Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Thoughts at 4 AM.......

No one gets through this life without being impacted by the terrible condition called "cancer".  It touches us all, even if we ourselves never contract the disease.  It is everywhere.  And we seemingly know so little about it, even after having spent decades and trillions of dollars on research.  One thing is generally true:  we basically treat it the same way we did a half century ago---surgery, radiation (before that it was X-Rays) and chemo.

Just almost impossible to believe, isn't it, that we still cannot cure it?
And in most cases we still don't know what causes it or why some people get it and others do not.

Now, what I call the "cancer industry" has developed into a gigantic entity employing millions of medical personnel and encompassing billions of dollars annually in research and treatment.  And yet, with all of our vaunted technology and genetic models and so on, we cannot cure it or prevent it.

I was struck yesterday as I watched television by how pervasive cancer awareness has become.  Here were four commentators---all tough ex football players---discussing the upcoming game to be televised...and all wearing pink ribbons.   The pink ribbon is ubiquitous.  So ubiquitous, in fact, that it has lost its meaning.  I see them on businessmen and women, children and even automobiles.

I hate cancer and I even fear it, but I must say I am really tired of all the sporting of pink.

What would happen if a cure were found?  Would our economy collapse because of the many millions of medical personnel left jobless?  What would happen to all the medical facilities and equipment?   What about the drop in drug company profits?  Would that cause further layoffs?  Would insurance rates suddenly fall to 1/2 of their previous levels, causing more layoffs? 

Your thoughts?


  1. It's incerdible to me, too, that we still haven't found the cure and that so many people still die from it. It's sad, but I think you pose some good questions re. the canncer industry and who stands to profit from it.

  2. Yes, we are still treating cancer with the same methods used 50+ years ago. :~/ As you wrote, we all are truly touched by it. The "causes" of cancer seem to change weekly ... yesterday you read green tea helps prevent cancer but then again some say it causes cancer.

    I can't believe this article about green tea you read was actually published. (frown & sigh)

  3. Cancer is caused by a virus that invades the cell, alters the DNA, and then forces the cell to reproduce with its own DNA causing the spread of the disease. Most every disease of the human race from the common cold to cancer to AIDS is caused by a virus. If we were to find a cure for cancer, we would have the elements needed to cure so many other diseases. And I really dont see that ever being allowed to happen.

  4. Well I'm wondering and I wonder if you are wondering - if there just might be a cancer cure and they don't really want it out there - due to money. No, no one would be that mean. Cancer scares me too - but I like to wear pink. I do hope they find a cure. sandie

  5. i'm agreeing with jane's comment - not sure a cure will ever be allowed to occur... just like the cold industry - too many drug giants exist because of it....

  6. It's a sad culture we live in for sure. In my county if I go in for a mammogram, they can't read it so they need another mammogram with more radiation... Then they want to be sure so they do ultrasounds, and when they don't find anything they say you should come back in 6 months for another mammogram. All of the women I've talked to locally go through this. It's frightening. My insurance company has given me permission to just do the ultrasound and be on my way. I was just reading an article by an MD on the dangers of false positives- mentally and physically for both men and women. And if I refuse the tests I feel like I'm playing Russian roulette with my health. They can make a scanner that sees all the body parts for airports- but with cancer testing we're still in the dark ages. I'm sick of the pink too and the false claims that 1 out of 3 of my neighbors have breast cancer. We really need the cure and not the hype- maybe they should invest more money into the cure instead of the advertising.

  7. Well, in Romania we have a dramatic situation regarding health - specially cancer, yes.
    Most of the people use natural treatment because of that : Bioenergy, natural food and diets...things like this.
    I believe that they know the cure for a lot of diseases including cancer and this pink colour
    is only for advertising.
    Excuse my english, I hope you understand what I was saying!
    My best regards my friends!

  8. I have heard of cures for cancer. One is a raw food diet-- there have been some success stories. Another cure was developed by a scientist from the Eastern Bloc (maybe he is Georgian? Latvian? Romanian?) who created an "anti neoplastin" drug. He's currently being sued by the FDA on a bunch of trumped up charges.

    There are cures for cancer out there, but the "cancer industry" is much too large to dismantle.

  9. Well I have heard there is a cure...but money is the reason ...they say they don't have one?! Sad...but the pharmaceutical companies...are making to much money to stop the med's

  10. I'll think so too, there are cures..but you only can earn money if you can sell the medicine and s.o.

    They don't want to cure the people cause of the money.

  11. While I cannot speak for breast cancer, I can speak for childhood leukemia. That's what my daughter had from June 2004 - September 2009. She is now 2 years off treatment. I will say this that if my daughter was diagnosed with leukemia 50 years ago, she would have been dead within 3 months after diagnosis. But since then prognosis has become significantly better and these days for her particular type there is a 90% survival rate. So even if many feel there have been no advancements, I do feel that things have significantly improved.

