I made a mistake. First, I got a little worked up during last night's debate because, when discussing health problems, both candidates gave shout-outs to relatively rare conditions rather than to the big killers. My second mistake was more grievous. I read something in HuffPo written by Deirdre Imus.
No one brings the stupid quite like Deirdre. When she talks about health, it's like a 12th century peasant talking about quantum mechanics----most of the time, she's not even wrong.
Deirdre's upset. She's upset that the candidates haven't addressed children's healt issues. That's reasonable.
Anticipating the lack of attention always given to children, last April I sent a questionnaire to both Senators McCain and Obama in order to elicit their positions and strategies "to address children's health issues."
Despite numerous calls to both campaign offices, neither has had the courtesy to respond to a few specific questions that are critically important to millions of parents and could garner millions of votes.
Perhaps the candidates don't care about kids. Or perhaps the candidates strategically feel that these issues won't get them the votes.
Or maybe they just think Imus is a crackpot.
She was upset about not hearing back from the candidates, so she posted her questionnaire online. After reading it, I'm pretty sure I understand why it was ignored.
Question 1: What have you done as a senator and what do you intend to do as President to control untested and unregulated industrial chemicals that are contributing to childhood cancer? And what would you do in regard to re-directing more resources into investigating environmental exposures?
Question 1 is "begging the question". Is this actually a real children's health issue? Are unregulated industrial chemicals contributing significantly to childhood cancers?
The Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database records less than 10 percent of childhood cancers. The Children's Oncology Group (COG) only keeps data on patients who follow their protocol.
Question 5: What steps would you take to make a centralized national database more reliable in monitoring childhood cancers?
Does such a database already exist? If not, do we need one? Making cancer a reportable disease is an interesting thought---how would it help sick kids? We keep track of certain infectious diseases because, well, they're infectious, and we need to track them. Cancer? I mean, surveys track childhood cancers regularly, but I'm not clear on why a comprehensive database should be a national priority.
Question 9: Given the potential short and long-term adverse effects of conventional therapies, do you support the evidence-based use of CAM (complementary and alternative therapies) for childhood cancer?
What a horrid idea. There is no such thing as evidence-based CAM. Something is either proved effective or not. Once it's proved effective, it's no longer "alternative". And WTF is she talking about, anyway? We've made huge strides against childhood cancers:
Although the incidence of invasive cancer in children has increased slightly over the past 30 years, mortality has declined dramatically for many childhood cancers.1 The combined 5-year survival rate for all childhood cancers has improved from less than 50 percent before the 1970s to nearly 80 percent today, and the 10-year survival rate is over 75 percent.
Yes, some treatments have side effects, and some side effects are bad. We have two choices: effective, proven therapies that may or may not have significant side effects, or unproved, ineffective therapies that don't cause side effects.
Of course, Deirdre saves the best for last:
Question 14: Because vaccine injuries can result in serious lifelong debilitation for the most innocent of victims, would you agree that in close decisions, the benefit of the doubt in resolving the claim should be given to the victim, the standard for military veterans? As president, would you support, and encourage, VICA reforms that would include an extension of the statute of limitations for a minimum of eight years, and allow for a two-year look back so parents or guardians can file in the VICP? Would you also agree to maintain the "opt-out" provision as written, so that parents could pursue a civil claim, as is the right guaranteed to every other U.S. citizen? As president, would you fight for these provisions?
So, in order to satisfy Deirdre Imus, a presidential candidate must buy into the "vaccines are dangerous" bullshit, and must promise to make certain changes that are wanted by the lunatic fringe of antivaccinationists.
Deirdre, I think I know why the candidates, in the midst of a contentious and terribly important campaign, ignored your questionnaire.
It's complete, total, utter, unmitigated, starkravingmad bullshititude. The candidates have better things to talk about than some nut who can't even get it wrong.
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"No" would have served nicely.
Although "WTF you talkin' about?" might have been more apt.
If you really want to get worked up : google up some combo of "Hackensack University Medical Center/Don Imus/Deirdre Imus".Attempts to appear legit by having your name(s) on children's cancer/"research" centers,so "caring"! And in my own county yet..(probably other people's money,too).
No candidate opens their own mail. They have people who do that, and people who perform triage. There is one pile everybody has, and it goes straight to recycling. They call it the 'dog pile' for two reasons: (1) it's the pile for the 'dogs', and (2) 'dog pile' has a special figurative meaning.
