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Komen’s Financials Examined

After a week of coming under fire for pulling and then reinstating funding for Planned Parenthood, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation is now under the microscope for their financial details. One factor that has surfaced is that in the last few years, the amount of fundraising money spent on grants given to scientists looking for the causes and cure for breast cancer has been cut in half. In 2008, 29 percent of donations went to research awards—in 2011, that number dropped to 15 percent.

Komen is commended in other areas of their financials, though, especially in terms of the salary given its president, Nancy Brinker. She received $417,712 in 2011, which is $300,000 less than what the Breast Cancer Research Foundation reported in salary and benefits for its president the same year.

In terms of where their money goes in the research realm, Komen is receiving less criticism in terms of dollar amounts and more about where those dollars are going.

From the Reuters article:

Some experts who applaud Komen for supporting research are critical less of the “how much” than the “what.” They say funding choices may place too great an emphasis on treatment and the most basic of basic research, rather than prevention and a true cure.

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“It would be good if they spent more on finding the cause of breast cancer and preventing it,” said breast surgeon and author Susan Love, whose eponymous research foundation focuses on raising “an army of women” to volunteer for breast-cancer studies.

“They fund a lot of research on mice and rats and cell lines,” she said. “But rats and mice don’t get breast cancer; you have to give it to them.”

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