Over 40% of people born today will get cancer during their lifetime based on current rates of cancer incidence, according to the government’s National Cancer Institute. Nearly everyone has had a loved one or friend touched by cancer. Americans are very sympathetic with cancer sufferers and generously open their pocketbooks to solicitors raising money for many types of cancer research, prevention education and patient care.
It is sad that cancer charities, one of the most serious and popular giving categories, perform so poorly—half of the cancer charities that AIP (The American Institute of Philanthropy) rates in this Charity Rating Guide receive a D or F grade and only 37% receive an A or B.
Many hundreds of breast cancer organizations have sprung up over the last few decades. According to government statistics, more women have non-melanoma skin cancer than breast cancer and more women die of lung and bronchus cancer (68,084 in 2003, the latest figures available) than those that die of breast cancer (41,619 in 2003).
Two-thirds as many women died of colorectal cancer as those that died of breast cancer in 2003. Yet based on a search of Guidestar’s database of charity tax forms, 1,326 charities mention being involved with breast cancer and only 56 charities mention work in colon cancer and 11 in rectal cancer. Why are there only 5% as many groups addressing colorectal cancer as breast cancer victims? A likely reason is that colorectal cancer, also called bowel cancer, is not as attractive from a fundraising or marketing perspective as a disease that affects what is considered one of the most beautiful parts of a woman’s body.
Look-a-like charities abound in the cancer area, some with opposite grades. National Breast Cancer Coalition Fund receives an A rating from AIP, yet the similarly named National Cancer Coalition and Coalition Against Breast Cancer receive F’s. Read the entire article.
Another topic of discussion is the animal testing used en masse by some of these organizations. From SourceWatch.org:
Charities which fund animal testing include the American Cancer Society. More is spent on cancer than any other medical problem. There are more people living off of cancer than cancer sufferers.
Millions of laboratory animals have been injected with cancerous material or implanted with malignancies. Why hasn't progress progress commensurated with the effort and money invested? One explanation is the unwarranted preoccupation with animal testing. Crucial genetic, molecular, immunologic and cellular differences disqualify animal models as an effective means to a cure.
The American Cancer Society was an early promulgator of the link between smoking and cancer in the landmark epidemiological studies of 1952 and 1959. Read about the smoking beagle experiments.
Visit the HumaneSeal.org website to find out which charities do and which do not fund research on animals.