Giving to cancer charities?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by NML1986, Apr 30, 2012.

  1. NML1986


    Feb 25, 2012
    Lincoln UK
    Do you give to cancer charities?
    What are your thoughts?

    I've signed up to run the rely for life for Cancer Research UK.
    It was all in good intentions, but after doing a little research from a few sources on the net, I've found that the charity is a bit of a scam.
    The man at the top of CRUK is on £260K a year!
    I know these people should get paid for their work, but that much really?

    This link goes into a bit more detail about the money they gain and spend.
    Cancer Research UK Fraud. - David Icke's Official Forums

    Do you think there will ever be a cure for cancer?
    I mean if there was, wouldn't it put all the charities out of business?
    Why There Will Never Be a Cure for Cancer - Yahoo! Voices -

    And about chemo, how can you cure with a poison?
    A chemo-free survivors insight on chemo.

    Also about CRUK, I found that they test on animals (though I didn't think about it at the time of signing up), now being a vegetarian and animal lover, I just can't support a charity that tests on animals, along with the other reasons stated above.

    I know that cancer is a horrible disease, and I'm sorry for those of you that have lost friends and family to it.
    I've been lucky, I haven't lost any friends or family to it.

    So what are your thoughts.

    Sorry if it's a bit political, I know it's a touchy subject, I just would like your thoughts on the matter.
  2. colcifer

    colcifer Supporting Member

    Feb 10, 2010
    Give directly to research centers-skip the middle man. A lot of charities do jack, anyway.
  3. experimental bassist

    experimental bassist

    Mar 15, 2009
    Sadly, as someone who has a young relative fighting mightily against Cancer, I will say many Cancer charities are questionable at best.

    I agree with Colcifer, giving directly to the research center is safe.

    But I will say, although not specifically "Cancer" centric, giving to an organization like the Make-a-Wish Foundation is a way to directly help the children and their families by giving them a brilliant ray of sunshine in their lives, even if it's a brief one, such moments are priceless.

    The MAWF has been VERY good to my young relative, and they are a charity I will continue to support for the rest of my life.

    Make-A-Wish Foundation : National Home Page
  4. I don't trust *any* charities. There are far too many filthy unscrupulous dirtbags out there.
  5. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    The 'argument' is that if you want your charity to get alot of money in donations you need someone very good at the job. How do you get and retain that person? Pay them alot of money. Personally, I dont buy it. There is a big difference between living well and combfortably to getting paid a half million.

    As to the question of Cancer research and animals... its a touchy subject no doubt. I've done a bit of research on this subject and have learned that millions and millions , perhaps over a billion, of animals have undergone vivisection with the aim of stopping cancer. Cancer is a horrible disease and I feel very bad for people who have lost loved ones to it. In fact, 2 months ago my family lost our 11 year old black lab to cancer. She was too young and it was very heartbreaking. However, as a vegan and animal lover I am personally just not willing to give money that funds research on animals. I dont have all the answers, far from it, but certain things like animal vivisection dont sit right with me. On this forum, I am no doubt in the minority on that opinion.

    Vivisection | Mercy For Animals
  6. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    I gave my hair to locks of love when I cut it off, but mainly because, well, what the hell was I going to do with 13" of hair?
  7. PSPookie


    Aug 13, 2006
    Albuquerque, NM
    Why would you want to give cancer to charities?
  8. 6jase5

    6jase5 Mammogram is down but I'm working manually

    Dec 17, 2007
    San Diego/LA
    A few things on charities. Non profits and charities are business entities and to thrive they need top talent running the office. Fundraising is tough business and especially in a down economy. It's not easy to find CEO talent under $300,000 USD per year because most of those willing to take the lower pay for running a charity could be making 2 to 3 times that much in the private sector. Most CEO's of charities ARE sacrificing.

    Second, you can always find out how much of your donated to non profit dollar goes to "admin" and that's a real tell of legitimacy. If you ever get the telemarketing calls (aggressive) for wounded warriers, wounded firefighters, families of military, etc....most of those have 90% admin scams.

    If you want to give to a charity and don't have the money, give your time. Volunteer to flip burgers at a fundraiser, carry chairs, hand out flyers, clean'll be glad that you did.

    In the US, I recommend Camp Sunshine near Atlanta. An amazing program, amazing people, very ethical. You may never find the cure, but you CAN heal the heart. Camp Sunshine
  9. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    Hmm...well, as a cancer survivor, (10 years, yay me!)...

    Cancer sucks, It tried to kill me and failed, it tried to kill my father and succeeded. It's a worthwhile cause for contribution. I would however be very selective of the charity to which I contributed, You seem to have found one of the more suspect organizations. There are enough good ones, I wouldn't hesitate to tell them they didn't make the grade and exactly why they didn't make the grade.

