There are a lot of people that get rather cross about the charities that raise money for cancer treatments and research and about the drug industry around cancer as the treatments are so expensive. There are many that claim it is all a big profit making scandal and that we should not give to the charities as they have no yet found a cure.
Working towards a cure
It is very easy to criticize that a cure has not been found, however, it is worth noting that many diseases have no cures. There is no cure for the common cold, nor one for ‘flu although a vaccination may protect you against it. There is no cure for heart disease, diabetes, allergies or many other medical conditions. However, most illnesses and diseases have risk factors and these can be looked at to see how to protect yourself from getting it. This is the same across all diseases including cancer. In the case of cancer avoiding known and proven carcinogens such as cigarette smoke, alcohol and radiation are known to help prevent a person getting the disease. At one time this was not known and now it is, so there have been steps forward. There is also the case of early detection. Although charities are again criticized for stating that people should check for signs of cancer, doing this means that treatment is more effective as it can be started earlier. Educating people about this is really important. There are also some treatments which do help. Removing cancer cells, by operation, radiation or chemotherapy does get rid of them and in cases where the tumour is small enough to be treated effectively, it will disappear. Most people do agree that prevention is better than cure so alerting people to possible risk factors and detecting disease early is a big step forward.
Many of the cancer charities have paid staff as well as volunteers working for them. This makes people annoyed that the money they are donating to the charity will go towards paying the staff. They feel that this means that people are trying to fundraise so that they can keep their jobs and get a pay rise rather than through a genuine concern for the cause. However, as much as it would be lovely to think of, there are not enough volunteers to be able to fill the necessary job positions in the charities. People need money in order to buy the things that need and therefore need paying for the work that they do.
Profits they make
There is a lot of talk about profiting from the cancer industry. Charities cannot do this as the charities commission will ensure that they run as a non-profit making company. Drug companies do make profits from the medication that they sell and cuts to the NHS budget do mean that it is difficult to pay for them. However, if the drug companies charged too much, there would be no possibility of them selling anything as it would just be unaffordable. The NHS also tend to buy generic medication where they can. This means that it is not branded and is therefore a lot cheaper. However, as they keep their profits on each drug well hidden there is no way of calculating how much the cancer drug industry is worth.