On principle I never donate money to cancer research. This may cause offence to some people, we have all been affected by cancer in one way or another - myself included, but I have my reasons. I believe they are going about finding a cure the wrong way. A cure will never be found in a 'magic pill'.
After years of research and billions upon billions of dollars, what has been achieved? Very little I'm afraid. Yes, there has been a slight decrease in associated death rates, but this is hardly encouraging considering a slight decrease in the incidence of some cancers, but a rising incidence in many other cancers.
And yes, they have successfully extended the lives of those with cancer for a few months or more, but this statistic speaks not to the quality of this extended life, nor to the side effects of the poisons keeping them alive. It is also done at great expense to society in a manner that is completely unsustainable.
What has also resulted from the research is we now have an extensive knowledge of cancer, we know just about all there is to know about it - except how to cure it.
I am far from alone in my opinion and stance on cancer research. Dr Margaret Cuomo claims that the billions of dollars spent on researching a cure for cancer have been misspent. Cuomo believes the funding needs to be refocused into prevention in an effort to more successfully save lives. I am personally of the opinion that some of the money be diverted into research on non-pharmaceutical cures and treatments.
Doctor and cancer survivor Vronique Desaulniers suggests that you 'think before you pink', claiming that the pink campaign for breast cancer awareness was founded by 'pharmaceutical companies that drive women to get mammograms, that drive women to get more chemotherapy.'
'Think before you pink' Image courtesy of scottchan/freedigitalphotos.net
Desaulniers goes on to state that the majority of funds raised go toward pharmaceutical companies and bureaucrats, with the little that is funneled into research going solely toward drug research. These claims may or not be true, but surely if you're going to donate money to any charity, it is a question worth asking - where does the money actually go?
Desaulniers also advocates the use of funds going toward prevention rather than a drug based cure. This is clearly a contentious issue and one worth considering, it is merely suggested here that you do some research of your own and think twice before donating to cancer research.
Thank you for expressing my thoughts. It's not comfortable going against the flow and everybody wants to help, so we can easily get caught up in these campaigns despite our misgivings - and there's no official alternative outlet for our helping instincts.
I agree with you 100 per cent Clare. My Mum died of breast cancer so I am speaking from the point of view whose family has been affected by this terrible disease. I believe much of the "cancer industry" is a money making enterprise for pharmaceutical companies. Having read a lot on the subject over the years I truly believe there are more natural alternatives out there, however as many of these alternatives can't be patented, there is no money in it for Big Pharma to develop these further. Its sad to think so many people are putting their lives in the hands of these so-called experts. When people receive the diagnosis, it must be so scary for them having to make the decision on what to do next & I wonder how many Drs would support their patients who didn't want to follow the normal chemo etc. routine. Like you, I also think there needs to be more public awareness regarding prevention. Great article thank you.