    As far as treatment goes, It's specific to the type of cancer. I had Chemo and radiation treatments. The chemo sterilized me and beat up my heart valves so now I have a pretty good heart murmur. The radiation treatment ate up a bunch of lung tissue, knocked out more than a few of my teeth and gave me an elevated risk of a secondary leukemia fifteen years out. But, I am alive and as my Dr. put it, "You will live long enough to die from something else".

    The American Cancer Society keeps data on EVERYTHING that is used and success rates, side effects, risk / benefit...everything.

    It may not be the only way to go as some alternative treatment work for some people but, that's not where the smart money gets bet when you're betting your life on the outcome.

    I don't know if it will ever get cured of if there will even be a long term treatment.

    Right now, most times, someone tells you that you have cancer and there you go, you know what it is you will die from. The treatment objective is to give the patient five good years.

    Five good years is considered a win?
  10. I don't have the time to write in detail...
    But cancer is a complex disease. It's more of a word that describes a symptom... each individual cancer can be due to A variety of reasons... there are some general points in common, which allows for some sort of treatments. Some genetic aspects are common enough in some cancers that they can be exploited. But it's a tough one. The mechanisms that fail and lead to The disease are core cellular processes, which makes it harder to target.

    That's why chemotherapy is essentially a poison. A poison that kills the cancer cells a bit faster than it kills you (usually because they divide faster) and "the trick" is getting as much of the cancer dead before it hurts the patient too much.

    Sounds bad, eh?

    It is.

    That's why there is so much effort going towards finding the cancer before it spreads, so that depending on location, it can be removed by surgery.

    My salary was paid by CRUK for years. No we did not cure anybody directly. But there is a lot of research funded by this charity and others that have resulted in a massive advancement of our understanding of basic cell biology over the past 20-30 years. Those advancements help not only towards cancer, but many other diseases. So in my book it is a good thing.

    A cure for cancer?
    I'm not optimistic.
    But I do think we have a good chance of being able to diagnose it much earlier in the future, as we learn more about the metabolic changes etc, and we devise means to screen for those in a manner that can be translated to patients. An early diagnosis is in many ways better than a cure... which by cancer's nature it will probably nearly always result in severe secondary damage.

    It is disgraceful that the head takes such a big cut. I can guarantee you that the people in the labs are not paid that much ;-) and there is a lot of competition to ensure the money goes to reasonable research and is not wasted.

    Unfortunately... cancer is a real bitch.
  11. I share your sentiment to A point.
    It is the reason I only worked with microorganisms and plants at first.

    Unfortunately, using animals is necessary.
    We can do a lot of testing on cultured cells etc, but only an animal has the complex interactions that we face in patients: metabolism, immune systems...

    The use of animals, at least in the UK, is very controlled. To get approval you have to jump through hoops and you have to justify every single animal you need.

    I still hate it. But there is just no reasonable alternative.

    A lot of TBers, possibly including you or someone you love dearly, are alive today thanks to research that used animals.

    Personally, I would like to see tighter controls, based on scientific expectations of success, to allow experiments to proceed. But right now, there is no suitable alternative.

    I would personally use humans for research... but they don't let us.
    I am (half) joking... ;-)
  12. Sorry for a bit of a zombie bump, but I just wanted to give mcnach a massive +1 on all his points.

    I have colleagues who are directly funded by CRUK, have to say, the link to that other forum is a TAD one sided:

    "3,935 employees receiving up to £60,000 per year"

    You'd find that most of those are PhD students (for a prize scholarship like that, they'll have either a top flight degree, or two degrees already), working beyond full time hours on ~£15-£18k per year, or PDRA's who are also working beyond regular full time hours but with a salary of £25-£30k (considering they'll have almost 10 years post HS education, I think this is ok, even if I am slightly biased).

    Are the top earners funded entirely through CRUK? I suspect a few of those positions will be professor-like posts (or higher) and will also likely be subsidised in part by other research councils or universities.

    A cure for cancer? Probably not. We simply try to prolong our body before it breaks down, and that is exactly what cancer is, part of your body breaking down (ie something goes horribly wrong when a cell divides, and the kill-switch isn't activated, it just starts growing and dividing, creating more cancerous cells).

    Treat with poison? Yeah, of course. When we treat an infection, the drugs used target something which is different, something the infectious agent has which we don't. Not something you can do when the thing you are targetting is your own cells anyway.

