Susan G. Komen Foundation, you disappoint me

Susan G. Komen Foundation, you disappoint me

It's hard for a breast cancer survivor to comprehend anyone intentionally taking money out of pockets for breast cancer screening. Yet, the Susan Komen Foundation has now cut its ties with Planned Parenthood, to whom they had partnered and donated hundreds of thousands of dollars annually for those screenings.

Susan Komen has come under fire in the past couple of years for their lack of actual funding "for the cure". Their barrage of all things pink has nauseated even myself as there are so many other forms of cancer that kill. I may be alone in this but I have never chosen to wear pink or anything related to it. I don't need to be a walking source of pity or constantly be reminded of my journey. I survived, I am eternally grateful and I pray that I stay healthy. That's it.

As for others who are yet to discover that they have breast cancer, regular screenings are necessary. Remember, breast cancer can and all too often does metastisize to other organs. Early detection is critical. So why have they chosen to cut their funding to Planned Parenthood? Political pressure? "Planned Parenthood says the move results from Komen bowing to pressure from anti-abortion activists. Komen says the key reason is that Planned Parenthood is under investigation in Congress - a probe launched by a conservative Republican who was urged to act by anti-abortion groups."

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I believe this is more due to the pressure from anti-abortion activists than their Congressional investigation. Succumbing to this type of pressure is not only disappointing, but completely inappropriate. The one thing that anti abortion activists need to comprehend is the major risk that breast cancer or ANY OTHER CANCER THAT REQUIRES CHEMOTHERAPY poses is infertility. I know, the instant I started chemo, I went into early menopause.

Pro life activists I ask you: would you rather have a woman who cannot afford a breast cancer screening suffer infertility as a result of not being afforded early detection? Is this something that is considered? In the past 5 years Planned Parenthood has completed over 170,000 breast cancer screenings funded by grants from the Komen Foundation.

Susan Komen has been under close scrutiny for many other things. As recently as last summer their introduction of  a perfume called "Promise Me" in a pink bottle retailed for $59.99. It was determined that $1.51 was what actually went toward funding. Not only is it insulting that a bottle of pink perfume was created by them, it's insulting that they prey on people's mentality and hope "for a cure" to buy it.

The pro life community is pleased with Komen's decision. Their stance on abortion is rigid, and those that perform them cannot be seen for any other good things they may do. Yet, I still maintain my questions regarding the results of cancer and chemotherapy. If a woman receives a screening at Planned Parenthood and is spared chemotherapy due to early detection, isn't that possibly a life saved? If she wishes to have children and is now able to cure the cancer without drugs, she will have a better chance. So yes, that is a life saved.  (Studies do show that women over 40 will most likely suffer early menopause as a result. Women under 40 may still produce fertile eggs, however, this depends on the type of drug and how much is administered) Plenty of women 40 and over are still having children these days.

I am officially ending my support of the Susan Komen Foundation. I actually stopped donating to them last year when I discovered other organizations that were so sorely under funded, particularly pediatric cancer which is a whole other issue.

I'm done with pink.





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  • Right on!!!!!

  • In reply to Chicago Quirk:

    THANK YOU!!!

  • There's an extra wrinkle to this story that Planned Parenthood's been trying to sweep under the rugs -- they didn't actually perform any mammograms. Those supposed "170,000 screenings" weren't actually tests; they were merely referrals. And in most cases, women were referred to federally or state subsidized clinics, which were already equipped to perform mammograms at low or no cost. So it was all a waste of money.

    There are two better questions to be asking here. First, why was Komen wasting money that could be better spent on detection or research by paying Planned Parenthood to push papers around? And second, since we know those funds were spent on abortion -- because money is fungible, and because PP is begging for emergency donations to replace it -- why is a breast cancer charity funding hormonal contraception and abortion, both of which dramatically increase a woman's risk of breast cancer?

  • In reply to darkwing:

    I appreciate your comments. Yet, there are some facts that are being overlooked here. First, on the "170,000 screenings": Planned Parenthood completes breast exams on their patients that come to them as a health service provider. Should a lump be discovered they are sent to a referring clinic for a mammogram, often times for which PP offers financial assistance. I called several PP locations today prior to writing my blog to ensure my facts were accurate. They do more than push papers.

    Secondly, the PP rate of abortion has been grossly exaggerated. The Senator from Arizona that originally stated that it was over 90% of their services was incorrect. It has been reported that abortions are in fact, 3% of PP's services. A far cry from 90%.

    Lastly, hormonal contraception does not dramatically increase the risk. It can play a part, absolutely but "dramatically" is false information. I am a breast cancer survivor. I am very educated on the subject.

    The National Cancer Institute has concluded that abortion does not increase the risk of developing breast or any other type of cancer.

    I am not an activist on either side of the abortion issue which appears to be the root of this entire debate. As long as there are pregnant women, this debate will continue for eternity. Thanks for your comments.

  • In reply to Teppi Jacobsen:

    Actually, the NCI scientist largely responsible for that conclusion has reversed herself, and has recently published a study that finds induced abortion and oral contraceptive use to be significant risk factors for breast cancer. The issue is far from settled, as far as the wider scientific community is concerned.

    As an aside, bear in mind that Komen's official reason for pulling funding from PP is their investigation for alleged fraudulent behavior. It would be prudent to independently verify their statements. (This is not an "activist" position, but a journalistic one.)

  • In reply to darkwing:

    I believe that we could both do research on this topic for weeks and obtain many differing answers and opinions. There are so many risk factors for cancer it is my opinion that like abortion, there will never be the ability to discuss it without controversy or disagreement. All I wish for in my lifetime is a cure for the disease in general, every kind. It took my mother, my mother in law, brother in law, dear friends, children of friends and too many people to name. THanks for writing.

