Archives For Chronic Illness

IMG_1185As you may or may not be aware, I have not been ‘out’ much lately. I am trying to come to grips with the latest cancer ordeal in our family. I’ve been digging in the dirt, watching mindless television, reading and shockingly – cleaning my house.

I have been saying that I am grieving. Grieving what? Am I grieving a dream, a vision of the future, an expectation? I realized that I’m not really grieving although it can feel pretty bad. Continue Reading…

The Economy of Cancer

Let me begin by saying that as a Cancerian I’m grateful for all of the dedicated professionals and other people employed by The Nation of Cancer. Obviously, I am alive, thanks in large measure to their work!

I’ve spent twenty years being on the front line of the war called Cancer. Every year I see multiple doctors, had multiple tests, bi-yearly scans and more. During this time I also had close to 20 surgeries. There hasn’t been a year in two decades, where I haven’t ‘maxed’ out my out-of-pocket expenses and I have GREAT health care insurance. If I didn’t have great insurance, well, almost certainly, I would have long been dead.

In spite of having GREAT insurance, the total heath care billed each year ranged between $10,000 before insurance adjustments to well over $500,000 in some years. Even with the great insurance, my out-of-pocket expenses (not including alternative treatments, supplements, therapists, and other assorted necessities) have been in the thousands of dollars per year. And I am just one person.

In The Nation of Cancer there is plenty of money to be made in service to its citizenry. And for now that may be a good thing. Even though in the developed countries of the world, the yearly mortality rates from cancer are decreasing due to awareness campaigns, early detection and treatment, the incidence of cancer worldwide is increasing, and is now the leading cause of death.

Under the current model, this is good for business! This model has each individual as a potential annuity stream of income for follow-up care as well as for the possibilities of recurrence and/or secondary cancer diagnoses. Since this model focuses on early detection and ‘awareness’, if it turns out that that the cancer is detected when it is too late, our society will pull out all stops and spend a great deal of money to possibly extend life that is measured in months not years. Again this is good for business!

The Industry of Cancer

Everyone needs to make money, right? There is HUGE money to be made in The Nation of Cancer. Unfortunately while in the service of ‘treating’ cancer rather than curing cancer, why would the players in this industry want there to be a cure?

Here are some interesting statistics on the cost of cancer care in the US (again dated information) but it can only be worse now. See:

http://www.cancer.gov/aboutnci/servingpeople/cancer-statistics/costofcancer

It would be impossible for me to include all the stakeholders in the supply and care chain that have their hand in the cancer pie, so I will just focus on the top money makers. Continue Reading…