Too Much Fundraising for Cancer Research

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My children often wonder why I don’t donate to the American Cancer Society or the Komen Foundation. Of course, I, like most of you, want to find a cure for cancer. However, most of the non-profit cancer foundations do not promote searching for an underlying cause of cancer Instead, they perpetuate the myth that commonly used screening tests are winning the war against cancer. We are clearly losing the war against cancer. There are estimates that one in three of us will be diagnosed with cancer in our lifetime. That is a travesty.

The Powers-That-Be in the cancer fundraising world – such as the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the Komen Foundation – would have you believe we are making progress against cancer. However, we are not making any respectable progress. In fact, over the last 60 years, more and more people are diagnosed with cancer and more are dying from it. The Powers-That-Be are too busy fundraising and promoting faulty diagnostic tests such as mammograms instead of promoting research to determine the underlying cause of cancer and how to avoid getting cancer.

Let’s look at mammography. I have written about the mammography controversy in past blog posts and in my Natural Way to Health newsletter. In the 2009 newsletter, I wrote, “If mammograms were an effective screening tool, you would expect, over time, the earlier the disease is detected and treated that cases of more advanced disease would decline significantly.” However, this has not occurred from the use of mammography. Mammography is very sensitive. It has the ability to diagnose breast cancer at an early stage. However, mammography is not effective at saving lives.

A recent editorial in the British Medical Journal was titled, “How a charity oversells mammography.” (2) In this article, the authors have an ad from the Koman Foundation where a woman is stating, “What’s the key to surviving breast cancer?” The answer in the ad is “You.” Furthermore, the answer states the key to surviving is to “get screened now,” via mammography. However, the editorial correctly point out that a screening mammogram provides very little guarantee that it would save a life. In fact, the authors correctly state, “The best evidence indicates that {screening mammograms} will decrease the chance a 50 year old woman will die from breast cancer in the next 10 years {by} 0.07 percentage points.” Furthermore, they state, “…some experts question whether screening mammography has any benefit.” Finally, mammography is dangerous as it utilizes ionizing radiation.

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David Brownstein, M.D. is a Board-Certified family physician and is one of the foremost practitioners of holistic medicine. He is the Medical Director of the Center for Holistic Medicine in West Bloomfield, MI. Dr. Brownstein has lectured internationally to physicians and others about his success in using natural hormones and nutritional therapies in his practice.