    Yup, there is a lot of animal testing involved, mostly on rats and mice, but funnily enough, people seem to not worry too much about that when it is their family members who are suffering (IME). I'll also point out that there are very strict guidelines and regulations on care and euthanasia of them. Many people seem to shy away from the reality that animal models are an important stage of testing, and that animals are used for testing (or production) of many things from chemo drugs, studying neurological disorders and degredation (ie alzheimer's) and many of the vaccines we use are animal based (granted, getting lesser and lesser).

    Also, in regards to the blog, he was lucky to survive cancer, he is posting lots of *science* with very little understanding of oncology, something which shines through brightly!

    Want another example of someone who tried his approach? Steve Jobs, and he had a cancer which could be treated conventionally with a fairly high success rate.

    Cancer Research UK are one of the good guys IMHO.

    Never had the chance to work for them, but I certainly wouldn't say no. Though I almost had funding from the BHF, another good charity in my books.
  13. Gezo, I read the rest of the posts there too.

    Particularly had to laugh at this:

    Wow, guess my education and the decades of research by thousands of people is clearly wrong!
  14. Lee H

    Lee H

    Nov 30, 2011
    Redding CA
    I used to give freely to diabetes research, and helped with all the fund raisers I could

    When Diabetes claimed my wife's life not one of the groups I donated to, or helped with so much as sent flowers or had a representative at the funeral

    they can all kiss my......
  15. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    I will on occasion drop dollars or loose change into charity buckets. I annually donate to a few select charitable endeavours.

    As to a 'cure'? Some cancers are treatable to remission. Some folks' systems can't handle chemo, some folks do just fine.

    For 21 days out of the month I take a chemo-med to combat multiple myeloma. The meds help beat it back but, there is no cure. While some do well with stem-cell therapy, the strain afflicting me is a pernicious sort that even the stem-cell docs said they couldn't guarantee a successful outcome.

    The 'poison' messes with me a bit...internally. I take some OTC stuff to counter-act some of the symptoms. The myeloma has done its damage to my bones.

    I can still haul my rig & play gigs but not without lots of pain & stiffness. Yeah, there's meds for that too & I use 'em.

    As bad as I think I have it, I know there are folks suffering worse that would trade their misery for mine.

    You know what? Life is fantastic! Playing bass live with a band makes it at times, even better.
  16. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    I took part in a 2-year clinical trial at the Universty of Michigan Cancer Center to treat my multiple myeloma. I wasn't cured but, I am living as well as I can be, under the circumstances.
  17. NML1986


    Feb 25, 2012
    Lincoln UK
    Thanks everyone for your input, I'm not plain against charities in general, it's just after stumbling across that info, it just made me think a little.

    I know they say they can't help testing on animals, but what might work for mice/rats surely wouldn't work for humans? :confused:

    And P. Aaron hope all goes well as it can for you, and it's great that you're looking on the bright side. :bassist:
  18. P.Aaron - Absolutely brilliant attitude to have, you have my best wishes! I also would like to thank you for donating your time to the study of the disease!

    NML1986, That entire website is at least misguided, if not completelly suspect. There is a lot of misinformation and bad interpretation in the links you posted. Certainly nothing wrong with thinking about it, and there are shaddy parts with most business.

    Animal testing is part of the process, and you are right, what might work for mice and rats doesn't always work for humans. The animal testing step helps you filter out the majority of the major failures before moving onto human testing.

    I'm trying to find a link, without much luck, but back in 2002-2003(ish) IIRC, there was a lot of outrage in the news, people who were working as drug testers for a smaller pharmaceutical company were getting very ill and I think there were a few deaths too. That was an accident which was caused by skimming over the animal testing phase, which would have shown the issues with the drug, prior to it being used on people.
  19. Ha! It is indeed funny. Or it would be, if there weren't people who would rather read and believe that, instead of the real facts that are so easily available.

    I once met a guy who was planning to build a machine to cure cancer (I think AIDS too). He was not entirely stupid. But he had a very unusual way to filter information and to choose what to believe.

    I wish people could be better informed. Scientists have a responsibility to communicate better, I believe. A lot of us don't do that very well.
  20. I was only joking darkly about the possibility of using certain elements of society for testing, like some people of an extremist ideology propose not so jokingly.

    My exgirlfriend has taken part in a couple of drug trials. One did nothing and another made her feel worse, so she dropped out.
    This is real life and not a joke and I feel a little silly about making jokes around the subject, after reading what you wrote earlier.
    It is certainly sobering, and I think it's good to remind researchers that what they do can ultimately affect people, and that the goal is really people, improving their lives. Often we grow too myopic and we don't see much beyond publishing research papers and applying for grants...

    You have an admirable attitude.
    Thank you for sharing.