbing enough, I also learned this. Breast cancer deaths are actually occurring because of metastasis, not the breast cancer itself. That is to say, that nearly 100% of people who have metastatic breast cancer will die from it in the U.S. Despite this, here is another startling fact I got from Metavivor (www.metavivor.org), “The popular breast cancer fundraising movements give on average only 2% of their research funds to researching metastasis. Instead, their primary focus is on prevention, which does nothing to help those already diagnosed, and early detection, which does not impact those facing the ultimate death sentence of stage 4 breast cancer. And while only 6% – 10% of initial breast cancer diagnoses are metastatic, 30% of patients diagnosed with earlier stage breast cancer will eventually develop stage 4 breast cancer and die”.
These facts made me outraged and curious enough to do a little more research. I found that, for example, organizations like the well-known Susan G. Komen for the cure foundation, which has been under attack for some time for giving a small percentage of the funds donated to the “cure” and a large share of their funds to salaries and operations, does appear to only give a small percentage to research for the cure. And despite having the words “for the cure” in their name, they devote a lot of their funds to prevention, education, and screenings, not “the cure”. This is very disturbing and misleading, especially in light of the fact that Susan G. Komen herself died of metastatic breast cancer.
Here are some more facts from the Metavivor website
“There has been a huge push for breast cancer awareness in the past two decades, with a tremendous focus on prevention and early detection. We wish these efforts had been successful. But the simple truth is that after two decades and billions of dollars, breast cancer has not been prevented and early detection has proven no guarantee against metastasis and death. And while these billions have been focused elsewhere, almost 1,000,000 American women and men have died while waiting for research funds to finally be shifted to metastasis research. This tragic truth is lost in the sea of pink promotions. We cannot and will not allow this to go on.”
” We cannot allow this to go on”, is right. While I see the enthusiasm building for breast cancer month, I cringe at the fact that the good intentions and resources of so many people may be wasted on putting money into purchasing items that they think go to breast cancer cures and research when it doesn’t. If you are unsure where to put your dollars, or your energy for this cause, check out two organizations first:
Please consider all of the people who are dying, who truly need your support. Please put less energy into sporting pink clothing and a pink ribbon this month, and more energy and resources into finding the cure for stage IV metastatic breast cancer and the patients who already have it. Your pink is lovely, and my favorite color actually. But it is likely that it is simply something pretty to look at, and not helping with a cure. In fact it could contain carcinogens, or have been produced in a way that creates carcinogens. Arm yourself with the truth, and your conscience will lead you.
Take back your health America!
Wendy Love Edge
Please repost this blog #iamsusan for all who are suffering and dying from stage IV metastatic breast cancer. Thank you.
1. A Write-In for United Way (Specify: METAvivor Research and Support Inc.)
2. Combined Federal Campaign (Code: 65385)
3. Check made out to METAvivor and mailed to: 1783 Forest Dr. #184, Annapolis MD 21401.
4. Paypal donation over the METAvivor website at http://www.metavivor.org/donate.html