Driving down mortality rates key to effective cancer giving, columnist says

publication date: May 24, 2011
Globe and Mail reporter Margaret Wente wants Canadians to start giving with their heads, as well as their hearts, when it comes to cancer charities.  Currently Canadians give $614 million a year to cancer charities.  A disproportionate amount of that money goes to breast, prostate and children's cancers. Other cancers such as pancreatic, colorectal and lung cancer are virtually ignored, often because none of the victims of the disease are still live to champion the cause.

Wente cites a new report by Charity Intelligence Canada that identifies 44 breast cancer charities in Canada.  There are none for stomach cancer which is rarer but more deadly. Colorectal cancer, which kills 70% more people than breast cancer, gets 36 times less money, based on years of life lost.

We give because of our personal connections and media attention.  Big institutions contribute to breast cancer because it's popular among female employees.  Wente believes that a little more thinking about the end impact of our donation can make a huge difference for some of the struggling cancer organizations trying to build awareness in larger cancer arena.

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