LMAO @ Nattering Nabob of Negativism. Agnew was the man. Though "unmitigated, starkravingmad bullshititude" is quality stuff as well.
And here I was believing the number one health issue of children was poverty.
It probably is. But cancer is a much scarier boogeyman under the bed to get folks riled up with.
We've made huge strides against childhood cancers.
I have a friend who works as a paeds oncology nurse in Edinburgh, Scotland. She says that it's actually quite a cheerful job now as the vast majority of cases are wins. The vast majority of kids with cancer get treated, get well and walk out able to get on with their lives.
The incredible success of treatment of childhood cancers has led to an amusing administrative problem: there are now a lot of people who've made it well into adulthood who are survivors of childhood cancers. This means that you have large numbers of people in their 30s or even older who are coming into paeds oncology departments for follow-ups with paeds oncology doctors. This is considered a bit silly, so they are planning some sort of administrative shake-up to deal more appropriately with adult survivors of childhood cancer.
But I imagine the homeopaths have had similar successes, yes?
Some facts about childhood cancer to consider:
1)Childhood cancer is the #1 killer disease of our children, more than from asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, congenital anomalies, and pediatric AIDS combined
2)There is no national database for childhood cancer - shocking but true. And yes, a database will help, as research depends on data and research results in cures.
3)Survival rates have improved because over 70% of childhood cancer patients enroll in clinical trials as opposed to 3% of adults. Moreover chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants were first tried on children yet adults have greatly benefitted, as these treatments are now standards of care.
4)Incidence rates of childhood cancer are increasing each year as we do not know the causes and there are no early detection/screening methods
5)46 children per school day (equal to 2 classrooms) are diagnosed with cancer and of those children 9 will not survive. If it were your child, grandchild, brother, sister, cousin or friend, would this be acceptable to you?
The Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database records less than 10 percent of childhood cancers.
Eh, sort of. The SEER-9 (the database going back to 1973) records data for about 10% of the population, including 10% of childhood cancers. The databases added later improve on that number. That aside, the specific sites included in the SEER database were included for two reasons: 1. the local cancer registeries were high quality and 2. the populations covered were epidemiologically significant. So the 10% sample is selected to ensure that the 10% are representative of the US population in general. It is unlikely that children in the areas not covered are fairing much worse.
The Children's Oncology Group (COG) only keeps data on patients who follow their protocol.
In sharp contrast to adults, the vast majority of children with cancer are treated at COG centers, often on clinical trials. Few children with cancer are not already being recorded in one or both databases. Adolescents and young adults, now, that's a different issue...
The combined 5-year survival rate for all childhood cancers has improved from less than 50 percent before the 1970s to nearly 80 percent today, and the 10-year survival rate is over 75 percent.
The survival rate for childhood hematologic malignancies is even better. (Well, except for ANLL, but even that's improving rapidly.) Childhood cancer isn't a solved problem, but it's not the area that I'd pick if I were trying to demonstrate that the medical system is NOT working. Rather the reverse. I'd love it if adult cancers got as much attention and funding and had as organized and complete a system for getting everyone onto clinical trials.
Please don't overstate the case.
In 2005 all neoplasms combined accounted for 1037 deaths in the birth-to-ten-years age cohort. SIDS alone accounted for more than twice as many.
For 1999 through 2005, the USA had a total of 252,135 deaths in the first ten years of life. Of those, neoplasms accounted for only 8,068 -- barely 3%
Don't let manipulation of the ICD classifications fool you. The "cancers are the leading cause ..." stuff is produced by lumping all neoplasms together, while breaking up respiratory, circulatory, etc. diseases down to individual ICD10 codes. Ask the MDs here (hey, ask Orac -- cancer is what he does!) and they'll tell you that "cancer" isn't a disease any more than "respiratory disorders" are a disease.
Back to the theme of the board: this kind of "lump one, divide others" trick with statistics is a classic denialists' trick for misleading people.
There are thousands of studies that demonstrate the effectiveness of hypnosis and self-hypnosis and these evidence based modalities remain in the ranks of "Alternative" only because so few doctors use them.
Sadly, that appears to not be the case. Actually, hypnosis appears to be simple suggestion combined with the patient's desire to be helpful. Also, since hypnosis does work to focus the patient's mind outward, away from discomfort and pain, it is commonly used in childbirth, surgery, and cancer patients. (here)
So, it doesn't really do much more than focus the mind, and possibly has a placebo effect, and it *is* being used in the medical field. 0 for two.