Category Archives: Cancer

41

Posted by: Audiegrl

Written by Cammie Kroft

  • 41 — that’s the number of leading economists — including three Nobel Prize winners — who sent a letter to President Obama and Congress yesterday urging the swift passage of comprehensive health insurance reform to curb skyrocketing health care costs. [Source]
  • 41 — is also the percentage of adults under the age of 65 who accumulated medical debt, had difficulty paying medical bills, or struggled with both during a recent one year period. [Source]

Laura Klitzka of Wisconsin is no stranger to the burden of crippling health care costs. In September, we had a chance to visit with her at her home in Green Bay. Here’s her story:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

With comprehensive health insurance reform, we can finally control rising health care costs and bring relief to Laura and her family and the many other American families struggling to keep up with their bills. According to these leading economists, “the health care reforms passed by the House and Senate – with recent modifications proposed by President Obama – include serious measures that will slow the growth of health care spending.” If reform fails, they add, “the chances of reducing growth of health care spending in the future will be greatly reduced.”

Today’s number, 41, is the latest in ‘Health Reform by the Numbers,’ our online campaign to raise awareness about why the time is now for health insurance reform. You can follow the campaign on Whitehouse.gov and social networks like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and LinkedIn.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Cancer, Health, Health Care Reform, Uncategorized, Video/YouTube

Socialized Medicine Saved Me

Posted by: Betsm

When Pulitzer Prize winner Geraldine Brooks was diagnosed with cancer overseas, she didn’t hightail it back home, to “the best health care in the world”—she stayed in Australia, home to a humane, rational system.

blank

Written by Geraldine Brooks

Geraldine Brooks

Pulitzer-Prize winner Geraldine Brooks

In 2004, I’d just finished a novel and by way of celebration had taken my family for an extended visit to Australia, where I was born and raised.

I didn’t expect that trip to save my life. But I’m convinced it did, because of Australia’s “socialized” medicine.

I retreat to my garret when I write a novel, especially toward the end. I stop going anyplace, wear sweat pants all day, neglect personal grooming. Back in the Sydney neighborhood where I’d lived for many years, I was re-entering the civilized world, and was on the way to a salon for an overdue haircut when I passed the BreastScreen van, parked in the main street.

This mobile service offers free mammograms, no appointment necessary. It wasn’t until I saw that van that I realized a mammogram was one of the things I’d forgotten to do. I was a year overdue, according to the guidelines for women my age, so I stepped into the van, got squished and zapped by a pleasantly efficient technician, who told me a radiologists’ report would be mailed out in a week or so.

Two weeks later, I was in a Sydney hospital, discussing treatment options for my invasive stage II cancer. According to testimony by Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) at last Thursday’s health-care summit, I should have been heading for the airport at that point. Like his unnamed Canadian state premier with the heart condition, I should have been hightailing it to the U.S., to avail myself of “the best health care in the world.”

No thanks, Senator. I elected to stay in Australia. We had ample U.S. insurance; cost wasn’t an issue. I simply wanted to remain in a humane, rational system where doctors treat a person as a patient, not a potential plaintiff, and where the procedures ordered for me were the ones shown by hard science to produce the best outcome for the most people.

More @

1 Comment

Filed under Breast Cancer Awareness, Cancer, Health Care Reform, Politics, Uncategorized, Women's Issues

R&B Legend Charlie Wilson Fills the Gaps in His Life’s Winding Road

Posted by: Audiegrl

Charlie Wilson

Full circle: Charlie Wilson shows the alley he slept in as a homeless person after his Gap Band days in Hollywood. Wilson has renewed his life and career.

USA Today“This building wasn’t here,” Charlie Wilson says, waving at a high-rise condo under construction along busy La Brea Avenue. “It was a parking lot for U-Hauls. I slept under them when it rained. So did a lot of other crackheads.”

He brushes a tear from his cheek. Revisiting the haunts of his darkest days is distressing for the R&B legend, who led the Gap Band to international stardom in the ’80s and rebounded to solo glory in recent years. In between lies a desperate stretch of addiction and homelessness that took the singer from a posh Hollywood Hills manse to seedy alleys.

