Breast cancer: A market-driven industry

August 22, 2006

A Canadian scientist is questioning the effectiveness of privately funded efforts to stop the epidemic of breast cancer among North American women.

"Breast cancer has been transformed into a market-driven industry," said Queen's University kinesiology and health studies researcher Samantha King. "It has become more about making money for corporate sponsors than funding innovative ways to treat breast cancer."

King's research traces breast cancer's transformation from a stigmatized disease and individual tragedy to what she describes as "a market-driven industry that feeds off breast cancer survivors."

According to her research, only 64 percent of the money raised from one high-profile corporation's walk for breast cancer actually went to breast cancer organizations.

King also documents how the event and its logo have become products brought and sold by North American corporate sponsors and "the extent to which fundraising for breast cancer has become a highly valued commodity in itself."

The research appears in a book published by the University of Minnesota Press entitled "Pink Ribbons Inc."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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