I quote the discouraging cancer survival numbers below because too often “Cancer Inc.” allies itself with government regulators to slow the disruptive medical entrepreneurs who who would otherwise quickly make those numbers less discouraging.
(p. A15) Cancer Treatment Centers of America– . . . –has long raised eyebrows with its marketing. Currently, the group touts its “genomic testing,” which guides patient-specific chemotherapy. Unmentioned is the dismal success rate of such tests in trials: Only 6.4% of patients were successfully matched with a drug, according to a 2016 article in Nature.
Here, from the American Cancer Society, are five-year survival statistics for various cancers: cervical, 69%; leukemia, 63%; ovarian, 46%; brain and nervous system, 35%; lung, 19%; liver, 18%; pancreatic, 9%.
One wonders how such numbers justify the blue sky seen in today’s advertising.
. . .
. . . the war on cancer is not the place for pep talks and poetic license. We could do with more disclosure, less delusion.
Nor is this a question of depriving patients of hope. On the contrary, it’s about depriving Cancer Inc. of the ability to exploit false hope.
For the full commentary, see:
Steve Salerno. “In the War on Cancer, Truth Becomes a Casualty; The multibillion-dollar treatment industry appeals to emotion in misleading ads.” The Wall Street Journal (Saturday, April 21, 2018): A15.
(Note: ellipses added.)
(Note: the online version of the commentary has the date April 20, 2018.)