Editorial: Don't retreat from war on cancer

  • Article by: EDITORIAL , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 5, 2011 - 5:00 PM

Supercommittee cuts could jeopardize patients, economy.

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europeaNov. 6, 11 1:46 AM

Actually, cardiovascular disease kills far, far more Americans than does cancer. For most victims, however, the first symptom is their sudden death. The cancer industry is hugely over-funded in relation to either prolongation of life or quality of life metrics. I'm all for federally funded scientific research, but cancer is the poster child for a captive illness that has skewed the allocation of research dollars.

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mn_cameraNov. 6, 11 9:22 AM

@ europea: Glad to see at least someone is here from the right defending cancer. I just wonder where the rest are. After all, cancer has rights too, doesn't it? And we can't have the "gummint" interfering with those rights, can we?

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mwallekNov. 6, 11 9:55 AM

Don't worry. It's just like the war on drugs: fictional, yet a great consumer of resources and a large capitalized juggernaught.

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minn55410Nov. 6, 1111:07 AM

It's not that hard! Eat real food, cut way back on sugar, move your body! Why does the Susan Komen foundation allow M&M's to be a sponsor of the three day walk? Sugar feeds cancer cells. Everyone's looking for that pill that will make us healthy. Live like Americans did 100 years ago when cancer and cardiovascular disease were rare.

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alansonNov. 6, 11 2:54 PM

We spend a lot on cancer research, but the payoffs are getting fewer and farther between. Most current treatments, based on surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, have been around for decades. We are only seeing marginal improvements. To the extent cancer survival rates are improving, the improvements are mostly linked to early diagnosis based on regular screening of more and more of the population. We shouldn't be afraid to look at the current cancer research budget to find savings, but more importantly to make sure that the research is not simply designed to "perfect" the same old treatments that are clearly exhibiting diminishing returns. Most importantly the STrib needs to recognize there are vested interests within the research community, and they do have political clout. Cancer research should be about saving lives, not about saving jobs.

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kdarnallNov. 9, 11 9:56 PM

After reading this editorial I felt upset, surprised and disturbed. To start, I cannot begin to imagine how much money $14 trillion is, the amount that the U.S. is in debt. That amount of money is obscene to me. However, I also can’t believe that this “supercommittee” would think it’s a good idea to cut $1.5 trillion from healthcare research over the next ten years. Being from Minnesota, and knowing all of the great research that comes from the Mayo Clinic and from the University of Minnesota, I can’t understand why this would be a good idea. The quote at the end of your article, about using yesterday’s medicine for tomorrow’s medical problems, sums it up perfectly. But what I also can’t seem to understand is how our nation is going to rebuild its financial problems. If we don’t cut healthcare, or social security, or education, or technology or any other budget, because it’s all very important, what will we cut to make up our deficit? The U.S. needs to take a more proactive approach in solving our deficit and I’d like to see some information regarding that. Sincerely, Kelsey Darnall

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