Care About Breast Cancer? Think Outside the Pink

Published by Michelle Kretzer.

Ahhh, October. The month of shopping for the cure, walking for the cure, playing football for the cure, and doing just about everything that one can conceive of doing “for the cure”—except actually finding a cure. That we haven’t done yet.

I lost the person I was closest to, my grandmother, to the disease, and other women in my family have survived it. So even though I’m vegan, I still consider myself to be at high risk. I would love nothing more than for someone to find a cure for breast cancer—which is exactly why you won’t catch me filling up my shopping cart with pink whatnots.

The problem I have is this: Most breast cancer charities waste money on archaic animal experiments that still haven’t produced a cure—and won’t because animals’ genetic makeup is vastly different from humans’. We’ve been curing cancer in mice since the ’80s. But we still can’t cure it in humans.

Susan G. Komen, the American Cancer Society, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and the Nina Hyde Center for Breast Cancer Research all waste your hard-earned money funding experiments on animals. But there are many breast cancer charities that fund modern, sophisticated non-animal research or help provide women with direct care and education about prevention.

The American Breast Cancer Foundation (ABCF) “provide[s] early detection education and screening services to those in need, no matter what age, race, sex, or financial challenge.” The ABCF’s Breast Cancer Assistance Program facilitates mammograms, ultrasounds, and biopsies and gives post–breast surgery care kits to hospitals for mastectomy patients to use. The Breast Cancer Fund works to identify and eliminate environmental and other preventable causes of breast cancer. And the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade funds access to care, education, and modern, sophisticated, non-animal research, particularly through its collaboration with the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation.

This October, instead of buying up pink, let’s put the charities that are actually helping women in the black.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind