Thursday, February 6, 2014

"Cancer cases rising at an alarming rate worldwide"

From NPR:
As countries modernize around the world, they're increasingly being hit with one of the curses of wealth: cancer. 
There are about 14 million new cancer cases globally each year, the World Health Organization reported Monday. And the trend is only getting worse. 
The global burden of cancer will grow by 70 percent over the next two decades, the WHO predicts, with an estimated 22 million new cases and 13 million deaths each year by 2032. 
The majority of cases now occur in low- and middle-income countries, the agency found. Many of these nations' health care systems are ill-equipped to deal with the flood of complicated conditions that go along with disease. 
Cancer in the developing world is a "time bomb," says Dr. Bernard Stewart, an epidemiologist at the University of New South Wales, in Sydney, Australia, who helped edit the WHO report. The problem, Stewart says, is that treatment availability for cancer hasn't kept up with the rise in its prevalence. 
The long-held idea that cancer is a disease that affects primarily rich countries is slowly being undermined. You're still more likely to get cancer if you live in a wealthy country than if you live in a developing one. But you're more likely to die from the disease if you live in a poor country because cancer is often detected later in developing countries, and treatments are limited.
Many of the points made are perfectly valid-- it's important to develop effective and affordable ways of treating and preventing cancer, especially in poorer countries in which the extraordinarily expensive types of treatment we use in the rich nations of the world (chemotherapy, radiation therapy, bone marrow transplants) are much more difficult to provide.

But we must be careful about the "cancer epidemic" meme. The fact is that the most important cause of cancer-- without rival-- is survival. Cancer is a disease of older people. It is rare in the young, but fairly common as we age. In developing countries, the cancer "rate" will naturally go up as the population ages-- as infant mortality is reduced, as better treatments for infectious diseases are employed. In addition, populations in some countries (e.g. China) are aging rapidly because of population control.

The cancer rate is very much a function of the age of a population. People in poor countries are living longer, and they are surviving long enough to get cancer. It is a mixed blessing. And in many poor countries, there are fewer children born, which markedly skews demographics to older cancer-prone people.

I have become so cynical about scientists lately-- the global warming fraud, Darwinist ideology posing as evolutionary biology, not to mention the historic frauds like eugenics and DDT hysteria-- that I wonder if this "cancer epidemic" press release is merely an effort by scientists to gin up funding for cancer research. There's always some new science crisis, and the new crisis always seems to require... wait for it... more money and power to scientists.

Yet cancer research is certainly a worthwhile endeavor, even if the crisis is hyped a bit, but I'm suspicious that the scientists aren't fessing up about the real cause for the "cancer epidemic", which is longer lifespans and aging populations in poor countries. 

31 comments:

  1. The scientific establishment has earned your skepticism. Funny, they claim to be skeptics themselves.

    There's a difference between science and the scientific establishment. Science is what the scientific establishment is supposed to do, but frequently disregards.

    JQ

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  3. This is one of your most stupid threads. Medical cancer researchers don't need to hype the increasing incidence of cancer in developing countries - if it's occurring - because there are plenty of cases of financially rewarding cases of cancer within rich developed countries.

    Medical cancer researchers, for example, won't get any increased funding for breast cancer research if its incidence in a poor country increases to a small fraction of its incidence in America.

    The problem with cancer in poor developing countries is that they don't have much money to spend on healthcare. With the available budgets, there's little money to pay for current cancer treatment, ineffective though it often is, let alone for treatment of infectious diseases.

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    1. Here's an idea, bach.

      Let's fund cancer research and treatment, focused on poor countries, by defunding global warming research (100 billion dollars and growing) and evolutionary research (goodness knows how much money) and devoting all of that money to cancer research.

      Solves two problems at once.

      Delete
    2. Egnor,

      A fucking idiotic suggestion - as usual. How much money already is being spent on cancer research in developed countries? Hundreds of billions of dollars per year? And you reckon the few billions of dollars per year going to climate research is going to make any significant difference if diverted to cancer research?

      You're an idiot. There's no cancer conspiracy. Medical researchers aren't conspiring to get increased funding for research by inventing increased cancer rates in the developing world.

      The problem is finding the money to pay for cancer treatment in developing countries. And that's a problem of foreign aid, not funding of medical science.

      Delete
    3. Reality check.

