I just got back from a relaxing holiday and heard the shocking news that another political figure has suffered a relapse of cancer. White House Press Secretary Tony Snow apparently is recovering from an hepatic resection where a small (“tip of the finger-sized”, if one believes these idiotic news reporters and their unscientific description of medical data) metastasis was removed. I read one story where a commenter remarked that the average survival of metastatic colon cancer was only six months. For once, somebody got their facts correct – the problem is that this terrifyingly short “average” length of time refers to the average survival of untreated metastatic colon cancer. This is like reminding the nation that the average survival of patients who refuse to ingest solid and liquid refreshments is only three days; I might add that attempting to breathe without the benefit of at least 21% oxygen in one’s general vicinity leads to an average survival shorter than the evening song of Bubo virginianus.
The encouraging news for patients faced with this tribulation is that the “average” survival is much longer than six lousy months – if modern day treatment is given. I’ll explain more tomorrow. Buona notte.