Besides governments allocating less funding to research, prevention and treatment--for cancer as well as other grave ailments--than they could, what especially irks me is this: negligent practices carried out by big corporations to which authorities have always turned a blind eye. The sheer amount of unregulated, harmful practices that has come to define our current lifestyle is abominable. Radiation, pollution, carcinogenic and generally unsafe food, hygiene products, food and liquid containers... All factors whose pervasiveness correlates with cancer cases skyrocketing.
We should all be willing to reflect upon what we're doing to our personal and collective health, and if our lifestyles are actually sustainable or do require to be reformed.
I do however disagree with some points made; as a researcher who doesn't work in cancer, I often see it as a very well funded area of science relative to almost all others (in Australia at least, and I suspect the rest of the Western world). Obviously there are differences in funding for various cancer types, which is caused by a range of factors. Research funding across most areas could be improved IMO.
I'd add that on average, the biggest risk factor for cancer is age - we live longer than in the past, thus we're more likely to get cancer. There are other risk factors of course, but apart from things like smoking, being irradiated or infected with certain viruses, they likely pale in comparison to simply growing old and collecting a long list of mutations in various cells over time, with awful consequences for the unlucky.
Having said that, progress has been made for certain types of cancer, just not as fast as anyone would like.
I agree 100% about prioritizing prevention. At the very least, governments could stop subsidizing/mandating the production and use of carcinogens!
For example, California used to mandate extremely high levels of known-carcinogenic flame retardants for furniture, and the result was new forms of cancer that only occur in California. (This was fixed a few years ago, but used furniture, or anything upholstered is crazy-risky.)
It took years for the state senate to act, despite strong scientific evidence. The flame retardant industry had the strongest lobby, but everyone else, from Ikea (and, separately, their factory workers), to fire fighters, to environmental groups were for lifting the mandate.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of analogous stories are playing out today.
Just yesterday, I read that general mills (and also nature valley) use roundup as a pre-harvest desiccant to kill and dry out oats before harvest, leading to ridiculously high levels of glyphosate in kids cereal (like Cheerios) and “healthy” granola bars.
Best practice for non-organic farming is to apply herbicides well before harvest so they can break down / wash off the final product. Spraying during harvest should be criminalized!
Organic canola oil is probably a good idea now that the practice is widespread. Non fatty items are less problematic.
If anything, some question if that should be dialed back and spent in other disease areas.
As someone who is tired of hectic urban life, I certainly concur with the above statement. It is an extremely disturbing trend. I know I don’t want to turn a blind eye to what is happening, but at the same time I don’t know what else I can do except being stoic.
I've been thinking about that for a long time, and still do. I reckon the best option is having a mindful and critical attitude while doing our best to come up with alternatives. Persevering in having a constructive mindset always goes a long way.
It may seem slow but for a while now most of research budgets and acquisitions are for oncology. And still now most pharma companies are engaging a majority of their r and d spending into oncology.
An insulin company will not cure diabetes - but a startup looking to disrupt them will. Circle of life/business, in pharma like elsewhere.
Plastics pollution, BPA in our receipt paper, drugs and hormones being pissed out into our toilets into the common water supply - large parts of the global economy have been allowed to thrive due to neglect of appropriately pricing in negative externalities, if they are considered at all. What is the TRUE cost of using plastic in everyday product? What is the TRUE cost of the advertising and adoption of birth control pills, or OTC drugs? Some people benefit from short-term profits now, but in the end everyone loses.
My wife just emerged from a multiyear battle with aggressive HER2/ER/PR positive breast cancer after taking decades of birth control pills.
Correlation is not causation, but NHS are extremely strict about chemically induced menopause via Tamoxifen now, to suppress her natural estrogen production.
The National Cancer Institute funds about 11% of new R01s, which is the mechanism that funds most academic labs. Their payline is among the lowest of the NIH’s Institutes, though to some extent this might be because they are one of the largest institutes and people chase the money: you could probably find a home for any proposal at two or three institutes. More data here: https://report.nih.gov/success_rates/Success_ByIC.cfm
With a few exceptions, the NSF doesn’t fund things that directly address diseases, so it’s hard to find a number for cancer specifically. Nevertheless, the overall payline is pretty similar.
That said, I’d argue that the solution is not (just) more money, but massive changes in how we fund and organize research too.
(I can't tell if you meant to imply that you are in remission or going through chemo now).
While they weren't technically wrong, holy throwing the baby out with the bathwater, batman. This is the problem with single-issue voting.
I wonder if they have logicians on these panels. "So you want to take a person who will live...and maybe make them die...because you don't want to test on someone who will die?"
A relative got cancer in a lymph node, and got it successfully operated out. A couple of years later got shortness of breath and back pain. Doctors gave asthma medication for the breath and physio for the back pain.
After a year of no real progress, an unrelated shoulder x-ray showed spots in the lung tissue. X-ray technician noticed this and escalated it, and only when they verified it did we learn that the original cancer typically spreads to the lungs and bones...
Now in this case, finding the cancer had spread to the lungs and spine a year earlier probably wouldn't have done much to delay the inevitable, but it would have allowed them to start pain medication much sooner, making that year less painful.
After all of that, do your follow-ups.
Oddly enough, I'm two years out of my initial diagnosis, sitting in the oncologist's waiting room for results of my latest scans as I write this.
It involves using cells from his own immune system, known as T cells, after they have been taken out of his body and genetically altered in a lab.
*  https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/02/21/5853365...
Not saying we shouldn't try this, but genetics are capricious, and we should be very careful when trying things like this on humans. Plants and test animals are one thing, but when we're doing trials on humans, there's a lot more at stake.
It is not simple to apply to adults, unless it's by engineering a cell culture (like T cells).
You could sequence part of them before insertion, if you manage not to kill the rest of the T-Cells with the wildly differing in vitro environment, but by that point you're playing a numbers game. The non-specific CRISPR action (called off-target mutagenesis in the literature) is a low probability event, but if you sequence part of the T-Cells, you could easily miss one with a bad (read: non-lethal) off-target mutation.