  • To say that induced abortion is a risk factor for breast cancer is conjecture, at best, at this stage - there is absolutely no basis for calling the risk "dramatic" or even the less inflated "significant." There are established risk factors for breast cancer and it is premature to put "induced abortion" on that list.

    However, assuming arguendo there is indeed such a risk, I fail to see how it ties in with what I see as the point of the article: let's make funding available for life-saving screenings for breast and other cancers. Let us ask questions, as Teppi has, when funds that were previously available have now been cut off. If the reason for cutting off funding has to do with misuse of the money, then absolutely - make the money available through another route. But let's not use a "risk factor" argument to cut off a resource that benefits many women and saves many lives. Remember, "risk" goes hand in hand with another all-important concept, "benefit." Without a comprehensive risk-benefit analysis, playing the "risk factor" card in this instance is serving nothing but a political agenda. Let's just focus on where the money is going.

  • In reply to jiyer:

    Thank you, thank you. I would love to hear your comments on my next commenter's statement!!

  • Obviously you care more about infanticide than cancer to support Planned Parenthood over Komen. Sad, really, that your political ideology is stronger than your interest in a cure for cancer.

  • In reply to publiusforum:

    I imagine if you could get past your narrow mindedness and single focus that all PP does are abortions you may be able to see that the service they offer to women for breast cancer screening is vital and critical to early detection. In addition, it's a rather broad statement to assume that I care more about the death of unborn children than cancer because I choose to no longer donate to Komen. Have you ever heard of the American Cancer Society? St Baldrick's? Donna's Good Things? Any of the other countless organizations that need funding for research? Other places I donate to? The Cancer Federation where I donate every year thousands of dollars of clothing and household goods??

    Take off your horse blinders pal. This has nothing to do with political ideology. And if I must say, holding my mother's hand as she passed away from lung cancer and walking around bald and sick from my own year of chemotherapy makes me a bit more caring about cancer than you have stated. Please take your OWN political ideology elsewhere.

  • In reply to publiusforum:

    I must say I was amused when I read your comment. Of course I can afford to be amused and not angry like Teppi because, unlike Teppi, I have not had to deal so closely with the ravages of cancer (by the grace of God, thus far).

    It is ignorant and misplaced to say that this is a war between Planned Parenthood and Komen. It is about continuing to make funding available for screenings that can nip a deadly disease, breast cancer, in the bud.

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    Don't even get me started on the lack of funding for pediatric cancer. People think that if they ignore it that it will just go away. Well, it won't. I'm sure the Komen Foundation had good intentions at the beginning. But now, in my opinion, they're just downright greedy. They'll sue any small fundraising effort if you happen to make the mistake of using "for the cure" in your slogan. They claim that to be their own verbage. Heaven forbid that another organization dare use that slogan even if the bottom line is that any organization that promotes cancer research should be embraced by the Komen Foundation. Isn't that what it's all about, funding cancer research, regardless of the name of your organization? Google Komen Foundation and Pediatric Cancer and see for yourself. By the way, gold is the color for the ribbon for Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month, I bet there isn't 1% of the population that can tell you what that month is. It's September, but do you ever see anything? No, just a brief commercial by Hyundai, who I applaude for their participation. Everybody else is too busy getting their pink out for October. How do you think these parents feel that have lost a child or have had a child have to battle pediatric cancer to see all of the pink ribbons in September well before October is even here, and not to see a single gold one during the entire month. Shameful.

  • In reply to Kelly:

    I have to admit until last September, I too was unaware. If you followed "Donna's Cancer Story" written by fellow blogger Mary Tyler Mom, then you should know it opened the eyes of literally thousands of people. Including mine.

    Even as a breast cancer survivor I am sick of all things pink. My mother passed from lung cancer and lymphoma (at the same time), my brother in law from esophageal cancer, my mother in law from a rare form of liver cancer. The disease itself in any form must be eradicated. However, pediatric cancer is one that absolutely must be addressed more than any other as these beautiful children are our future and must be given the chance to live a full, healthy and happy life. Just FYI, Komen has reversed their decision. I believe it was more their fear of losing donations than any honest motive. Thanks for writing.

  • This just came looks like Susan G. Komen has apologized for defunding PP, and vows to reinstate grants to Planned Parenthood.

    Thankfully they aren't too stubborn to realize the mistakes they have made.

    "Our original desire was to fulfill our fiduciary duty to our donors by not funding grant applications made by organizations under investigation. We will amend the criteria to make clear that disqualifying investigations must be criminal and conclusive in nature and not political. That is what is right and fair.

    Our only goal for our granting process is to support women and families in the fight against breast cancer. Amending our criteria will ensure that politics has no place in our grant process. We will continue to fund existing grants, including those of Planned Parenthood, and preserve their eligibility to apply for future grants, while maintaining the ability of our affiliates to make funding decisions that meet the needs of their communities. "

  • In reply to BDweav2:

    Thanks so much for alerting me to this. I had read last night they were reconsidering. It's no wonder what fear of losing donations will do to an organization. Have a great day!

  • In reply to Teppi Jacobsen:

    I agree about the "fear of losing donations" incentive that you mention. I must say that Komen's abrupt action and reaction in the past couple days, and the motivations behind it, have been disappointing.

  • In reply to BDweav2:

    I saw this too, this morning, and was pleased that Komen acknowledged the funding cut might have been made in haste. Thanks Teppi, for bringing attention to this important issue.

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