Strolling a narrow road behind a pawn shop, he points to the grassy spot he frequently staked out while living on the streets from 1993 to 1995.

“I slept in that deep corner there,” he says. “When I come through this area now, I get all tensed up. A lot of people who sink that far into depression, drugs and street life don’t come back. A lot of people I knew then are dead.”

Robert, Charlie, and Ronnie in 1982

Robert, Charlie, and Ronnie in 1982

Wilson, who turns 57 on Friday, did more than survive. He just had the most successful year of his 43-year career. The singer is up for two Grammys: R&B album for fourth solo effort Uncle Charlie and R&B vocal for hit single There Goes My Baby, which spent 10 weeks atop Billboard’s adult R&B chart. The album entered the R&B chart at No. 1 and the pop chart at No. 2, a career peak. He’s also nominated for an NAACP Image Award.

Nobody is more astonished by this resurrection than Wilson, who returns to the mileposts of his downfall with humility and gratitude. He starts a walking tour at the former location of the Total Experience studio, where the Gap Band, his trio with brothers Robert and Ronnie, recorded from the mid-’70s to the late ’80s, generating a string of platinum albums and such hits as You Dropped a Bomb on Me, Party Train, Outstanding, Burn Rubber on Me and Shake.
blank

Read the full story here

Charlie Wilson talks to USA Today about his past struggles with drugs, his time spent living on the streets of L.A., and his comeback as a Grammy nominated singer.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

George Lopez Interviews Charlie Wilson on Lopez Tonight

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Charlie Wilson Performs His Grammy Nominated Song, “There Goes My Baby” on Lopez Tonight

Vodpod videos no longer available.

8 Comments

Filed under Cancer, Culture, Entertainment, George Lopez, Health, Hollywood, Hunger, Lopez Tonight, Media and Entertainment, Music, News, Pop Culture, Pundits (comics), R & B, TBS, Technology, TV Shows, Uncategorized, Video/YouTube

Cancer Treatment and Health Care Reform

Blogged by: BarbaraOBrien1

One argument you may hear against health care reform concerns cancer survival rates. The United States has higher cancer survivor rates than countries with national health care systems, we’re told. Doesn’t this mean we should keep what we’ve got and not change it?

Certainly cancer survival rates are a critical issue for people suffering from the deadly lung mesothelioma cancer. So let’s look at this claim and see if there is any substance to it.

First, it’s important to understand that “cancer survival rate” doesn’t mean the rate of people who are cured of a cancer. The cancer survival rate is the percentage of people who survive a certain type of cancer for a specific amount of time, usually five years after diagnosis.

For example, according to the Mayo Clinic, the survivor rate of prostate cancer in the United States is 98 percent. This means that 98 percent of men diagnosed with prostate cancer are still alive five years later. However, this statistic does not tell us whether the men who have survived for five years still have cancer or what number of them may die from it eventually.

Misunderstanding of the term “survivor rate” sometimes is exploited to make misleading claims. For example, in 2007 a pharmaceutical company promoting a drug used to treat colon cancer released statistics showing superior survival rates for its drug over other treatments. Some journalists who used this data in their reporting assumed it meant that the people who survived were cured of cancer, and they wrote that the drug “saved lives.” The drug did extend the lives of of patients, on average by a few months. However, the mortality rate for people who used this drug — meaning the rate of patients who died of the disease — was not improved.

But bloggers and editorial writers who oppose health care reform seized these stories about “saving lives,” noting that this wondrous drug was available in the United States for at least a year before it was in use in Great Britain. Further, Britain has lower cancer survival rates than the U.S. This proved, they said, the superiority of U.S. health care over “socialist” countries.

This is one way propagandists use data to argue that health care in the United States is superior to countries with government-funded health care systems. They selectively compare the most favorable data from the United States with data from the nations least successful at treating cancer. A favorite “comparison” country is Great Britain, whose underfunded National Health Service is struggling.

