A big news story today is the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s decision to reverse course on an earlier announcement that they were no longer going to give money to Planned Parenthood. The hubbub stems from several issues ranging from Planned Parenthood’s support of abortion to allegations that PP had mismanaged federal funds. We can argue until we’re blue in the face over whether or not providing funding to PP is acceptable or not. (Out of curiosity, how much of the money that we donate to places do were really know where it goes? And we certainly don’t know where the money our governments forcibly take from us goes. People seem to have no qualms about drones murdering thousands of civilians in the “war on terror,” so why the killing of the unborn is an issue is beyond contradictory. But…I digress.)
What is atrocious to me about the Susan G. Komen Foundation is not that they support PP (or don’t support them…I guess depending on the day) but that they are a big business, plain and simple (albeit set up as a “non-profit”). In their quest “for a cure,” they spend about $1,000,000 a year in legal fees suing much smaller charities who happen to use the term “for the cure,” “for a cure” or simply the word “cure.” That’s $1,000,000 in donations they’re spending there. Instead of finding a cure for cancer, that cool million goes to finding a cure for “competition.” (Maybe the band The Cure should look into suing Susan G. Komen Foundation, eh?)
We probably all know someone close to us who has dealt with breast cancer (either in our family, like I have, or a close friend). Breast cancer awareness and prevention is very important to me. But there are other kinds of cancer that are all deadly and of which the public needs to be aware. Percentage-wise, twice as many people who contract colon/rectal cancer will die as those with breast cancer. Lung cancer will develop in about the same number of patients as breast cancer but the mortality rate for lung cancer is almost four times greater than breast cancer.
I’m not saying breast cancer awareness/prevention isn’t important. It is important. I am saying that if breast cancer is an issue close to your heart and you want to help with that specific kind of research and awareness, please be aware that there are other charities besides Susan G. Komen that you can donate to (research the ones you find most compelling to find out as much as you can about them).
See also Commercializing Cancer. Apparently only about 19% of funds actually go to “cancer research”. Pathetic.