Tag 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:

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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.

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Filed under Cancer, Health, Health Care Reform, 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.

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

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.


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

Real Men Wear Pink– for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

posted by GeoT

pink2 The NFL and hundreds of other organizations are joining together to raise awareness about Breast Cancer and to raise money for research towards a cure….

The National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) program is dedicated to increasing awareness about the importance of the early detection of breast cancer through a nationwide campaign held in October. NBCAM started as a weeklong campaign in 1985 with 2 founding members. Today the American Cancer Society is one of many national public service organizations, professional associations, and government agencies that form the NBCAM Board of Sponsors.

Tom Brady Pretty in Pink

Tom Brady Pretty in Pink


During NBCAM, the member organizations of the Board of Sponsors join forces to spread the message that early detection of breast cancer followed by prompt treatment saves lives.
More Life Saving Information Here: American Cancer Society

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Filed under Cancer, Charity, Health, Medicine, Uncategorized

Breaking News—FBI: Sparkman Was Found Touching Ground, Not Hanging From Tree

Posted by Audiegrl

Bill Sparkman Was a 51-Year-Old Single Father Pursuing Teaching Degree

Bill Sparkman Was a 51-Year-Old Single Father Pursuing Teaching Degree

TPMMuckraker/Zachary Roth—Bill Sparkman, the Census worker found dead in Kentucky recently was not found hanging from a tree, according to an FBI spokesman. Rather, David Beyer told TPMmuckraker, Sparkman’s feet were planted on the ground. A rope around Sparkman’s neck was attached to a tree.

An anonymously sourced AP report said that Sparkman was hanging from a tree, and that he had the word “Fed” scrawled on his chest.

Beyer, a spokesman with the FBI’s Louisville, Kentucky filed office, declined to comment on the accuracy of the “Fed” detail. But he was at pains to ratchet back speculation that Sparkman was killed in an act of anti-government sentiment, saying that investigators had not yet determined even whether the death was a homicide.

Previous reporting “left the impression that [Sparkman] was found strung up in a tree because he was a federal employee,” Beyer said. “At this juncture that’s not accurate.” Beyer added that Sparkman died of asphyxiation.

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Area where census worker died has troubled history @ Associated Press

***Update from TPM: The local coroner has confirmed that the word “Fed” had been written on Bill Sparkman’s chest when he was found dead earlier this month.

Jim Trosper, the Clay County coroner, confirmed the information to TPMmuckraker moments ago, adding that the word appeared to have been written in felt tip marker. He declined to give additional details.

***New AP Update: Witness: Census worker’s hanging body naked, bound

Jerry Weaver of Fairfield, Ohio, told The Associated Press on Friday that he was among a group of relatives who discovered the body of 51-year-old Bill Sparkman on Sept. 12.

“The only thing he had on was a pair of socks,” Weaver said. “And they had duct-taped his hands, his wrists. He had duct tape over his eyes, and they gagged him with a red rag or something.

“And they even had duct tape around his neck. And they had like his identification tag on his neck. They had it duct-taped to the side of his neck, on the right side, almost on his right shoulder.”

Weaver said he couldn’t tell if the tag was a Census Bureau I.D. He said he didn’t get close enough to read it.

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Real-life ‘Norma Rae’ dies of cancer after her health insurance refused to cover her medications

ThinkProgress—Crystal Lee Sutton, whose courageous efforts organizing Southern textile mills inspired the award-winning 1979 film “Norma Rae,” passed away on Friday after a long battle with brain cancer. Sutton’s story is particularly tragic because after fighting her whole life for rights of working Americans, her health insurance wouldn’t cover the medications she needed:

She went two months without possible life-saving medications because her insurance wouldn’t cover it, another example of abusing the working poor, she said.

“How in the world can it take so long to find out (whether they would cover the medicine or not) when it could be a matter of life or death,” she said. “It is almost like, in a way, committing murder.”

Although Sutton eventually received the medication, the cancer had already taken a toll on her.

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