Friday, September 30, 2016

Stop funding Breast Cancer Awareness, Prevention and Early Stage treatment!

Ha, I bet that got your attention No it was not a typo nor a way to fool you. I really do believe that.

Okay, who really is not aware that breast cancer exists? Awareness requires no funding, no pink ribbons, nothing. 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Those women are friends, mothers, daughters, sisters, wives; trust us, we are all aware. The one awareness I would happily fund is that women are not the only ones who get breast cancer. That is right. Not sure you all knew that, but men get breast cancer too. Now you are aware; tell two friends you know about this and they will be aware and tell two friends and "so on and so on".

As for funding early stages and prevention, while they are important I will ask you why is it SO important? Why is it so scary for someone to be told "You have breast cancer"? It's scary because of those told, 1/4 will become (or already are) metastatic, aka stage 4. And stage 4 is terminal, do not pass go, do not collect $200, it will kill you. And the stats on how fast it will kill you are beyond scary. From time of diagnosis until death, the average person with "mets" has 18-24 months to live. That is why a breast cancer diagnosis is so scary, even in an early stage, It's the possibility of stage 4 that scares people.  Yes chemo and radiation are scary, but death is more scary.

So I have a proposition. Turn stage 4 breast cancer into a treatable condition that does not shorten life to under 2 years. Seriously. Make stage 4 cancer a chronic condition, drugs for life, even with side effects FIRST. Take away the death sentence as a priority Remove it as an option from the table.

Then and only then take one step back, and start to work on stopping early cancer from becoming stage 4. When that is done, work on preventing cancer.

But wait, you say. If they can truly prevent cancer, isn't that a better choice than working on stage 4? NO! NO! NO! Doing that is telling anyone who already has stage 4 cancer, who had cancer at any stage at any point in their life that could come back that they don't matter. And come on, this aspect has been worked on for many decades with no success. Stop making breast cancer a possible death sentence first then go backwards. Seriously. Tell the 113 USA women who die every single day that they matter.

Oh no, you say, "big pharma would never go for that". Um, if they were smart they would By focusing on treatment and prevention, so called big pharma is killing their own business.

Lets do the math and lets make it simple.
Lets say a 100 people develop an early stage breast cancer each year (very low but an easy number to work with). Lets also say treatment (probably chemo) costs 100 units a month. In an early stage cancer this is 6 months and then nothing. So we are at 100 people * 100 units * 6 months or 6,000. At this point, about 75% will remain cancer free for life. The other 25% will have a re-occurrence, not all will be stage 4 but let's go right there. Those 25 people will have 18 months of treatment (and then die) for a total of 2,500. Making the total money that "big pharma" will get from the original 100 diagnosed is 8,500.

Now do that math if stage 4 is a 'normal' lifespan but includes treatment, even keeping the current survival rate at 75%. We have the original 6k from that first treatment. But, then we have 20-50 years (or more) of lifetime treatment for those who became stage 4. Lets split hairs and go with 35 years. Now you have 100 per month at 12 months times 35 years or 42,000. Add that to the original 6k and you get 48,000.

Did you see that, if big pharma could effectively treat stage 4 they could get 41,000 extra for every 100 newly diagnosed patients. Maybe remind them of the profit potential. Pharmacological companies are for profit. They are. They will not change. Show them the real profit in effectively treating stage 4.

Scientist on the other hand, are all about the science, the discovery. There is not a scientist out there, studying cancer (or anything else) who does not want the fame that would come with a breakthrough discovery. Let them know they could also get the fame from stopping the death sentence, from finding long term, lifetime treatment as from a cure.

Stop the deaths. Stop the fear. Put the money where it will help the most.