      The NIH budget used to be the same as that of the NSF. Now it's 5 times that. The amount of money spent on medicine in the US is already pretty high. Climate research isn't nearly as well funded.

      Hoo

      Delete
    4. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyFebruary 6, 2014 at 7:46 AM

      The NSF isn't the only agency that funds "climate science", moron.

      Delete
    5. NOAA's budget is smaller than the NSF's. Go ahead, Gramps, get quantitative, you little adorable engineer.

      Hoo

      Delete
    6. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyFebruary 6, 2014 at 8:10 AM

      Neither you nor I know what the ratio of funding is. Your comparison was absurd - as usual, I might add - you amusing little troll.

      Delete
    7. Speak for yourself, Gramps. The fact that you lack curiosity because of old age doesn't mean everybody else does.

      Hoo

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    8. Hoo:

      The world has spent upwards of 100 billion dollars on research related to global warming.

      The NIH annual budget is 29 billion.

      The research behind the AGW hoax would fund the entire NIH for more than three years.

      Delete
    9. I'd like to know where the $100 billion number comes from. Is that an annual budget spent on science or a cumulative figure over a decade or two or perhaps a funding goal? It makes no sense to compare apples and oranges.

      Hoo

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    10. Cumulative.

      Money is fungible. We should set our priorities better.

      Let's move money away from Climategaters and atheists pretending to do serious science ("Evolution explains... everything!!!), and give the money to cancer research.

      Delete
    11. Yes, that number cumulative, for a decade, and apparently for all the developed countries, not just the US.

      So divide the number by 10 and then by another 5 to make a meaningful comparison.

      Hoo

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    12. This article dissects the $100B figure. An excerpt:

      In the United States, climate change support from the Obama administration has cooled. During the first stage of the global campaign against climate change from 2010 through 2012 — known as the “fast start” period — the U.S. donated $7.5 billion. Oxfam would like the Obama administration to double that number over the next two years. But in 2013, the U.S. gave just $1.6 billion, Oxfam estimates.

      That ought to put the numbers in perspective. For one thing, those aren't dollars spent on climate research.

      For another, if you disagree with how Uncle Sam spends its money, you are not alone. Look at the military expenditures: $660B annually. I say, slash that by 10 percent and use the money to increase the NSF budget tenfold. I am entitled to my opinion, but I am not waiting with baited breath that it will happen. So lower your expectation, pal.

      Hoo

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    13. I agree with you about the military budget, and for that matter about a host of incongruities in federal spending. The fact that meaningful scientific research is funded at levels that are a tiny fraction of defense spending and spending on pork etc is terrible.

      That said, I would defund 90% of climate science right now, rip funding for ideologically motivated crap like evolutionary biology to shreds, and focus (increased) research support for honest scientists doing honest useful research.

      I would also take a long hard look at the culture of science, and at the reasons that scientists (like you) defends fraud and junk science.

      Delete
    14. Alternatively, the problem may be with you and your ideological brethren. Calling essentially all climate science fraud is not a very credible position. Fortunately, blowhards like you have no influence on the US science policy.

      Hoo

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    15. Egnor,

      You won't have any influence on science funding when you're so stupid that you come up with idiotic claims that medical cancer researchers are engaging in a conspiracy to gain increased funding for cancer research by claiming that there's an increase in the incidence of cancer in poor developing countries.

      Delete
    16. bach:

      So you disagree that an aging population naturally increases the cancer "rate"?

      Don't you think that should have been pointed out in the press release, rather than convey the "crisis" meme that there's a new cancer epidemic in the third world.

      Delete
    17. No, I don't disagree with the assertion that an increasingly ageing population should have an increasingly increasing incidence of age-related cancers.

      I just disagree with your idiotic, moronic, half-witted conspiracy-theory driven delusion that there's a conspiracy amongst medical researchers to hype the observation that the incidence of cancer is increasing in poor developing countries in order to get increasing funding for cancer research.

      That's obviously a nonsensical assertion. More stupid that your other claims.

      Delete
    18. No response? Particularly since the assertion that cancer incidence is increasing in developing countries is coming from medical epidemiologists and not medical cancer researchers.

