Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Cancer... Starting to understand and attack it from the street
I have, in the past, commented that if CANCER was named 9/11 we would have spent colossal amounts of money finding the cause and cure... yet we have not done it. We know that the President of the United States can go to war for lesser reasons than the data above... why hasn't he. We know that the election in the USA is coming in just a few days, but no candidate has made a point of discussing the second greatest killer of Americans on an annual basis. Are we asking the right questions of the candidates?
It is estimated that there will be more than 12 million new cancer cases in 2007 worldwide, of which 5.4 million will occur in economically developed countries and 6.7 million in economically developing countries. The corresponding estimates for total cancer deaths in 2007 are 7.6 million (about 20,000 cancer deaths a day), 2.9 million in economically developed countries and 4.7
million in economically developing countries. By 2050, the global burden is expected to grow to 27 million new cancer cases and 17.5 million cancer deaths... I want to acknowledge that this paragraph is lifted directly from a report by the American Cancer Society. I have quoted it directly because the numbers are so stunning, and we couldn't write it better.
In Canada there will be 73,000 cancer deaths; and an estimated 166,000 new cases diagnosed. It should be recognized that 45% of all Canadian men will need treatment for cancer in their life time. Given my personal experience, it behooves all of us to try and find ways to detect it, treat it, live with it, and ultimately prevent it. But this is not a personal issue, even with the recent death of my Mother from colon cancer.
Could it be that the president and the candidates don't understand the numbers? I suspect not, since they are very available. Could it be that it would not help get a candidate elected if they committed to attacking cancer, instead of a country? I think not, since all of us have lost a loved one to cancer, and we are all targets of this disease. Could it be that we don't hold our leaders feet to the fire on issues that are critical, rather than issues that are inconsequential? Now this has some promise!
Why would we not hold their feet to the fire... partly because we can't get close to the feet most of the time... in between elections. Partly because there are lobby groups who's best interests would not be served by a real fix to cancer. Could I be that cynical... no! It is more likely that the lobbyists are just taking up so much of the time of our leaders that they just don't get a chance to read the data; sense the angst of the population; divine the productivity issues are a result of cancer; and so on.
So, if you are reading this, what is your reason for not holding someone's feet to the fire?
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- Grad. Saint Mary's University, 1975, got into the medical device business initially in sales, then various management positions up to president, all in Medical Devices. I prefer therapy products over diagnostic, but they are all fun, and in a way have defined my life. I have now evolved, with help from my 35 year partner Lynnda with whom I now share every hour. I am into staying healthy, photography, kayaking, bicycling, gardening and two books a week. I wish I had gotten to this stage earlier!