It is true that the United States compares very well in the area of cancer survival rates, but other countries with national health care systems have similar results.

For example, in 2008 the British medical journal Lancet Oncology published a widely hailed study comparing cancer survival rates in 31 countries. Called the CONCORD study, the researchers found that United States has the highest survival rates for breast and prostate cancer. However, Japan has the highest survival for colon and rectal cancers in men, and France has the highest survival for colon and rectal cancers in women. Canada and Australia also ranked relatively high for most cancers. The differences in the survival data for these “best” countries is very small, and is possibly caused by discrepancies in reporting of data and not the treatment result itself.

And it should be noted that Japan, France, Canada and Australia all have government-funded national health care systems. So, there is no reason to assume that changing the way health care is funded in the U.S. would reduce the quality of cancer care.

5 Comments

Filed under Austrailia, Cancer, Culture, England, France, Health, Health Care Reform, Japan, Medicine, Mesothelioma, News, Opinions, Uncategorized, Women's Issues, World

The Moment Ted Kennedy Would Not Want To Lose by Victoria Reggie Kennedy

Senator Ted Kennedy and Victoria Reggie KennedyWashington Post—My late husband, Ted Kennedy, was passionate about health-care reform. It was the cause of his life. He believed that health care for all our citizens was a fundamental right, not a privilege, and that this year the stars — and competing interests — were finally aligned to allow our nation to move forward with fundamental reform. He believed that health-care reform was essential to the financial stability of our nation’s working families and of our economy as a whole.

Still, Ted knew that accomplishing reform would be difficult. If it were easy, he told me, it would have been done a long time ago. He predicted that as the Senate got closer to a vote, compromises would be necessary, coalitions would falter and many ardent supporters of reform would want to walk away. He hoped that they wouldn’t do so. He knew from experience, he told me, that this kind of opportunity to enact health-care reform wouldn’t arise again for a generation.

A supporter of health-care legislation holds a portrait of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy at a Times Square rally shortly after Kennedy's funeral.

A supporter of health-care legislation holds a portrait of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy at a Times Square rally shortly after Kennedy's funeral.

In the early 1970s, Ted worked with the Nixon administration to find consensus on health-care reform. Those efforts broke down in part because the compromise wasn’t ideologically pure enough for some constituency groups. More than 20 years passed before there was another real opportunity for reform, years during which human suffering only increased. Even with the committed leadership of then-President Bill Clinton and his wife, reform was thwarted in the 1990s. As Ted wrote in his memoir, he was deeply disappointed that the Clinton health-care bill did not come to a vote in the full Senate. He believed that senators should have gone on the record, up or down.

Ted often said that we can’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. He also said that it was better to get half a loaf than no loaf at all, especially with so many lives at stake. That’s why, even as he never stopped fighting for comprehensive health-care reform, he also championed incremental but effective reforms such as a Patients’ Bill of Rights, the Children’s Health Insurance Program and COBRA continuation of health coverage.

blank
More @

1 Comment

Filed under Barack Obama, Cancer, Change, Children, Congress, Conservative, Culture, Democrats, Health, Health Care Reform, History, Media and Entertainment, Medicine, News, Opinions, Partisan Politics, Politics, Pres. Barack Obama, Presidents, Public Option, Republicans, Senate, Stupak Amendment, Tea Party Protestors, Uncategorized, United States, Women's Issues

***Breaking–Kentucky Census Worker Bill Sparkman Killed Himself, Police Say

breakingnewsanimation

In this undated 2008 photo, Bill Sparkman speaks to a 7th grade class during a lesson about sound waves.

AP—A Kentucky census worker found naked, bound with duct tape and hanging from a tree with “fed” scrawled on his chest killed himself but staged his death to make it look like a homicide, authorities said Tuesday.

Bill Sparkman, 51, was found Sept. 12 with a rope around his neck near a cemetery in a heavily wooded area of the Daniel Boone National Forest in southeastern Kentucky. Authorities said his wrists were loosely bound, his glasses were taped to his head and he was gagged.

