Breast Cancer Awareness Month is here. I think just about everybody has been affected by breast cancer in one way or another. For me, I lost my mother to this evil disease. Every month on my birth date (the 9th) I perform a self breast exam. In addition I get annual mammograms and MRI mammograms (my mother died pre-menopausal of breast cancer, thus increasing the risk for me to contract it before I hit menopause). I have chosen not to have genetic testing. I know all about genentic testing (Before I became ill, I worked in a genetics lab working on, ironically, breast cancer clinical trials and finding which medications the tumor responded to. Basically, the beginning of personalized medicine, which is the future & fascinating). Anyway, I digress; I know what the BRCa gene testing involves and, for personal reasons, have declined to have it done. There can be false positives, false negatives, etc in science. I'd rather be proactive without knowing my genetic results.
As many charities will be promoting breast cancer this month, be careful which charities you choose to donate to. For example, Panera bread offers the breast cancer bagel, but did you know only 10 cents of that bagel goes to charity? When a store has a buy this we'll donate to cancer be sure to ask how much of your donation actually goes towards the cause. Sometimes you'll be surprised by the answer.
A couple charities I believe in:
The Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research
100% of every gift to the fund goes directly to research at Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James). Read more here.
Your local Hospice
Hospice is such a great service for the terminally ill. Thanks to our local Hospice, my mom was able to spend the last critical months at home with her family instead of in a sterile hospital room. Hospice workers come a few times a week to help and relieve caregivers which is much appreciated when you are caring for a terminally ill loved one in the home. Hospice is a service I support and believe in whole-heartedly.
I like my dollars to be spent locally, so I look for local charities. If you want to donate, check with your local hospital/women's center to see what options are available to donate to for breast cancer patients and research. Be sure to do some asking to see exactly how much of your donation dollars are being put toward actually helping breast cancer patients & research.
A great article can be found here about making sure your breast cancer donation dollars are being spent wisely.