The War on Cancer and where we stand today

By Tony Ulrich

President Nixon declared the war on cancer in the seventies and foresaw victory waiting around the door. Unfortunately, this goal was never achieved. We know that a cure for cancer is yet to be found.

Think about it: I am now 37 years old. If I go back in time, let's say about 20 years, I barely knew anybody with cancer. And let's go back another 20 years and look at the statistics or ask relatives or friends how much they knew about cancer or how many people they personally knew battling with the disease.

The fact of the matter is, every 8th women in the USA will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. But just a few decades back ago we didn't have such a higher number of incidents.

What is the situation today? Very likely you know more than one person with cancer. Maybe even within your own family.

In March of 2009 my wife Ann was diagnosed with breast cancer. My mother was diagnosed with cervical cancer only a few months later. And after I encountered blood in my urine, a CT-Scan result came back with another cancer diagnosis for our family. A larger tumor was found in my left kidney.

I just had my left kidney removed by a laparoscopic nephrectomy. My wife had to undergo 3 surgeries in total until the margins came back clear. Cancer is everywhere and it seems to grow out of control.

The page has turned. Cancer is growing, even though billions of $$ where poured into science and research to find the magic bullet, after Nixon proudly declared to battle it and to declare victory in record time. And when I speak of President Nixon, I certainly don't mean to point my finger at the USA - the situation is the same everywhere in the Western World.

Maybe I'm just fantasizing, but how is it possible, the first my wife got breast cancer, then my mother got cervical cancer and then I was diagnosed with kidney cancer. And all that in just one year? A coincidence?

You may object to my standpoint as many people in fact do. They argue with statistics and data which - at least according to them - indicate that cancer, and especially breast cancer incidents, have been consistently going down over the past few decades.

I'm not a math-wizard. But since I am in a related profession, I do know how to read statistics, clinical studies and numbers in general. And therefore, I also know how easy it is to present the exact same numbers and data in many different ways. It's like looking at the glass half full versus half empty.

I don't want to discount the achievements of modern medicine. However, it's time for a reality-check and look at the facts as they present themselves to us. We might have won a couple of battles, but the war is far short of being over yet. - 30540

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