But American Cancer Society projects 3,310 Utahns will die from cancer this year
How to reduce cancer deaths? Some good ideas in the article. In Japan in 1958
the incidence of death by prostate cancer was 2/100,000. In the US it was
20/100,000. Why? A diet of vegetables and fish. In Kenya breast cancer 20-40
times less. They don't eat much meat either. I would have liked the author
to discuss diet more.
The last few paragraphs are important in the current debate about replacing Prop
3, Medicaid expansion. Medicaid can help pay for earlier detection of cancers
through routine screening. The poor shouldn’t suffer disproportionately.
Many, if not most, of the high cost of health care stems from overreaching
government rules and regulations and the litigious nature of our society which
forces hospitals and doctors to self-insure against possible lawsuits. Also
included are the exorbitant costs of trying to save everyone's life
regardless of the time and/or expense.
In a short 25 years, death from cancer has declined 27%. That isn't
"incremental", this is huge. That is 900 Utahns who won't die from
cancer this year who--assuming steady population--would have died 25 years ago.
Over the next decade that is 9000 Utahns who won't die from cancer even if
no additional improvements are made.Deaths from heart disease have
declined even more.And this because of a combination of better
screening, better surgical techniques, and better drugs. Better screening often
involves better medical equipment or better blood and tissue tests. Consider on
what the drug companies have done in the last 25 years in addition to reducing
deaths from cancer.AIDS has gone from one of the most terrifying
death sentences known to man, to being a treatable, chronic illness. While we
don't yet have a vaccine, certain drugs appear to reduce the risk of
transmission or contraction of AIDS.Quality of life has improved
dramatically for those suffering from auto-immune diseases such as rhumitoid
arthritis and Crohns Disease, and Parkisons. Treatments improve for
Alzheimers.Notice where these drugs are invented: Not in England,
Canada, or Germany. Profit motive works.
Here's what this Utahn takes from this analysis. Drug company profits
during that time are up over 200%, Hospital charges for cancer care are
out-of-sight they are so high and oh yes the fees the Cancer Surgeons and
Oncologists charge are astronomical. And lest we forget, healthcare insurance
premiums are so high that families who have to purchase private insurance have
become slaves to their premiums and co-payments to the exclusion of other
necessities of life. So while our healthcare system has made incremental
improvements in survival rates for cancer, that same system has made
transformational profits for providing the care. When you factor in the
economic damage this has put on society (20% of our GDP overall), one wonders
about the overall good? Some feel life isn't worth living if the healthcare
system bankrupts you for the care!