Kool-Aid: Check. Free phone: Check. Cancer treatment: Umm…..

So. The governement has decided that it would very much like to “reduce the number of Americans diagnosed each year with cancer.” How noble of them, right? Wrong.

They don’t want to make this happen through preventative care. They want to use words to change these statistics because don’tcha know THAT is what really will help save lives. The government wants to redefine the word “cancer” in order to have fewer conditions that can be classified as actual cancer. I’m going to go out on a limb here and ask…..do they really believe changing a couple of definitions is really going to help lessen the lives taken by cancer? I mean, if you paint a coconut pink it is still a coconut isn’t it?

The same amount of people will be suffering from cancer but they are just going to diagnose less of them. How kind. Here is something from Forbes that should give you a teensie bit of an understanding as to what this means:

On July 29, 2013, a working group for the National Cancer Institute (the main government agency for cancer research) published a paper proposing that the term “cancer” be reserved for lesions with a reasonable likelihood of killing the patient if left untreated. Slower growing tumors would be called a different name such as “indolent lesions of epithelial origin” (IDLE). Their justification was that modern medical technology now allows doctors to detect small, slow-growing tumors that likely wouldn’t be fatal. Yet once patients are told they have a cancer, many become frightened and seek unnecessary further tests, chemotherapy, radiation, and/or surgery. By redefining the term “cancer,” the National Cancer Institute hopes to reduce patient anxiety and reduce the risks and expenses associated with supposedly unnecessary medical procedures. In technical terms, the government hopes to reduce “overdiagnosis” and “overtreatment” of cancer.

This is utterly absurd for a multitude of reasons. One reason is here, in a letter written to the New York Times by Dr. Barbara Monsees and Dr. Carol Lee, saying this:

The dilemma with breast conditions like ductal carcinoma in situ has no easy answers. Some cases will never advance while others become life-threatening. The problem, however, is not in the name; it is in the fact that it is not possible to know which cases will progress and which will not…

Overtreatment of possibly innocent disease is definitely a problem, but the solution is not simple. The problem is with the depth of understanding of the biology of these lesions, not with the name.

Studies also show that terms used have a very significant effect on patients in making decisions about treatments et cetera. This idea by the government is not only ridiculous, it’s horrendous. I will end this with some words from a practicing radiologist, Dr. Milton Wolf:

Health care rationing takes many insidious forms but perhaps the most immoral is for the government to wage a public relations campaign designed specifically to dissuade patients and doctors from seeking available cures for cancer. They scheme to rename cancer, not to cure it, but to deny it exists. These government rationers have calculated that rather than actually treat patients with cancer, it’s cheaper to simply keep them as calm as Hindu cows right up to the very end.

One thought on “Kool-Aid: Check. Free phone: Check. Cancer treatment: Umm…..

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