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Cancer deaths are dropping
Old 01-17-2007, 10:00 AM   #1
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Cancer deaths are dropping

Maybe.

Here is the article (I haven't seen the original report).

Seems to be a combination of smoking reduction, colon cancer screening, and maybe some "lead time" bias, where early detection masquerades as longer survival (where in fact it just means you found out about the disease earlier, with no true improvement in outcome).

I think this is an encouraging trend.
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Re: Cancer deaths are dropping
Old 01-17-2007, 12:35 PM   #2
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Re: Cancer deaths are dropping

Its definitely not bad news if cancer deaths are dropping...but also need to read between the lines and see if the number of people being diagnosed with cancer is increasing, and yet our ability to treat it (and catch it earlier) have been improved.

Being able to cure some cancers once you get it, is great...I'd be even happier if we also simultaneously were able to cut down on the number of people who get it in the first place.

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Re: Cancer deaths are dropping
Old 01-17-2007, 01:05 PM   #3
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Re: Cancer deaths are dropping

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldMcDonald
Being able to cure some cancers once you get it, is great...I'd be even happier if we also simultaneously were able to cut down on the number of people who get it in the first place.
Of course, but colon cancer deaths were a major contributor to the improvement, apparently because it is being prevented more often than in the past. Same with skin and cervical cancer, and perhaps lung cancer. Can't say that about too many other cancers, alas.

Had your colonoscopy?
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Re: Cancer deaths are dropping
Old 01-17-2007, 01:13 PM   #4
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Re: Cancer deaths are dropping

>>Had your colonoscopy?

Not yet...only 42yo and my doctor hasn't suggested one yet (and he seems to be pretty good).

I suspect a lot of the cancers we are seeing now are at least in part due to the poisoning of our food supply, water supply and air supply over the past 75 or more years. Of course I can't prove that, and even if I could I'd have a crack team of paid whores scientists from the food industry saying otherwise....and calling me a crackpot.


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Re: Cancer deaths are dropping
Old 01-17-2007, 03:31 PM   #5
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Re: Cancer deaths are dropping

Just read the article.

There is an odd impression conveyed by the reporter that the Am. Cancer Society spokesperson is an optimistic cheerleader and others are more pessimistic or "level headed".

Well, this makes no sense. I suppose you can make a case for cancer society donations increasing if they report success. But . . . I would think you could also make a case for increased donations if they report that they are stymied and need more money.

Regardless, it is exciting that the numbers reported are NOT per 100,000. These are raw. The total number of cancer deaths decreased -- despite the aging population and the overall increase of the population. I guess I can't see how those two parameters can be fudged. There were X deaths from cancer in 2004 and there were X - deltaX in 2005. This apparently has now happened for two straight years.

I, too, tried to interpret it as early detection and longer survival times, but it appears to be, unless I've misunderstood it, more or less a count of how many death certificates have cancer on them as cause of death. The trend is down -- despite the two parameters above.

A good thing.
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Re: Cancer deaths are dropping
Old 01-17-2007, 03:39 PM   #6
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Re: Cancer deaths are dropping

Quote:
Originally Posted by rodmail

There is an odd impression conveyed by the reporter that the Am. Cancer Society spokesperson is an optimistic cheerleader and others are more pessimistic or "level headed".
I believe it to be true that "illness-based" or "organ-based" fundraising organizations, for all their benevolence and good intentions, tend to present and interpret data in such a way as to lend urgency to their cause. Just a fact of life, even among the "good guys." It's a fund-raising thing.

I have no raw data to prove this, but decades of observations comparing recommendations from such organizations to the recommendations of scientific organizations (e.g. American College of Physicians, Cochrane Collaboration and similar evidence-driven sources) repeatly show more restraint and objectivity from the latter.

This may explain your insightful observation above.
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Re: Cancer deaths are dropping
Old 01-17-2007, 03:59 PM   #7
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Re: Cancer deaths are dropping

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
Of course, but colon cancer deaths were a major contributor to the improvement, apparently because it is being prevented more often than in the past. Same with skin and cervical cancer, and perhaps lung cancer. Can't say that about too many other cancers, alas.

Had your colonoscopy?
I had mine a few months back. I have a couple of uncles who died of colon cancer and don't want to follow suit. I also had my face treated for pre-cancerous sun damage which formed the basis for an entertaining thread a while back. I don't think I ever posted a picture from that fun excerise so, just to make everyone's day:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg efudex.thumb.jpg (9.3 KB, 72 views)
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Re: Cancer deaths are dropping
Old 01-17-2007, 04:01 PM   #8
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Re: Cancer deaths are dropping

Quote:
Originally Posted by donheff
I don't think I ever posted a picture from that fun excerise so, just to make everyone's day:
Just so you will know that gross stuff only lasts a short while. Here is a picture from a few weeks later:
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File Type: jpg D_B_41.sized.jpg (27.3 KB, 8 views)
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Re: Cancer deaths are dropping
Old 01-17-2007, 06:20 PM   #9
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Re: Cancer deaths are dropping

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
Had your colonoscopy?
How timely! (just had mine, today ). "Clean and green" as they say (film at 11!! ).

I'm doing all the "major stuff" in preperation for my RE date of 1-May (103 days to go!!) This was my last "major test" of having all my medical tests done before retirement (if anything was found, I could always stay "employed" and go on long term disability). Had the "short scope" about 8-10 years ago, but this was the first time for the "full tour" :

Have to say, the procedure was much easier than the sigmoid (since I wasn't "awake" for this one). Have to agree with others/other posts - have it done (it can save your life, at least your retirement!!!)

Also had my PSA (1.6) and "digital exam" done two weeks ago. That area of my body is sure getting a workout !

- Ron

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