  12. As a survivor, I sometimes think we could stop it in its tracks but it is just too profitable not to. That is the cynic in me.
    Amazing strides have been made. We just want it to go away entirely and I fear that is still a ways off.
    Arkansas Patti

  13. I am going to be honest with you Clint.....it's something I don't tell all but I have a phobia about cancer. Since I was 16 yrs and saw someone who was on her deathbed with the disease It has been a fear all my life.
    When my husband was diagnosed with lung cancer I was mortified, he had his lung removed and all was well then he had brain cancer which ended his life. My son 4 yrs ago had bladder cancer however at this moment he is clear.
    I had adnormal papa smear test for 18months and at my insistance asked to see the consultant, they did a biopsy and found I had pre cancerous cells which had to be removed as I was a high candidate for cancer later on. The time is coming for my first check after the procedure and I am scared,I am fed up of seeing cancer on the tv and I find as I am getting older it;s bugging me more as I am on my own.

    I found your post interesting but had to force myself to read it.

  14. great topic, clint. i don't even know where to start with a response. this is something i've been studying for years and i'm convinced there are many natural cures (and powerful ways of prevention).

    however, it's a business that thrives on illness, so the truth is suppressed.

    we do live in amazing time where the info is readily available online, but i wonder for how long....

  15. My thoughts are that the Pink campaign has turned into not much more than a cash cow, people are getting paid (I'm sure pretty good dollars) to market, manufacture, and make all of this pink ribbon stuff and how much of this money goes to actual cancer research or to helping cancer patients pay for their treatments? I quit collecting for UNICEF years ago when I learned that one penny off of every dollar actually was sent to third world countries, the rest was administration costs... like seriously, making money off of others like this should be illegal. If it's charity treat it as such. That's my late night opinion, frustration has set in about an hour ago, no more writing for me tonight! lol

  16. Clint, maybe it's because I'm in the medical field, but I don't believe that they are keeping a cure hidden away just to make money, they just capitolize on the sufferings of humanity...in every walk of life, not just with regard to cancer. People (Americans in particular) are greedy and will make that almighty dollar in any way possible, however, hiding a cure would essentially be murder...I hope we have not become THAT cold!
    Sweet Mother ;)

  17. We treat cancer. We don't cure it.
    It does stalk so many in this society. Doesnt it seeem that so many more are touched by this than even 30 years ago?

  18. Oh Clint I am so tired of Cancer it has hurt me like no other disease. I am sick of watching what it does. I do think it is a billion dollar business, people are profiting from it but I myself have seen what can be done especially in childhood leukemia and other cancers. I do know there are some improvements. I do wish it would disappear but that will not be in my lifetime I am sure of that. I do not know what to say. Good thought provoking post.

  19. I honestly do not care about he economy any more. I have come to a conclusion that we worry about money too much. If there is a cure, I don't mind giving up whatever I have to help people who will be out of work. They may find a new job, elsewhere. God is Great. He does not close a door without openng one. Hi this is Munir over here at Focus. thanks for your comment on my blog.

  20. If a cure for cancer were found there would be another horrible disease come, for that is the way it seems to go.
    My mother got cancer a very short time before she died, no signs, no symptoms, no warning at all! It was discovered 10 days before she died.
    Admittedly she was an elderly lady, but still so quick.

    On a happier note, lovely photos from your holiday and looks as if you and your wife had a good holiday.

    PS Have fixed the video on my blog.

  21. If they found cures research scientist would be putting themselves out of jobs. It was when I realized this that I stopped giving to the MS society, although I had it at the time. That may sound harsh, but it is with good conscience.

  22. Clint, You have certainly struck a nerve with this post. My 39 year-old nephew died of cancer five months ago, and it was too terrible for words.

    Not that he died, that happens to all of us sooner or later, but what the medical community put him through in the seven months between diagnosis and his death was truly unspeakable.

    Four rounds of chemo of three weeks each, 18 radiation treatments, and five major surgeries - all in SEVEN months. And none of it helped. It was a "teaching hospital" - one of the highest rated in the country, but I got the distinct impression (and I was there for quite awhile) they were just trying this and that to see if anything would work.

    Sad, sad, sad. Good post. ...Marsha

  23. P.S. Today I read something that gave me hope for a cure for cancer. I am not the only one who has hope in a 13 year old prodigy named Gabriel See. At the rate he is going now, he could possibly discover a cure for cancer and more.

    (Thank you, Clint, for sending me this article today to read.)

  24. Clint--I think you have raised some very deep questions. I read with interest not only your post, but all the comments before mine. I think the cancer phenomenon is an outgrowth of our general approach to health and medicine in Western culture. And I think it's based on fear. Almost every day and month is a designated awareness day/month for something that scares us. The pink ribbons and ads, I believe, are a way to feel less helpless, less afraid. Because of that, I guess I feel more compassion than anything.

    I think you have sparked a wide ranging discussion here with many views represented. I hope people will continue to reflect on the issues you have raised. This was a brave and honest post. Thanks.

  25. I am EXACTLY with Jane. As for many "other" campaigns out there...I have been wondering just where all the money goes. If they can send a man to the moon.....how hard is beating a cancer cell?

  26. My mum died of ovarian cancer at the age of 52. I know others close to me who have also had it. Cancer certainly appears to be non discriminate.

  27. Hello Clint. Much cancer can be alleviated by eating LIVE foods (fresh fruits and veg with the skins) and not dead foods (over cooked, fried, too much meat, and takeways). We are what we eat.

  28. Great topic Clint! I haven't really ever thought {till now} much about how rich companies are getting from selling pink merchandise for cancer awareness. Hmmm, you've really given me something to think on here. Wishing you a fabulous day!