Kentucky State Police Capt. Lisa Rudzinski said an analysis found that “fed” was written “from the bottom up.” He was touching the ground, and to survive “all Mr. Sparkman had to do at any time was stand up,” she said.

Our investigation, based on evidence and witness testimony, has concluded that Mr. Sparkman died during an intentional, self-inflicted act that was staged to appear as a homicide,” Rudzinski said.

Authorities said Sparkman alone manipulated the suicide scene. Rudzinski said he “told a credible witness that he planned to commit suicide and provided details on how and when.”

Authorities wouldn’t say who Sparkman told of his plan, but said Sparkman talked about it a week before his suicide and the person did not take him seriously.

Friends and co-workers have said that even while undergoing chemotherapy for cancer, Sparkman would show up for work smiling with a toboggan cap to cover his balding head. They said he was punctual and dependable.

$600,000 in life insurance
Sparkman had recently taken out two accidental life insurance policies totaling $600,000 that would not pay out for suicide, authorities said. If Sparkman had been killed on the job, his family also would have been be eligible for up to $10,000 in death gratuity payments from the government.

Sparkman’s son, Josh, previously told The Associated Press that his father had named him as his life insurance beneficiary. Josh Sparkman said earlier this month he found paperwork for the private life insurance policy among his father’s personal files but wasn’t sure of the amount.

The Census Bureau suspended door-to-door interviews in the rural area after Sparkman’s body was found, but a spokesman said normal operations would resume in Clay County next month.

Anti-government sentiment was initially one possibility in the death. Authorities said Sparkman had discussed perceived negative views of the federal government in the county.

blank
More @

3 Comments

Filed under Agencies, Cancer, Census Bureau, Crime, Government, Kentucky, Law, Police, Politics, Teachers, Uncategorized, United States

First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden Highlight Breast Cancer Awareness

Posted by Audiegrl


breast cancer awarenessmichelleWhiteHouse.gov—Friday afternoon in the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, First Lady Michelle Obama donned pink to honor the millions of women and families affected by breast cancer. Speaking to a crowd of survivors, lawmakers, and doctors, the First Lady highlighted the importance of adequate health coverage for those facing the disease. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, and these women deserve to battle their disease without the worry of their insurance companies letting them down:

    And this is a disease, as we know, that affects not just those diagnosed with it, and not just those who’ve survived it and those who’ve lost their lives to it, but it is a disease that also affects those who love and know them — which these days seems like almost every single person in this country.

    That’s why it is so critically important that we finally reform our health care system that is causing so much heartache for so many people affected by this disease. Now is the time.

    Fortunately, that’s exactly what the plans being considered by Congress right now would do.

    So just to be clear, under these plans, if you already have insurance that works for you, then you’re all set. You can keep your insurance and you can keep your doctors.

    jillbiden_portrait_fullThe plans put in place some basic rules of the road to protect you from abuses and unfair practices by insurance companies. That would mean no more denying coverage to people like women we heard from today because of so-called preexisting conditions like having survived cancer. Because there’s a belief that if you’ve already fought cancer, you shouldn’t have to also fight with insurance companies to get the coverage that you need at a price that you can afford.

    These plans mean insurance companies will no longer be allowed to cap the amount of coverage that you can get, and will limit how much insurance companies can charge you for out-of-pocket expenses, because in this country, getting sick shouldn’t mean going bankrupt.

    And finally, these plans will require insurance companies to cover basic preventative care — from routine checkups, to mammograms, to pap smears — at no extra charge to you. And though I want to emphasize that in the end, as we all know, it’s our responsibility as women to also talk to our doctors about what screenings that we need and then make the appointments to get those screenings, even when it’s inconvenient or maybe a little bit uncomfortable. It’s something that we owe not just to ourselves but to the people that love us.


blank
More @ white house gov logo

1 Comment

Filed under Breast Cancer Awareness, Cancer, Health, Politics, Uncategorized, Women's Issues