By Tina Page |
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer affecting women in the United States, aside from non-melanoma skin cancer.
Only very few species aside from humans develop the disease. So why do so many animals end up suffering because of a disease they don’t naturally develop?
Because of its devastating effects on families facing the loss of mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts and friends, a lot of money is channeled into finding a cure.
According to the NY Times, breast cancer research receives the most public funding per new case.
Much of this funding is channeled into animal research in an attempt to find a cure for breast cancer. And when facing the very real threat of losing a mother, using almost any means to desperately save a loved one will seem acceptable.
But those of us who can’t bear to see any creature suffer, be it human or animal, have a hard time supporting cancer research charities because many of them support the use of animals in research.
Much of the approach of the “war on cancer” has been to find a treatment for cancer. Meaning healthy animals are purposefully given cancer and then injected with drugs to see if their cancers respond.
Breast cancer organizations have raised more than $2 billion over the past two decades and there is still little hope of a “cure.”
The Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation is looking for another strategy in the “war on cancer.” Using only the real deal – that is, humans – this organization is changing the face of breast cancer research by doing research on, well, human breast ducts.
And right now the Puma Project Pink is taking votes for a contest to benefit a breast cancer charity. The winner will receive $120,000 in research funding.
You can visit the site and vote for the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation to help women and help the animals who will suffer if that money goes to a charity using animals in its research.
The goal of the Army of Women, (a partnership between the Avon Foundation for Women and Love’s foundation) is “to challenge research scientists to move from ineffective animal models to breast-cancer-prevention research conducted on healthy women,” according to an article appearing in the Chronicle of Higher Education.
According to the Chronicle article:
If we could better understand the factors that increase the risk for breast cancer, as well as methods for effective prevention, fewer women would require treatment for breast cancer. But animal experiments do not offer reliable and reproducible findings that can appropriately be applied to women. Whereas animal research is largely investigator-initiated, the Army of Women model tries to address the questions that are central to the care of women at risk for or affected by breast cancer. The model has facilitated the recruitment of women for studies such as a national project backed by the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Environmental Health to examine how environment and genes affect breast-cancer risk. This critical study, which began in 2002, could not have been accomplished with animal research.
It’s never been easier to do a good deed for animals and for the women we love.