      Epidemiology is just applied statistics and sampling. No one would have counted 14 million cancer cases per year - it's just an estimate which may or may not be true. Epidemiologists do consider age adjusted rates for diseases in comparing rates across countries and periods - but even that raises problems concerning the accuracy of the age distribution (how recent and/or accurate the census or sampling is).

      Increasing cancer incidence in a poor country (even in a rich one) is a problem, even if it's entirely in line with the increasing average age, because the money and resources have to be found to deal with it.

      Delete
    19. Of course increasing cancer incidence with rising age is a problem. A problem that can be addressed nicely by diverting funding from AGW fraud to real science.

      But of course the headline "Expected Increase in Cancer Incidence with Improving Health in Third World Presents Challenges" isn't as sexy as "Cancer Cases Rising at Alarming Rate".

      Why the F are they so "alarmed"? This is expected.

      Delete
    20. Egnor,

      You're an idiot. I know that you have major problems with reading comprehension, but this thread really takes the cake! You're so limited that you appear not to have got past the headline, which is usually written by an editor to be arresting and to cause a casual reader to actually read the article.

      You don't seem to have read the article, or if you did, actually understood it. Can you quote anything from the article that you actually object to?

      You appear to have engaged in your usual conspiracy theory delusions and seen conspiracies where they don't exist. Similar to your DDT, global warming, overpopulation, etc delusions.

      Delete
  4. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyFebruary 6, 2014 at 7:21 AM

    JQ: "The scientific establishment has earned your skepticism. Funny, they claim to be skeptics themselves. "

    Brilliant. Well put, Sir.

    Very little outrages me more than the topic of epidemiological "time bombs". So-called "environmental scientists", hungry for money and 15-minute celebrity, armed with technologies capable of detecting picograms per cubic parsec, run "studies" that "link" environmental demons with some fearful result, and report the "statistically significant" outcome to a claque of credulous "science journalists" who then do their utmost to alarm the public.

    If it's weren't so damn serious, you'd have to laugh.

    For more than 25 years Californians haven't been able to pump gas, go to the grocery store or even buy coffee at Starbucks without seeing a sign with wording such as: "WARNING: This Area Contains A Chemical Known To The State of California To Cause Cancer." Environmentalists cheered when the state passed Proposition 65, which required such warnings. But has the law done any good...?

    There isn't a single empirical study that demonstrates any public-health benefits.


    And this sign is ubiquitous in California. Businesses and landlords post the sign just to avoid the clutches of personal-injury lawyers and a painful settlement.

    These greedy, grasping morons have themselves created a poisonous atmosphere where the good citizens of this country have been led to believe that their air, water, and food supply are poisoned.

    When I read these studies "linking" this Thing with that Fatal Disease, I always have one request:

    Show me the bodies.

    Why, they've even gotten to the point of predicting purely statistical bodies, otherwise known as "excess deaths". Which have about the same basis in reality as the current Administration's notion of "jobs saved".

    As I noted in a comment several days ago, it's a damned shame we don't use the pillory anymore. It would be a perfect consequence for the "environmental science" fearmongers and their journalistic and lobbyist enablers.

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    1. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyFebruary 6, 2014 at 7:25 AM

      I'll tell you abother magical phrase, besides "show me the bodies", that instills fear in these morons. You can use it anytime you hear one spouting off. It's easy to remember:

      Dose-response curve.

      Delete
    2. "....good citizens of this country have been led to believe that their air, water, and food supply are poisoned."


      Hello admiral.

      I wonder, what are your thoughts on Sodium Fluoride?

      Delete
    3. Ha.

      That film also contains references to the evil 'Bland Corporation'.
      I reckon Kubrick WAS having a laugh. Yet he WAS telling us something.

      Regards.

      Delete
    4. So Admiral, If some “scientist” says that X amount of California smog is from Chinese coal plants, and calculates that Chinese coal burning is responsible for X cancers, you say what? SHOW ME THE BODIES! Of course no one can link a specific cancer in California to Chinese coal burning, but even a child should be able to see the validity of the statistical argument. You are being stupid or dishonest. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and go with stupid.

      -KW

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  5. I agree with the analysis here that cancer comes from old age. so poor nations are simply in our time getting richer and better and so living longer and so more cancer. other things got them before.
    I don't see a cancer problem with however. its a gain to live longer for the nation. Yes they can't yet have means to fight, slow, or deal with cancer.
    We all have to help and they help themselves.

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