Breast cancer awareness month: also be aware of quackery

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October is breast cancer awareness month. Many of us want to donate to help reduce its dreaded toll. But be careful to whom you donate: some groups just take your money and use it to promote an agenda having nothing to do with breast cancer research.

BrCa Awareness The recent updated re-revision of the Women s Health Initiative data on hormone replacement therapy reminds us, as if we needed reminding, that October is breast cancer awareness month. Even without the new information which didn t actually say much different from the prior re-revision, i.e. HRT is safe for menopausal symptom control the awareness of BCA Month is inescapable for sentient beings in America who have electricity.

What is not obvious, however, is that not all breast cancer organizations are equal. In October 2010, ACSH published a survey of many of the most well-endowed breast cancer groups soliciting public donations. It is entitled, Donate Wisely: Get to know your breast cancer organizations during BCA month. What we found was not so pretty.

We classified the groups into three categories: Valid, Potentially harmful, and Toxic.

The latter groups and there were many devoted themselves to scaring the public, especially women, about the risks to their breasts from environmental chemicals in trace amounts. Little to no funding was actually devoted to potentially-productive research into the nature, causes, and treatment of breast cancer. Money contributed to these organizations would be wasted, if the goal was to make progress to find a cure.

Please give this matter some thought when deciding where to put your charitable donations this BCAwareness Month! (A small additional donation to ACSH would also be a wise decision!)