Is medical science losing the war against chronic illness?
The risk that a 50-year-old white woman will develop Breast Cancer has soared to 12 percent today from one percent in 1975.
Likewise, asthma rates have tripled over the last 25 years
Childhood leukemia is increasing by one percent per year.
Such statistics show the alarming rise in incidences of chronic diseases.
Heart disease is increasing from air pollution and trans fats.
Lung cancers in non smokers, and not even exposed to 2nd hand smoke, from chemicals and smog.
... and so on.
This tragic epidemic of deadly and chronic disease comes after 50 years of so called "medical Science research". They didn't do much good for all the money that was spent - things got WORSE.
We are not better off that we were 50 years ago, so that pretty well indicates that we are on the wrong path. Serious and crucial changes need to be made. Would it not be better to change the emphasis from research into managing illness after the fact to preventing it in the first place?
Perhaps these folks had the right ideas:
"Unless the doctor of today becomes the dietitian of tomorrow, the dietitian of today will become the doctor of tomorrow." - Dr. Alexis Carrol (Famous Biological Scientist and head of the Rockefeller Institute.)
"The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease." - Thomas Edison
What a predictable firestorm of resentful insults, smokescreens & bias. "My ilk"? "Stop Lying"?
Fact: studies have indeed linked air pollution to causing twice as many heart disease deaths as it does lung cancer.
Fact: Breast cancer rates have increased for black women and stayed constant for hispanic women. When you couple earlier detection (thus more 5 year survivors who usually still go on to die from cancer or their treatments) and the inclusion of essentially pre-cancerous virtually 100% survivable conditions previously not counted as cancer, the improvement is marginal.
Fact: despite all the figure juggling, more people get and die from cancer every year.
Fact: more heart disease and diabetes each year and it cannot be attributed merely to age.
So who's lying?
Dave, only a 1% annual increase in ALL childhood deaths would wipe out the human race in less than 100 years. Remedial math?
lo-mcg, congratulations on your success thus far and I pray you will continue to enjoy a cancer free and healthy life. Dietary changes MIGHT have helped you both prevent and cure your cancer but, while I think proper diet is essential, I would never rely on diet alone. I'll send you some info on what I consider critical and hope you find it helpful.
Now, according to:
the incidence of breast cancer increased by 80% from 1975 to 2000, though it has remained fairly steady in recent years.
About 20 percent of breast cancers diagnosed are DCIS. This is a non-invasive condition where the cancer cells are all within the ducts in the breast and which is 98-99% curable. In 1975, when DCIS was not included in cancer statistic but was considered a pre-cancerous condition, 10 year survival rates in the UK were 41%. That increased to 72-73% by 2000-2003, but when you take out DCIS you see the actual increase of only 11-12%.
Even when using the 1% plus decreases of recent years, a virtual elimination of breast cancer would still be a lifetime away. I note that survival rates after 10 years are still declining, and the incidence and deaths from many other forms of cancer continue to increase.
According to the latest estimates, cancer deaths are expected to increase by 50% globally by 2020 and double by 2030.
Men saw slightly larger declines in cancer death rates (1.5% per year during 1993-2001 and 2.0% per year during 2001-2006) compared to women (0.8% per year during 1994-2002 and 1.5% per year during 2002-2006).
Estimates of continued declines in cancers make assumptions that may be somewhat rosy - for example, continued improvements in screening (though cancer detections rates are now declining), continued reduction in tobacco use (which may not happen to the extent predicted) and the rate of obesity holding steady (though it has steadily increased for decades). The estimates also fail to take into account the increased toxic burden industrialized societies are placing upon their peoples.
I agree that increased longevity leads to increases in chronic illnesses including cancer. However, such increases do not account for anywhere near the total increases - chronic illness is increasing in all age groups.
The problem I was trying to address was the lack of emphasis on preventing chronic illness in the first place and actually curing when prevention fails instead of managing symptoms. Not as good of a profit model (and that surely gets in the way) but a much better health model.
Fitzbap, we are not a society of fatties because of our doctors - we are a society of fatties because of the crap that passes for food and we have been lulled into a sedentary lifestyle by the boob tube and our own laziness AND because of the lack of emphasis by medical science and medical educations on educating and encouraging us and our doctors about the role of proper diet and lifestyle.
