Is the Pink Ribbon Breast Cancer Campaign Effective? Listen.
A great job in creating awareness, but has the Susan G. Komen for the Cure organization lost its way, or is spending its funds appropriately?
[Update: Research has also shown that Curcumin, the active ingredient in the common spice, Turmeric, has properties that also reduce the expression of these deadly molecules within cancer cells and can potentially slow the spread of breast cancer. Story here.]
The “Pink Ribbon” campaign has made the public very aware of breath cancer. Even NFL players wear pink wrist bands and cleats to bring attention to the disease. This is great, because America loses 40,000 women a year to breast cancer.
Awareness we have, but what has been done to reduce the incidence of breast cancer?
Those pink ribbons have been slapped on many different products, some of which experts say may actually may augment the incidence of breast cancer, such as fast food (Kentucky Fried Chicken) and alcohol (wine bottles), the consumption of which is a proven risk behavior for breast cancer.
If marketing could cure breast cancer, there would be a cure, says Barbara Brenner of Breast Cancer Action, who once had the disease. A lot of money has been raised without a corresponding reduction in the breast cancer rate, she affirms. In fact, the Susan G. Komen organization – the world’s largest breast cancer charity — has raised about $1.5 billion for research since its inception in 1982.
Is the money being spent effectively?
I often wonder about this because it seems that every month, a few hundred women dressed in pink walk past my home, as they raise money for this dreaded disease. I see that the cars honk as they pass by. I see how righteous everybody feels who is walking and assisting those walking. And behind each walker is a bunch of people who put up some amount of money per mile that the pink-clad walker walks.
What’s happening to the money? Is it subsidizing pharmaceutical companies that seek to make drugs that they will solve for thousands of dollars? Is it being spent on marketing?
NPR’s Jacki Lyden interviewed Barbara Brenner of nonprofit Breast Cancer Action to get her perspective on the subject. Brenner criticized Susan G. Komen and their corporate sponsors for “raising awareness,” but taking little action.
Lyden also spoke to Katrina McGhee, of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, who defended the organization’s record, citing a reduction of mortality of 31% over the last two decades, and essentially curing early stage breast cancer.
Listen to the interview below (transcript here) and then please speak your mind by telling us what you think in the Comments section below.