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Enough with the Breast Cancer, Already!

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The Forbes Treatments blog's Robert Langreth is getting ready to receive some hate mail. Langreth says that, while he's all for breast cancer awareness and research, there might be other deadly diseases out there "more deserving of attention and funding." Breast cancer is extremely well funded — NIH has spent more than $700 million every year since 2006 on research for the disease, and estimates it will spend $765 million on it in 2011. Colon cancer, on the other hand, could use a lot more awareness and money, Langreth says. The disease causes 10,000 more deaths than breast cancer, yet NIH spends less than half on research for colon cancer than it does on breast cancer — less than $300 million is estimated to be spent on colon cancer research in 2011. But, the disease is more easily prevented when detected early with a colonoscopy, Langreth notes. Even pancreatic cancer, which kills almost as many people as breast cancer, gets left in the cold. For that matter, he adds, sudden cardiac arrest and child vaccination deserve more awareness too. Maybe it's time to pick out some nice colors and start handing out ribbons.

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