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Fighting A Losing Battle: Spending Billions And Making Little Progress In The War On Cancer.

826 words - 4 pages

It has been over forty years since the signing of National Cancer Act of 1971; in this time ample funding has been dedicated to the war on cancer, and yet a cure has not been found, cancer survival rates have not increased proportional to the money and time spent, and health disparities continue to serve as a major problem for minorities and those of low socioeconomic status. This year over a half million Americans are projected to die from cancer, which equals approximately 1,600 deaths per day 1. One can think of cancer as a biological terrorist taking more lives annually than all of the casualties from combat in the United States during 19th century 2. Cancer effects are not only seen in ...view middle of the document...

The increase in the 5-year relative survival rate of prostate cancer is due in large part to earlier detection and is overshadowed by the fact that lung cancer accounts for more than a quarter of all cancer deaths 1. In 2014, it is estimated that 159,260 people will die from lung cancer, whereas the estimated 29,480 deaths from prostate cancer are projected to make up the smallest portion of the top five causes of cancer death 1. It took only ten years and 300 million dollars to find a cure for smallpox in the 1960s which resulted in complete eradication of the disease 4. Compared to other efforts to treat worldwide diseases, the war on cancer is far from being won.
Five-year relative survival rates have been further hindered by health disparities throughout the United States. Blacks have a lower 5-year relative survival rate than whites for almost every type of cancer 1. American Indians/Alaska Natives have the overall lowest probability of surviving five years past the time of cancer diagnosis 1. In addition, all racial/ethnic populations have lower survival rates than whites 7. These disparities are mainly due to more advanced disease states at diagnosis, lower socioeconomic status, less adequate healthcare, and increased incidence of comorbidities compared to whites 1,7. Those with greater...

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