Cancer Resources: Fighting Myths and Misinformation

Cancer sucks!

We’ve all probably had someone close deal with cancer, or we know someone who has. There are some issues and myths around cancer, and I’ve compiled some sources to help fight misinformation. This is a science issue, and there is proper etiquette when discussing science, I’ve written about that here: http://fromantiquitytothestars.blogspot.com/2015/06/etiquette-for-science-discussions.html

Why haven’t we cured cancer yet?

Sci Show video: http://youtu.be/7tzaWOdvGMw

 “Why haven’t scientists cured cancer yet? Leaving aside the trite answer of “Which cancer?” I can say this: Because it’s hard. It’s very, very hard. It’s harder than going to the moon; it’s harder than building the nuclear bomb; it’s harder than wiping out smallpox. All of those were, of course, also very, very hard too, but cancer is a harder nut to crack still…”

We are making progress though:

“The best indicator of progress against cancer is a change in age-adjusted mortality (death) rates, although other measures, such as quality of life, are also important. Incidence is also important, but it is not always straightforward to interpret changes in incidence. For example, if a new screening test detects many cancer cases that would never have caused a problem during someone’s life (called overdiagnosis), the incidence of that cancer would appear to increase even though the death rates do not change….

In the United States, the overall cancer death rate has declined since the early 1990s. The most recent Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, published in March 2015, shows that from 2002 to 2011, cancer death rates decreased by:

  • 1.8 percent per year among men
  • 1.4 percent per year among women
  • 2.1 percent per year among children ages 0-14
  • 2.3 percent per year among children ages 0-19

Although death rates for many individual cancer types have also declined, rates for a few cancers have stabilized or even increased.

As the overall cancer death rate has declined, the number of cancer survivors has increased. These trends show that progress is being made against the disease, but much work remains. Although rates of smoking, a major cause of cancer, have declined, the U.S. population is aging, and cancer rates increase with age. Obesity, another risk factor for cancer, is also increasing.” http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/what-is-cancer/statistics

Big Pharma

10 Reasons Why Hidden Cancer Cure Conspiracy Theories Fail.

“The grand conspiracy of the hidden cancer cure is a meme that I wish would go away, but for some reason persists. It is like an urban legend – it appeals to some ill-formed fear or anxiety produced by the complexity of modern society. It gives a focus to these anxieties, and gives the illusion of control. No one wants to feel as if they are being deceived, and so assuming there is a conspiracy feels like a good way to avoid being duped. But ironically it is the conspiracy theorists who are being duped, or who are…” https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/the-hidden-cancer-cure/

Complimentary and Alternative Medicine

Risk Of CAM Treatments For Cancer

“What’s the harm?” is an insidious idea when used as a justification for unscientific medical treatments. The argument is typically put forward with the assumption that direct physical harm is the only type of harm that can result from such treatments, so as long as they aren’t toxic there is no downside to trying them. Harm comes in many forms, however: delayed effective treatment, wasted time and energy, financial harm, the psychological harm of false hope, and the downstream effects of instilling unscientific beliefs regarding health care…” https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/risks-of-cam-treatments-for-cancer/

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Resources, Science, Skepticism

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