Though some may deny it, our doctors generally have received a very deficient education in the roles of diet and nutrition. I know too many doctors who have told me how lacking their eductions were in those areas (one said he had but a single lecture, others only a couple and some none at all).
Obesity rates track very closely with the advent of fast and junk foods and with the low-fat, no fat, transfat foods that we have been sold on. Check out this graphic:
There are a lot of sides to this question. First, some of the increases in disease are actually due to better detection methods. Let's use breast cancer as an example: 35 years ago there were no mammograms or sonograms. Women who felt a lump were terrified to go to the doctor and so did not. The word "Cancer" was never, ever spoken and some times was not even entered on a death certificate because the ignorant believed it was contagious and the family did not want to be isolated. Older women with slower growing cancers were never diagnosed and died from other causes. (I am speaking personally of my grandmother here). So, while there may be an increase in reported cases, not all of that increase is due to more women actually having the disease. Then there's asthma--which used to be diagnosed as a "croupy kid", or "weak lungs, gets pneumonia a lot". Now, any wheeze is diagnosed as bronchospasm/reactive airway disease which then becomes labeled as asthma. Again, there probably are more kids with asthma but not as many as the statistics would have us believe. So before we decide how badly medical science is losing, we need a way to figure out the size of the enemy forces!
On the other side, you so have it right with your quotes from Dr. Carrol and Edison! Much of the disease we do suffer from is caused by malnutrition in the midst of plenty, and the poisoning of our environment. Preventive medicine is barely practiced nowadays--the physician can't prove it worked (or get rich off it), and the patient won't take the responsibility.
In short, between bad statistics and lack of responsibility we are in big trouble.
- Gary Y
Medical science is doing a far better job than your colloidal silver, colon cleanses or toxic soups, Tony.
Why don't you post some cites to support your stats. And you also could post cites that show the amazing advances medical science has made over the past 50 years. That would balance your biased question.
You have been told before - medical science DOES work to prevent illness, so stop lying.
Nothing is going to turn around till the medical community starts treating bodies as a whole and treating underlying causes instead of symptoms. I'm glad I've learned the difference because now I'm able to help myself heal and to say no to some treatments offered to me by allopathic practitioners.
They are just now figuring this out but nobody is really interested in doing what it takes to make the changes needed. Thank goodness for the Internet and the information it gives us if only we look. With that information I've been able to know that my GP was giving me drugs I should not have been prescribed, to find alternative treatments and to manage a path to a future of health instead of dependence on bottles of pills.
Here are some more instances where "modern medicine" has been hurting us. It turns out that mammograms give such a high dose of radiation that they, along with some other similar tests, are responsible for *giving* us cancer. Some countries like Denmark have banned mammograms. Why haven't we in the US done that? At least there is now a reccomendation that we not get them nearly as often which is a positive step. What isn't mentioned though is all the bad results of having them done every year.
Another instance is the incredible increase in Autism. Nobody wants to take responsibility even though we know that horrible ingredients go into our vaccines. Oh, and vaccines themselves have not proven to be helpful so why are they shoved down our throats?
- Jeffro T. Bodean
This movie is the answer! With how advanced we are now this has endless opportunities. All we need is to be able to do the research!!!!
- Paddy 1969
It was never a war, more of a cosy ( symbiotic ) relationship between the conventional medicine supported drug industry and illness, one benefiting the other. For example, mammograms have been demonstrated to CAUSE, rather than to detect and prevent, breast cancer. Asthma has been linked to dairy products. People get sick from eating harmful chemical ( pesticide and additive ) laced food such as dairy, they seek medical assistance, and instead of preventive advice, they are given more prescription chemicals to ingest. Aren't the chemical, food and drug industries just one or two conglomerates ? It is not in their economic interest to have everybody healthy . Nowadays instead of combatting diseases, conventional medicine is concerned with "managing" them ( love that business lingo ). That makes more money. Prevention is still a dirty word in this scheme of things. Ditto with the funeral/ ambulance service industries, improved traffic safety regulations to reduce the yearly 50,000 auto deaths ( U.S ) will cut into THEIR profits . Sick indeed.
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