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Original Research

Open Access

Online medical crowdfunding in the United States: a cross-sectional analysis of gendered cancer campaign outcomes

  • Jordan T. Holler1,2
  • Michael J. Sadighian1
  • Umar Ghaffar1
  • Behzad Abbasi1
  • Behnam Nabavizadeh1
  • Nizar Hakam1
  • Kevin D Li1
  • William Shibley1
  • Michael S Leapman3
  • Gregory M. Amend4
  • Nathan M. Shaw1
  • Benjamin N. Breyer1,5,*,

1Department of Urology, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA

2Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02138, USA

3Department of Urology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 208241, USA

4Department of Urology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY 10029, USA

5Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA

DOI: 10.22514/jomh.2023.022 Vol.19,Issue 3,March 2023 pp.29-37

Submitted: 03 October 2022 Accepted: 03 February 2023

Published: 30 March 2023

*Corresponding Author(s): Benjamin N. Breyer E-mail:


This cross-sectional analysis examined online US crowdfunding campaigns from 2010–2018. Campaigns including prostate, breast, bladder, kidney, cervical, uterine, ovarian, testicular, oral, and thyroid cancers were included. Multivariable modeling was utilized to examine predictive factors for successful campaigns. A total of 1830 online cancer campaigns were included in the final analysis. Breast cancer was estimated to be the most frequent online campaign type (n = 3682), followed by cervical (n = 492), kidney (n = 475), ovarian (n = 460), and prostate cancers (n = 382). Breast cancer campaigns generated the most total funding ($15.3 million). In adjusted models, breast cancers generated significantly more donations per campaign than any other cancer. There was no difference in the average amount of funds raised per campaign by most cancer types, except for thyroid (19.4% less than breast, p < 0.001). Friend-authored campaigns generated more funding than self- and family-authored. Male cancers are under-represented, and breast cancer campaigns are disproportionately over-represented in online medical crowdfunding and generate more donations than many other cancers. Gendered differences in cancer crowdfunding are likely multifactorial and may be influenced by social networks and public health campaigns.


Cancer treatment; Crowdfunding; Gender differences; Breast cancer; Social media; Male cancer

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Jordan T. Holler,Michael J. Sadighian,Umar Ghaffar,Behzad Abbasi,Behnam Nabavizadeh,Nizar Hakam,Kevin D Li,William Shibley,Michael S Leapman,Gregory M. Amend,Nathan M. Shaw,Benjamin N. Breyer. Online medical crowdfunding in the United States: a cross-sectional analysis of gendered cancer campaign outcomes. Journal of Men's Health. 2023. 19(3);29-37.


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