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Marie is a health justice communicator, performance artist, and Communication Studies PhD candidate at UNC Chapel Hill, working with people facing life-threatening cancer. Globally + in NC, she learns alongside persons reorienting the status quo of breast cancer, HIV, and patient advocacy.

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Komen Controversy – What kind of “fight”?

Things have blown up this week for Susan G. Komen For the Cure (TM)! Some explosions, implosions and a lot of light shed on the complex, ongoing politics of disease-centered corporate charity campaigns.

The debacle over Komen’s de-funding–and re-funding–of Planned Parenthood, as a site for breast cancer screening, brought about a stir among people who had not previously asked critical questions about where their funding dollars were going, when purchasing “pink” products or going on “For the Cure”  (TM) walks and runs for the foundation.

But are advocates focusing on fighting one “status quo” while overlooking another?

One question to think about: should this much priority funding be put on mammograms alone? What about focusing on correlative causes of breast cancer, prevention and a comprehensive approach to treatment?

Here is one interesting opinion, from the Dr. Susan Love Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which puts emphasis on research for prevention of cancers–noting, with its army of women campaign, the need for more focus on prevention of breast cancer, rather than only detection and cure of a disease whose prevalence is increasingly accepted as commonplace.

From Breast Cancer Action, here’s one watchdog opinion. What’s yours?

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