Keeping our eyes and ears open…..

Agenda for the Future

What Could the Future of Breast Cancer Advocacy Look Like?

  • Organizations focusing on breast cancer, other cancers, and public health work together to form reasonable partnerships, leverage available resources, and reduce duplication of services.

  • Organizations use evidence-based information along with the highest professional and ethical standards to develop programs and increase their sustainability and capacity.

  • Organizations systematically and continuously evaluate their programs for efficacy, efficiency, and relevance.

  • Organizations are clear and transparent about whose interests they represent.

  • Any organization working toward the eradication of cancer does not (directly or indirectly) endorse, partner with, or accept donations from any entity that contributes to the production or distribution of known or suspected carcinogens.

  • Any organization working toward the eradication of cancer does not (directly or indirectly) accept donations (monetary or in-kind) from any entity that profits from the diagnosis or treatment of cancer.

  • Research into cancer causation, prevention, detection, treatment, and aftercare is coordinated and, at times, collaborative to foster the greatest impact. Organizations that fund research work within this structure, with clear, evidence-based criteria for funding decisions.

What is Komen’s Role in this Future?

  • Remember that Susan G. Komen for the Cure is a nonprofit organizationnot a nonprofit corporation as Nancy Brinker refers to it. Act according to sound ethical principles befitting of a nonprofit.

  • Cease partnerships with corporate sponsors who engage in “pinkwashing.”

  • Stop strong-arming other organizations over the phrase “for the cure.” Trademark or not, Komen does not own this common language. Support your sister organizations.

  • Act in accordance with the mission of being “for the cure” and make research the top funding priority.

  • Stop producing messaging and education programs that promote simplistic early detection and lifestyle prevention measures. Early detection is a misnomer for many cancers, and it is no guarantee of a cure.

  • Partner with other breast cancer organizations to produce and disseminate evidence-based breast cancer awareness and education resources. Doing so will result in costs savings and economic synergies.

  • Consider the power of social media and other original ideas in your fundraising efforts. Too many precious resources are being wasted on holding grandscale fundraising events.

  • Prioritize funding and advocate for real prevention by commissioning studies on environmental factors, and by lobbying congress for legislation to stop corporate polluting and the manufacturing and marketing of known carcinogens.

  • Fund research studies that encompass 10-year, 20-year, 30-year periods to gain a better understanding of survival and mortality statistics for ALL stages of disease. Scientists know that five-year survival statistics are inaccurate representations of breast cancer survivorship.

  • Recognize the needs of women living with metastatic breast cancer; prioritize research funding in this area.

  • Expand your vision to include other women’s cancers, particularly those that are known or suspected to be associated with the breast cancer genes (e.g. ovarian and colon cancers), those that can result from breast cancer treatments (e.g., uterine cancer, leukemia, and lymphomas), and those with similar causation.

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