Cancer Research Charities

Cancer Research Charities.

I saw an advert yesterday for a cancer research charity depicting a mother talking about losing a child to cancer. Then asking for a donation. The advert sickened me because losing any loved one is painful but the loss of a child is beyond pain, its without a doubt our worst fear.

So the charity was using our worst nightmare as a marketing tool, which has to be the most disgusting form of advertising, and this got me thinking about the kind of people who would use that type of emotional blackmail to get funding.

The major flaw with cancer research charities is they are self defeating. If they succeed in their endeavor to find a cure, the charity will become obsolete. Because cancer is so close to us emotionally, most of us have lost family or close friends to the disease, so we are likely to donate in the hope of finding the cure.

These charities receive billions in funding, the are cash cows. So what would happen if one of them found the cure? Why would anyone need to donate to them anymore, the funding would stop.

I doubt any disease on the planet has had a quarter of the funding cancer receives, yet no cure has apparently been found. Advancements and better treatment, yes, but no cure.

Over the last 25 years we have successfully sequenced and mapped the human genome, we can almost or maybe can build a person in a test tube, yet fully understanding cancer apparently eludes us.

The other interesting point is, when these charities do make advancements and new drugs become available, why aren’t these drugs and treatments free?  If the development has been funded by charitable donations surely the products of that development should be handed back in the same vein. If not all we are doing is funding a drug company that has no shareholders.

Don’t you think that is something worth a discussion?

NOTE: This does not relate to charities like macmillan who provide support and do an amazing job.

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