Cancer to be redefined

The working group for the National Cancer Institute has proposed that the term “cancer” be redefined to mean only lesions likely to kill a patient if untreated.

Definitions can and are used for political purposes and not only to manipulate health statistics. But with the anticipated doctor shortage and financial crisis of the healthcare system and the government already looking at more ways to reduce medical care to seniors, it’s not surprising that doctors are especially cautious about the government redefining “cancer” so that fewer conditions qualify as cancer.

Why The Federal Government Wants To Redefine The Word ‘Cancer’

 …But while there are legitimate scientific and medical questions about the proper definition and classification of any disease (including cancer), we must be careful that that any redefinition won’t be used for inappropriate political purposes. Given the increasing government control over US health care, how the government defines medical terms can have serious economic and policy implications.

 For example, the definition of a “live birth” has become important in discussions over health care policy. Many on the political Left cite the supposedly high infant mortality rate in the US relative to Europe as one of the failures of the US health system. But Dr. Bernadine Healy (former director of the National Institutes of Health and of the American Red Cross) has noted:

“The United States counts all births as live if they show any sign of life, regardless of prematurity or size. This includes what many other countries report as stillbirths. In Austria and Germany, fetal weight must be at least 500 grams (1 pound) to count as a live birth; in other parts of Europe, such as Switzerland, the fetus must be at least 30 centimeters (12 inches) long. In Belgium and France, births at less than 26 weeks of pregnancy are registered as lifeless. And some countries don’t reliably register babies who die within the first 24 hours of birth. Thus, the United States is sure to report higher infant mortality rates. For this very reason, the Organization for Cooperation and Development, which collects the European numbers, warns of head-to-head comparisons by country.”…  Read more.

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7 responses to “Cancer to be redefined

  1. Who didn’t see this coming?

    Of direct interest to me is skin cancer. I have had about a dozen squamous cell and basal cell carcinomas. My dermatologist says he seen someone die of them, when a lesion on the patients head was ignored for 12 years, and it grew into their brain.

    So first comes “Can it kill you,” then “Can it kill you in the next 10 years?” Then government will consider 5 years.

    This is another example of why government should stay out of health care. Their objectives and the peoples’ objectives do not align, nor can they ever align.

  2. A great way to show / claim they are winning the war. Change the rules and look good.

  3. And the USPSTF changed mammogram guidelines in 2009 to reduce the need for having them. Next, Kathleen Sebelius will order that you’ll only be treated for the chest pains that kill you.

    Get the federal government out of healthcare. Even if it could work better than the private sector, nowhere in the Constitution is the federal government given any authority or responsibility regarding healthcare.

  4. On the other hand, writing “benign cancer” into an oxymoron isn’t a bad thing. The rules and regulations are written with “cancer” being universally bad.

    And Tech, one of the main upwards cost drivers in healthcare is unnecessary care. It’s expensive and can actually be detrimental to the patient. The first few paragraphs of the article are quite true and applicable to the argument.

  5. The term “cancer”, like “pneumonia”, is supposed to be a medical and scientific term with pretty clear parameters. It should remain so.
    There’s room to consider clinical guidelines — guidelines rather than mandates — so that treatment for cancer is effective. We also need to consider whether it’s rational or even kind to treat an 85-year-old with costly and painful therapies for a 30% chance of a two-year life extension. Sometimes providers should recognize, and should say to patients and families, “We have a therapy regime and I think it would be cruel to use it.” Then the decision should lie with the patient first, the physician, and the family. I have no stake in it, nor does my government as my agent.

    • If the 85 year old wants the treatment and can pay for them more power to him. Problem we have today is that medicare is paid for with other people’s money. So the 85 year old can’t make a true cost/benefit assessment, and the rest of us get angry over paying the bills.

      Another reason to get the government ouot of healthcare. Unfortunately foks don’t realize that before Obamacare the Federal government already controlled 50% of healthcare with a universal system.

  6. Cancer is, generally speaking, the end result of effects derived from outside and/or inside the body due to either poisons, irritants or biochemical imbalances from food or chemical sources sometimes accentuated by genetic defects (which are often due to similar causes). Gamecock – a good doctor will get rid of your lesions well in good time. You’ll be OK – just keep an eye on them. Maybe you got too much sun when you were young. It has happened to me too. Up in the sky one is even closer to the sun, and that damn reflective metal !!!

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