The wonderful pinkness of breast cancer profit

I’m a lot more interested in cleaning up the environmental toxins that trigger all kinds of cancer than in wearing a pink ribbon:

Yet what many in the breast cancer community are loathe to admit, despite all these lifesaving developments, is that, in fact, we are really no closer to a cure today than we were two decades ago. In 1991, 119 women in the U.S. died of breast cancer every day. Today, that figure is 110 — a victory no one is bragging about. Breast cancer remains the leading cancer killer among women ages 20 to 59; more than 1.4 million new cases are diagnosed annually worldwide. Roughly 5 percent, or 70,000, breast cancer patients are diagnosed at a late stage, after the cancer has metastasized — that rate hasn’t budged since 1975, despite all the medical advances and awareness campaigns. For these women, the prognosis remains grim: Only 1 in 5 will survive five years out. Fundamental questions still elude researchers: Why do a third of all women considered cured by their doctors suffer recurrences? Why are breast cancer rates rising in Asia, where they’ve been historically low? Is it even possible to prevent breast cancer, and if so, how?

A popular gripe among advocates is that too much is spent on awareness campaigns — walks, races, rallies — at the expense of research. (And really, when Snuggies go pink, haven’t we hit our awareness saturation point?) There’s a case to be made for that, of course, but there’s another explanation, one that exposes an ugly, even blasphemous truth of the movement: Breast cancer has made a lot of people very wealthy. The fact is, thousands of people earn a handsome living extending their proverbial pink tin cups, baiting their benefactors with the promise of a cure, as if one were realistically in sight. They divert press, volunteers, and public interest away from other, more legitimate organizations, to say nothing of the money they raise, which, despite the best intentions of donors, doesn’t always go where it’s supposed to.

4 thoughts on “The wonderful pinkness of breast cancer profit

  1. How much cancer does breathing all those gas fumes cause? How about all the other carbon particles?

  2. Cancer is a complex disease caused by a myriad of possible cellular aberrations. Environmental toxins, I suspect, have a lot less to do with the disease than you think.
    I do think cures are in sight. But that’s just the point. They are cures, plural. There will be no magic bullet. Each individual’s cancer has to be treated like a new puzzle to solve. If the people who put together the pink campaigns thought that throwing money alone at the problem would work, I think they were sadly mistaken. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep throwing money at the problem. Researchers have to eat.

  3. “cellular aberrations?” Internal or external triggers? If it’s a problem caused by an aberrant gene that’s one argument. The other questions is how much external toxin(s) the body can digest before “cellular aberrations” take place? What’s the point of no return? Right, it depends on the person. But don’t nobody suck on the tailpipe of an idling auto please. The life you save may be your own.

  4. I used to get guilted into pledging $50 or $100 bucks by a friend who does the Komen walk each year because he close relative had it. But when I found out that they were funding Mrs Joe Lieberman’s goodwill junkets to Jerusalem (WTF!!??), I told her flat out no way in hell will that racket get another penny out of me.

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