Sometimes I get accused of being jaded.
But finally some good news everyone can get behind: “Experts find a miracle way to eliminate cancers”. Now, I don’t want to make this piece too “tech-y”, but in sales I believe the miracle technique is called “re-branding”.
Often times this is exactly the kind of thing that would make me puke in my mouth. Swallow it. And then puke again.
In this case however, I completely agree with the private research sector: the re-branding of a group of carcinomas would certainly effectively hit the cancer rates in a big way. In addition to the immediate erasures that go along with a move like this, which are sizable; considering how hard it is to get people to go for check ups or adhere to treatments as it is, this could really change the landscape. For the right entrepreneur.
Changing terminology is what science is all about. So… I guess that is it for this piece.
But before I drop it, hey look; there is an article in the July New York Times (NYT), arguing to reclassify cancers too. How about that?
They love to do this kind of thing, scientists (*coff* drug companies). They not only make the literature a maze to the uninitiated when they pull these tricks, but they can also make whole diseases disappear. Produce trend lines that show incredible treatments and vaccinations that appear to cure cancers. Or new diseases that seem to come from nowhere.
It also impacts treatment options for the poor, throws a spanner in early diagnosis programs, impacts support availability from government hospital systems; but on the bright side may help to thin out an aging, largely ignorant, population. Not that I am jaded.
Besides, I can’t complain: I don’t think “Tasty” is a real cheese. Let’s start a campaign. This is the equivalent of how certain cancer “scientists” are using their time. Slashing funding for breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, thyroid cancer et al; since in situ carcinoma will no longer be counted.
But hang on a minute, won’t that, not only slash funding to certain cancers, but greatly redirect funding as well? With the new rates, there will be new pack leaders, won’t there? And so new leading causes of death? Hang on what! New leading causes of death!?! Holy crap, we have to get on this. What is the government doing about this new existential threat? And more importantly, what has caused this mysterious, sudden and dramatic rise in the incidence of…of…
Oh, I don’t think we have a name picked out yet.
The vote is not till Friday. See the “scientists” in accounting want another swine or bird flu style caper, but the “scientists” in sales want to endorse a totally new cancer.
Either way, it is damned exciting.
Is this that analytical thinking thing I do all the time and can’t switch off, or is that just something jaded people say to haters? Correctly. When they confuse any kind of thought with anger at themselves, tears for how the world isn’t how they were told it was, and despair for how unfair that is, because that was how they wanted it to be.
Wait for the dramatic “drop in this” but mysterious “rise in that” new thing, complete with new treatments, should this gain further traction. Keep in mind, this is already the NCI releasing and endorsing this. Again, not that I’m jaded.
Additionally, it is not just the NYT, I wouldn’t register that. It’s in JAMA. Though some cancer experts “profoundly disagree”. And this would not stop over treatment, even if it was clear it should. Which it is not.
And if you leaf through some of the articles below, you see some pretty interesting case definitions of what a “pseudo cancer” is, that sound an awful lot like, well, regular cancer to me. And BMJ claims “1 in 4 Breast Cancers Detected by Mammography are a Pseudo-Finding”. Really?
Well, leaving aside the fact that without these follow up investigations we wouldn’t even have that data, and call me a pessimist if you must; but I read that as “3 in 4 Breast Cancers Turned Out to Be Real Actual Devastating Breast Cancers From Hell and Now Everybody Who Isn’t a Zombie is Dead: PS No-One is a Zombie”.
Come on, that is not me being jaded. That isn’t even good evidence on the side to re-brand for an undergrad mid-term paper. Thank Gawd no one in the first world can read. *(and the ones that can we lock in wage slavery contracts as soon as possible, for as long as possible, so that they don’t have time to read and would be too tired to do so should they accidentally find some spare time outside their allotted routine). You can tell global planners were Scouts. Plan ahead, be prepared and just look at what can be accomplished.
They even admit at times that they don’t really have any accurate way to tell, even from a biopsy, what is slow or fast growing. And that is assuming ideal test samples. The chain of contamination alone could fill another article. Where in the lesion the sample came from. Who is running the microscope that day. Or dyes. Delivery. Labeling. Refrigeration or left on the dashboard. It is WHILE Ignoring all of that (and more), they admit they can’t tell what will be malignant from truly indolent with much confidence anyway.
And this all also presupposes benign or indolent tumours aren’t serious. And quite often deadly. Which they very much are. But they are re-branded by then, naturally. How are they different? Well they’re killing you, we said they wouldn’t: ergo it is a different cancer, certainly a different grade. Otherwise you wouldn’t be dying, obviously…am I going too fast? What is so hard to understand about that?
It is already hard enough trying to map the grade 1’s that are then “suddenly” grade 4’s across papers, let alone journals and countries. And what about the tumours counted under one brand, and re-branded 6 months down the line? I’ll tell you what; the same lesion gets counted 3 or more times under different banners.
From diagnosis to death certificate, this could already be nearly every case for all we know. Maybe that is slight hyperbole. But how slight? You don’t know do you.
Since when did re-branding become a legitimate scientific recommendation? Even if the “expert panel” did concede that changing “hundreds of years of literature research” would, of course, be “impossible”. And that for future research this would prove to be “problematic”.
I dare say.
Unless that is what they intend? [Jaded].
I’m just joking. Let’s do it anyway!
This isn’t some high school science project.
These aren’t a bunch of back water scientists with no integrity, who would let people die just to make a little money for themselves, that we are dealing with here.
This is the National Institute of Cancer itself we’re talking about.
Well, a panel.
An outside panel with no disclosures flagged.
But they are advising the NIC.
And what is more, this is no panel of plebs; this is a “panel of experts”!
And anyone who knows anything, about anything, would TOTALLY know that when it comes to panels; that is SO the best kind.
JJR (2013). Experts Find a Miracle Way to Eliminate Cancers. J ChronLettSci . A84(4).
Ed3 Submitted Aug . (Jaded Medical Series).
Esserman, L. (2013). Overdiagnosis and Overtreatment in CancerAn Opportunity for Improvement. JAMA, (JULY).
Folkman, J. & Kalluri, R. (2004). Cancer without disease. Nature, (6977): 787.
Parker-Pope, T. (2013). Scientists Seek to Rein In Diagnoses of Cancer. New York Times, Cancer (July).
Serrano, M. (2007). Cancer regression by senescence.. N Engl J Med, May (19).
Welsh, H. and Black, C. (2010). Overdiagnosis in Cancer. J Nat Cancer Institute, 102 (9).
Welsh, G. and Shwartz, L. (2006). 1 in 4 cancers detected by mammography are pseudocancers: Ramifications. BMJ, 332 (March).