If you want to help, you want your money to go to Research and/or Patient Support.
Research means: your money should go to doctors and scientists who are working on discovering how cancer metastasizes and kills, and who are coming up with methods to stop it or understand it. There is still a lot to know about metastatic breast cancer. (Metastatic breast cancer is the only kind of breast cancer you can die from, and it means cancer has spread beyond the breast into an organ).
As an example, StandUp2Cancer concentrates on several areas of cancer, including breast. They do research with the goal of getting breakthroughs to patients quickly. Metavivor donates 100% of the money they take in to researchers working on the problem of metastatic cancer.
Patient Support means: your money should go to a charity that will help a patient get through the issues of treatment, whether it is paying for medical bills or somehow helping them recover in one way or another. There are many charities out there, located in every community, that do things to help cancer patients in one way or another.
As an example: I took a 3 month exercise class for cancer patients with personal trainers in a gym, all designed to help us keep our bodies going. It was free but only because of charitable contributions. There are charities that give a cancer patient a vacation, some that give free mammograms AND cover the costs of what they find after. (very important), and many other things. Those are worthy.
Watch out for the word "awareness." Awareness is a meaningless term. That means you are giving your money for pamphlets to be made and races to be run and heartwarming speeches to be made so that people can do it over and over, and none of it actually helps cancer patients at all. Some awareness charities do nothing but put out pamphlets. Some awareness charities talk a lot about finding cancer, and supposedly their organization goals focus around that. But once a person has found cancer, these organizations don't help at all. As we know by now, finding cancer early doesn't prevent metastases, so those charities are a waste of money. Spending money to make people "aware" that cancer exists is, frankly, ridiculous. Awareness doesn't MEAN anything.
Do not donate towards "awareness." We are aware!
This Pink October, if somebody asks you for money and says it's for "breast cancer awareness," ask further. What is the charity? What do they do? What percentage goes to what they say they do? If somebody doesn't know, don't give.
Because, they might as well say it's for "hungry kids" or "helping animals." It's just not enough information, it's too generic. If they can't give you the charity name, don't donate. If the charity doesn't give to research or patient support, hang on to your money.
I will talk more about the various charities this coming month, but tomorrow, read why awareness has lead us down the wrong path.