Before prostate cancer too goes down the same road to hell …

There is an outstanding article by Lea Goldman in the on-line version of the magazine Marie Clare this month entitled “The big business of breast cancer.”

The primary focus of Goldman’s article is on the way that we have “commercialized” breast cancer under the illusion that all the money spent on pink “tchotchkes” and every donation that we make to every breast cancer “charity” under the sun is actually going to breast cancer research. Trust me, it ain’t … but we encourage all our regular readers to take a few minutes read the article to see the depths to which people will willingly sink.

So … Spread the word … Whether you donate to a prostate cancer “charity,” buy a blue ribbon, or just hand $5.00 to someone standing outside Walmart in September with a prostate cancer screening banner, do your due diligence. Make sure that the charity in question is really using your money to better the treatment of prostate cancer or to help men get appropriately diagnosed and treated. Breast cancer may be raining money, with $6 billion a year being raised in the name of “pink” objectives … but prostate cancer certainly isn’t. We need every penny we can raise to go to research, diagnosis, and education.

We plan to develop a list of a relatively small number of significant prostate cancer charities that people can donate to which we believe to have a track record of really trying to help prostate cacner research and prostate cancer patients and make it available on this web site in the near future.

And if you come across prostate cancer “charities” that clearly, really aren’t, let us know. It may be a good idea to start another page on this web site that lists the prostate cancer organizations doing little or nothing to help prostate cancer research and prostate cancer patients (as opposed to the wonderful job they may be doing lining the pockets of their executives and owners). However, we would need definitive evidence of poor practice in order to create such a list.

3 Responses

  1. Sorry, but I think you’re missing the point.

    Yes, getting money to researchers is important, but before that can happen, people need to know what you’re talking about, and what those symbols mean. Today, everyone knows what pink (anything!–including racquetballs!) means, but no one, essentially no one, knows what the blue ribbon means … and I mean even in the age group where concern about prostate cancer should be high.

    Prostate Cancer Awareness Month? Huh? Finally, on the 15th of the month I published a Letter to the Editor of the local paper. We have an active US Too group in the area, but I’ve seen no publicity.

  2. Great idea, but how does one know where the money goes? If it is small, unknown NGO, nobody knows where the money goes. If it’s the ACS, check the compensation of their CEO.

  3. Mike what criteria are you going to use to evaluate groups?

    Do they have to be national? Will you be looking at salaries vs program money spent? Other criteria?

    Virginia Prostate Cancer Coalition is a small all volunteer group whose programs are state focused. We have 3 members who are active in the state’s Cancer Control Committee raising the awareness of prostate cancer and men’s health cancer issues. Through VPCC I am involved in 2 studies, one national through Emory and the other state focused through VCU. Unfortunately even if people want to get prostate cancer more attention it is difficult because anything that involves women is easier. Women are more likely to get involved. I believe that more people involved on the local basis the better we will be. served. The national groups often focus on high population areas but rural communities get left out. I am a firm believer that without local groups we will never get the impact that we need. David Emerson’s group is a good example of a local group that has done a great job of raising local awareness.

    Making a list will be very difficult.

    Going to Guidestar should be a good first step. You can search there both nationally or regionally if you want to give in your community.

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