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Friday, 28 September 2012

Stand Up 2 Cancer ... coming to the UK

Just had an e-mail from Cancer Research UK to publicise their collaboration with Channel 4 this October to bring the Stand Up 2 Cancer fundraiser to the UK.  The plus to this is that it is all about funding research.  The possible minus is how much of it will go towards funding research into metastatic disease?  And by that I mean any form of metastatic disease.  I once asked Cancer Research UK how much of their research budget they devoted to metastatic research and it turned out to be about 1%.  I cancelled my Direct Debit contribution to them and I haven't supported them since.  This is
  • Outrageous
  • Unacceptable
  • Mind boggling
  • Thought they were about finding a cure for cancer...but not the kind that kills it seems
Whilst I don't deny that early stage cancer should be researched, and ways found for the cancer not to metastasize (spread in the body from the original site) where is the help for those for whom cancer is declared to be incurable?  Great - raise awareness of the risks of getting cancer, and about early detection, but what about those for whom the cancer is declared to be incurable?

If the answer to my e-mail query is that they will be spending a fair proportion on metastatic research then I will support them, and possibly run some form of fundraising where I work.  If the answer is negative then I will not be able to support them.  Don't get me wrong I don't want to deny early stage cancer its share of the cake, but so far they haven't been sharing nice with metastatic disease.  They want their cake and eat it, and leave a few crumbs for those who are dying for their help.

This may sound like sour grapes and in some ways it is, but how frustrated would you be if you constantly read of advances in preventing cancer, advances in ways of stopping it spread, advances in understanding how cancer works but all of which does not translate into help for those who are dying for the help?  I have lived with metastatic breast cancer for 5 years (officially 4 years, 8 months but they got my initial diagnosis wrong) and there is discovery after discovery which never seems to see the light of day again.  Why?  Because it won't be profitable?  Since the government and public in the UK and elsewhere give a huge amount of financial backing to cancer research why aren't them making sure that it achieves something.  Where is the return for the tax-payer?  Why does so much of it get handed over to pharmaceutical companies to 'take and make' out of the research that the tax-payer has funded.  They 'take' the research which has been done and then 'make' out that it was all their idea and their Research and Development that brought this idea to fruition; on top of that they then want to 'make' big profits from something that the public has already funded and helped to develop - where is the return for the tax-payer I ask again?

I totally believe in companies making profits.  I believe in responsible Capitalism.  I am glad that there are companies which have the facilities, resources and scientific expertise to be able to produce medications to help those with a miriad of health problems, but I would like it more if the governments who fund the research would make sure that something monetary was fed-back to support more research.  Instead it seems to be handed over cheaply for corporate profiteers to use as they wish.

But some of us are dying for the lack of research to help us.


 
http://videos.med.wisc.edu/videos/940

http://www.hks.harvard.edu/m-rcbg/fellows/T_Christian_Study_Group/Session%203/Truth_about_Drug_Companies.pdf

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