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Cancer donations help to improve the lives of those living with cancer or towards cancer research.

Cancer Donations

You get a call from a loved one, and they tell you they have cancer. Perhaps you recently find out that you have cancer. Or you feel compelled just because you are a good person to do something that matters in the world. These are just a few common reasons people decide to donate to cancer-fighting organizations and efforts.

Often, when people look to "fighting-" something in today's world, they look at doing so in terms of donating money to an organization that claims its mission is to itself "fight" that thing. Though this can be a good way to channel one's efforts to solve a problem, it is important to have a broader understanding of how different charities use funds given to them.

It is important to grow in one's understanding of the root causes of a problem before giving to any organization or effort that promotes themselves as worthy of your resources.

Fast Cancer Facts

  • Rates of cancer have been increasing in the USA for many years.
  • As with any disease, it is not enough to treat its symptoms. Real solutions lie in going to the root of the problem. What causes cancer in the first place?
  • Any number of factors can cause cancer: smoking, genetics, toxins in food, sun exposure, alcohol, carcinogens in everyday products.

The Marketing Behind Fighting Cancer

In the world of cancer, the word "fight" is often used to define what an organization is doing. There is a glaring problem with this fight framing. It neglects the bigger question: Why does cancer form in the first place? Getting to the root of that question helps reframe the conversation around cancer to one where people can look at reducing incidences of cancer so that less fighting is needed.

When looking to help reduce the incidences of cancer, it is important to look first at the intersections of cancer and lifestyles.

Documentaries like Pink Ribbons, Inc. or Forks Over Knives seek to expose what is hidden from view in corporate media and dominant legislative discourse. "Fighting" cancer has been turned into an industry, whereas the answers to how we can dramatically reduce the incidence of cancer are readily available.

Pink Ribbons, Inc. exposes the commercialization of the pink ribbon industry. Forks Over Knives talks about the benefits of a plant-based diet for overall health and to reduce incidences of cancer and other diseases.

How to Donate to Cancer

One of the pitfalls to supporting any efforts to make the world a better, healthier place for all is for people to think that donating money is the main way one can help. Yes, in a mixed economy like that in the USA, donating money to worthy organizations is needed. But often, donating money can distance oneself from the problem a person is trying to improve or solve.

Getting involved by giving one's time can have an impact that money can't buy. Going to a protest, contacting your elected officials, volunteering your time or talents to a cancer awareness organization, creating your own actions all have impacts that naturally open up spaces where you have the opportunity to come into more direct contact with those in greatest need.

Here are a couple of organizations that are working to reduce or eliminate cancer. If you are looking to make an impact in your quest to reduce or eliminate cancer, perhaps you start your journey here.

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Breast Cancer Action

"Breast Cancer Action is not your average breast cancer organization. We're fiercely independent and refuse corporate funding from any company that profits from or contributes to breast cancer. That means we can ALWAYS put women's health first."

What Time and Financial Contributions Fund

  • Education — Making connections between various conversations around breast cancer and translating scientific language around breast cancer into common language.
  • Organizing — Building grassroots movements across the country.
  • Action — through protest, court challenges, and policy change.

How to Get Involved

Prevent Cancer Foundation

"Prevent Cancer Foundation is committed to stopping cancer before it starts."

There are four pillars to their work: research, education, outreach, and advocacy. They fund local initiatives that work in diverse communities to prevent cancer before it starts.

How to Get Involved

Black Lives Matter

Due to systemic racism in the USA, communities of color suffer greater rates of cancer and mortality due to cancer.

In their Healing In Action Toolkit they describe several ways in which people can help others live healthier lives, like in regard to offering those in need healthier dietary options which overall reduces diseases like cancer.

"The Black Lives Matter Global Network is a chapter-based, member-led organization whose mission is to build local power and to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes."

What Time and Financial Contributions Fund

  • Programs — several programs that help reduce racism in all its forms.
  • Action — through protest, community organizing, and creating and promoting your own action through the Black Lives Matter network.
  • Educational Resources — that address various efforts related to ending racism, including public health practices related to cancer-reduction.

How To Get Involved

The Takeaway

There are many other ways you can get involved in reducing cancer rates.

One method to unlock your potential is to write out a list of things you think would help. Then, do some research online based on items from your list to see if others are thinking like you.

You can also go to your local library and ask a librarian to help guide you to resources that may help you find organizations and efforts that align with your interests.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure it is in line with sound, scientific research, and public health practices. That is an ongoing journey throughout life. So keep searching and most importantly, keep taking action to make the world a better place.