In 1974, a big cancer honcho at Case-Western Reserve University told an audience of medical students that “Cancer will be cured soon, in 10 to 15 years.” Some of those present did not like that definition of “soon,” and the outer limit has long since passed.
For generations, some have claimed that the medical and research complex has a vested interest in not curing cancer and other diseases, because they make too much money treating them and doing endless research. The medical/research sector’s ties to the for-profit drug industry is also cited. There is room for cynicism.
Against this thought pattern is the fact that diseases which were once the scourge of humanity, from smallpox to polio, have been eradicated by the medical/research sector, which also has ties to non-profits like universities and foundations. Here we will look at the case for both sides fully and objectively.
The National Cancer Institute acknowledges that cancer treatment today costs $125 billion per year and will rise to $173 billion by 2020. Ten years ago, the cost of a new cancer drug averaged $4,500 per month. Since 2010, this has increased to around $10,000 per month. Drug company profits are enormous.
Many studies have found that survival rates have not increased in decades with conventional chemotherapies. Charity-driven research still follows the same rationale approved by the drug industry and dismisses other lines of research.
In 1900 one person in 20 got cancer; in the 1940s, one in 16; in the 1970s, one in 10; and now, one in three.
Sherrill Sellman, author of What Women Must Know to Protect Their Daughters from Breast Cancer, says, “Breast cancer awareness month was initiated by the companies that make tamoxifen (a major breast cancer drug). General Electric makes the devices for mammograms and is in a relationship with these companies.”
Charles Simone, M.D., a physician who treats cancer, says, “From 1920 to the present time…a person who gets prostate cancer or breast cancer today will live as long as a person who got it in 1920.”
Since the 1960s, the focus for research has changed three times from carcinogens to viruses to genetics. The accepted basis for research today is that there is a genetic basis for cancer.
Thomas Seyfried, Ph.D., a recognized cancer researcher and author of Cancer As a Metabolic Disease, says that “Cancer is a disease of respiratory insufficiency, coupled with compensatory fermentation.” This defines all cancers; there are in fact very few types needing different treatments. Diet and lifestyle changes are the key to preventing and curing cancer: a high-fat, low-carbohydrate, low-calorie ketogenic diet.
More people die from cancer now, because we live longer, and there are fewer other causes of death as more and more diseases have been eliminated.Researchers, physicians and even drug company executives and their families are just as vulnerable to cancer as the rest of us and want a cure.The insurance industry, another large, powerful bloc, wants a cure in its financial self-interest and would push back with lobbying and influence if the drug industry were sabotaging cancer research.
Cancer is a devilishly difficult biochemical problem. Researchers have gone wrong before and might be doing so now, but not because they are being paid off or are mindlessly conformist. That is silly.
Ilene Schneider is the owner of Schneider the Writer (www.schneiderthewriter.com), a firm that provides communications for health care, high technology and service enterprises. She has edited or written for numerous technical publications, as well as serving as a publicist for various medical, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.