The devastating effects of breast cancer have moved millions to donate their time and money to fighting it and finding a cure. A NerdWallet report finds that it costs $281,034 in breast research for each survivor of the deadly disease, with 30 percent of that funding coming from the government, seven percent from NGOs, and 63 percent from pharma companies.
Despite the attention that breast cancer gets — it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, after all — the amount of funding it gets is slow to rise. Funding for research into pancreatic cancer, the form of cancer seeing the biggest increase in dollars invested, is up 509 percent between 1999 and 2012. On NerdWallet’s list, breast cancer comes in at number 14, up 56 percent for the same period. (Coming in last on a list of 17 is cervical cancer, only up 10 percent.)
Due to a lack of health insurance and other factors, Black women are 50 percent more likely to die from breast cancer — even though fewer African Americans are diagnosed with the deadly disease.
White women have always had higher rates of breast cancer than Black women, but we are beginning to close that gap. During a five-year analysis, a study found that “Black women saw a 0.2 percent increase in breast cancer rates […] while there was no change among white, Asian and American Indian women,” CBS says. But African-American women are more likely to be diagnosed with a more invasive form of breast cancer at a later stage. That requires a more aggressive treatment, according to NerdWallet, with costs for chemotherapy ranging between $100,000 and $300,000.
Hopefully, with the government back up and running and Obamacare rolling out, we’ll see more of that cost covered by health insurance… and more lives saved.