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Breast cancer coverage misleading, study shows

Published: Thursday, Sept. 3 2015 10:25 p.m. MDT

In this Nov. 23, 2009 file photo, Nancy Brinker, founding chair of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure speaks at the National Press Club in Washington. Brinker, who has long been the public face of the charity, will relinquish her chief executive's role for a position focused on fundraising and strategic planning, according to a statement released Wednesday Aug. 8, 2012 by the Dallas-based organization. (Haraz N. Ghanbari, Associated Press) In this Nov. 23, 2009 file photo, Nancy Brinker, founding chair of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure speaks at the National Press Club in Washington. Brinker, who has long been the public face of the charity, will relinquish her chief executive's role for a position focused on fundraising and strategic planning, according to a statement released Wednesday Aug. 8, 2012 by the Dallas-based organization. (Haraz N. Ghanbari, Associated Press)

Our take: It has been a very confusing year when it comes to what's happening in efforts to combat breast cancer, according to a just-out report by the National Breast Cancer Coalition. This year's controversy over the Susan G. Komen for the Cure's decision to pull funding from Planned Parenthood, followed amid backlash by its decision to reverse itself and restore funding, then the announcement the charity's founder will step down, has played out against the incorrect public notion that breast cancer is on the verge of being cured. Although gains have been made primarily in reductions in deaths related to early detection of the disease many scientists say they're no closer to understanding breast cancer's mechanism and how to prevent it or unravel its progress, despite billions in research.

The Daily Beast's Abigail Pesta looks at "the media's pink-ribbon problem":

As the media chew on news that Nancy Brinker, the controversial founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, will step down as chief executive after a brutal year, a new study says progress in fighting breast cancer is unacceptably slow, public perception is skewed and the media are partly to blame.

Breast cancer has dominated the headlines of late, thanks in large part to Brinker, a wealthy socialite and former U.S. ambassador to Hungary who has spent the past three decades building her cancer-fighting charity after her sister, Susan G. Komen, died of the disease in her 30s. Brinker has come under intense scrutiny in recent months for her spending and management style after her foundation cut funding to Planned Parenthood amid pressure from Catholic bishops, then restored the money after a backlash.

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