When I was 12, I was sent to live with my aunt/uncle in Atlanta, GA. She was dying of pancreatic cancer and luckily it wasn’t too aggressive so most of us had time to be with her. I wanted to go because in the selfishness of youth, I just didn’t want to be around my family and this was an easy way…
I talk to my husband about this all of the time. At least where we’re at, you see breast cancer billboards and all kinds of stuff. Where are the prostate cancer billboards? Prostate cancer affects just as many men as breast cancer does women, and yet it receives 1/3 of the funding that breast cancer does. My mom is a survivor of breast cancer, and for all of the funding and research done on it, I’m thankful. But like you said, what about lung cancer? What about pancreatic cancer? I grew up in a smoking environment and have respiratory issues because of it. What’s going to happen to me if I develop lung cancer? Is my care gong to suffer because of these problems you stated?
There’s the sad truth of the medical industry, you hit the nail right on the head. How marketable is the cancer? It makes my skin crawl just thinking about it.
It’s a very complicated problem. Is it marketability or our emotions?
I have a weird and unusual position. My job often has me trying to advertise for drugs for rare diseases.
When I hear people praise Canada’s universal healthcare program, I think of kids with Hunters who can’t get medicine there because it’s not covered as a rare disease. I think of this because last year I billed probably maybe 60 hours to trying to promote awareness of rare diseases in Canada. This is a criticism of their health plan that does let people fall through as much as just simply my perspective.
My homework for the weekend is finishing a logo and brand identity proposal for a new company that’s trying to pick-up orphan drugs from companies that will discontinue manufacturing those medicines.
Want to see something scary? Google: genzyme shortage deaths
Worse yet and related to cancer, Google: oncology generic shortage
I hear Ron Paul getting cheers about letting someone die, and I think of how many of those cheers will be people who will develop a cancer that can’t be treated because a drug involved in that treatment has been dropped because medicare pays the subsidies for those drugs.
Why make generic injectables that changes the price of a cancer treatment from $500,000 to $300,000? Why do that when there are millions of people out there cheering for you to stop in spite of their potential need for it in the near future?
Most cancers are developed between age 50 and 70. I don’t think that’ll surprise anyone.
Most baby boomers are of that age and that doesn’t surprise anyone either.
Yet, most people can’t seem to make that connection. There is a cancer for every part of your body. A lot of people say if someone like Bill Gates got cancer, we’d have a cure the next day, “fuck drug companies”.
We have plenty of examples to show that’s not true and we’re hitting a disastrous shortage of doctors and drugs.
This is a really complicated issue, about cures and treatments for rare diseases, the failures of capitalism and all that. But can I pause briefly to note that all the attention that breast cancer receives in 2011 is as a result of the incredibly hard work of women with breast cancer (including Betty Ford) who fought against the incredible and deadly silence around breast cancer. Up until breast cancer activists began their work in the seventies the only treatment for breast cancer was radical double mastectomies that will typically performed on women without their consent: you’d go in for a biopsy and wake up with no breasts.
And of course, it was only less than 10 years ago that we discovered that hormone replacement therapies, pushed onto women because of sexist ideas about the importance of women remaining sexually attractive no matter how it affected their health, caused an increase risk of breast cancer.
I think we can certainly address disparities in health care funding and push to increased research and treatment across the board, but let’s very careful not to degrade the hard work of women who fought so long to carve out resources for breast cancer research, to create support groups and to lobby for awareness of breast cancer? As if we all woke up one day in the mid 1980s and no longer reacted to breast cancer with silence and stigma?
To do so is ignorant of history and incredibly sexist.