You may have read or heard--Texas Cancer group claiming to conquer Cancer in next 10 years.So did President Nixon in 1972.
Pharmacyclics Inc. announced failed results. Read, disppointing data.
Company after company is trying--but results after results are disappointing. Successful Results from a few companies like Medivation only prolong life by a few years at best. Risk/Reward is not great.
I was personally involved in research at the Cleveland Clinic in 1999-2002 for Biomarkers to detect cancer early. That type of efforts have better Cost-Benefit results.
I think we need to push for Early Detection research.
- Mammograms for Breast Cancer
- Colonoscopy for Colon Cancer
- CT scans for detecting tumors in Brain,Cervical areas,Lung cancer,other cancers.
The problem for early detection is that our payment system favors getting cancer—not for screening CT Scans.
If cancer is detected—and costs are half a million dollars—then insurance is willing to pay.
Recent example: The superstorm in the northeastern part of USA.
Three spruce trees fell on my parents' house, where I spent my first 25 years of life.
They have three more spruce trees that got bent-loosened from foundation. They want to remove them before another wind storm. Insurance said,"They have not fallen on the house yet. So we won't pay for removal."
The night of Monday, Oct. 28, was restless for my parents. Live electric wires fell 9 inches away from home. Wind blowing, thee tree still not fallen but shaking badly. My father peaked every 10 minutes—planning a fire drill escape from a window for 9-10 hours, until 6 a.m. when winds went down.
Even under such a situation, insurance says let the trees fall on the house, then we will pay. What a crazy logic?
Same crazy logic is true for cancer.
There will be tons of publicity in the media for someone denied cancer coverage. But if someone wants colonoscopy at age 40, insurance won't pay unless the gastroenterologist can convince Insurance that this person has problems/symptoms/genes-that requires Colonoscopy at early age.
So if you are cancer advocate, convince insurance to relax rules for screening for colon or CT Scans for brain or lungs or other areas.