Tuesday, July 20, 2010

"Progression" of Cancer Treatment

Until circa 1800:

Relative: "What killed him?"
Doctor: "I dunno."

Circa 1860:
Relative: "What did he die of?"
Doctor: "Cancer"

Circa 1950:
Relative: "What did he die of?"
Doctor: "Lung cancer."

Circa 1970:
Doctor: "The lab results are back."
Patient: "What do they say?"
Doctor: "You've got lung cancer. You have 6 months to live."

Circa 2010:
Doctor: "Your genetic tests are back."
Parent: "What do they say?"
Doctor: "Your son will be 6'2", he'll be very successful but won't quite be able to get into Dartmouth, and he'll die of lung cancer at age 50."

We've made terrific advances in the diagnosis of cancer. That's fine and good, but wouldn't you agree it's way past time we:
- Learned to prevent it?
- Learned to treat it?
- Learned to cure it?

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