Big news in the New York Times on 6-4-11; "Drug can reduce risk of cancer, study says" was the title of the article by Andrew Pollack. Then on the NBC Nightly News the next evening, there was a lengthy segment devoted to this new wonder drug. Lester Holt excitedly asked the "expert" why this wonderful new drug should not be used by everyone. (See link to article below my signature.)
This is a lot like screening for breast, colon or prostate customer; with a new "prevention drug," now everyone can be a customer -- and that's real good for business. In a previous post, I reported the numbers related to screening for colon cancer with the ubiquitous colonoscopy. With a 7% risk of dying from colon cancer, our medical "system" has built a $50 billion business screening for it. Of course, in the NYT article, they pointed out that the drug was not for everybody -- rather just those who are at high risk. From the article:
CHICAGO — A drug now used to prevent recurrences of breast cancer can also reduce the risk of it occurring in the first place, providing a new option for women at high risk of getting the disease, researchers reported here on Saturday.
The study involved 4560 post-menopausal women in the U.S. and Europe. Being at "high risk" was defined as being over 60 and a few other risk factors. That could very well include a very large percentage of women over 60 who have eaten the toxic western diet for all of those 60 plus years. But even with a "high risk," the absolute numbers are tiny. From the article:
After a follow-up of about three years, 11 women getting the drug had developed invasive breast cancer compared with 32 of the women receiving a placebo. That is a reduction in risk of 65 percent....in absolute terms, 1.4 percent of women in the placebo group developed cancer compared with about one-half of 1 percent of women taking the drug.
Bottom Line. This will continue to be the kind of news that gets all of the hype on the evening news -- as a new multi-billion dollar industry in our "war against cancer" is born. Are we winning that war? Depends on who you ask. If you're measuring the money, the profits and the number of jobs that depend on cancer; then you would have to say that it is an economic home run -- for those companies in the business. For the average citizen footing the bill -- now approaching 20% of our GDP, it is a disaster. And it is simply unsustainable.
Sadly, despite overwhelming scientific evidence identifying our toxic diet as the primary driver of up to 80% of our chronic diseases like cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease; there continues to be almost zero reporting of that crucial information. What will it take to change it? Unfortunately, that change will not be driven by our political leaders; just too many trillions of dollars and millions of jobs that depend on keeping us sick.
The answer is education. Go see the movie Forks Over Knives and read The China Study now; then, start making better choices in what you're eating. Climb aboard the 4-Leaf train - tell everyone you know about what you're doing and, together, we can all start making a difference.
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—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at healthyeatinghealthyworld.com