Author Topic: Priority of cancer research  (Read 2590 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

zekallinos

  • *
  • Tier 5
  • **
  • Posts: 270
  • Gender: Male
Priority of cancer research
« on: March 31, 2009, 10:14:34 AM »
Disclaimer : I am NOT saying that we should stop funding cancer research the day after tomorrow or anything as such.

Let's think it this way. Cancer, as we know kills thousands every day. Most of those people are old people. It is one of the most common disease. There are also plenty of other diseases, but cancer is pretty much the major one.

Quote
According to pathologists, "A natural death is a death that results from a natural disease process, distinct from a death that results from accident or violence." But nowadays death from disease is rarely allowed to be natural; it is artificially prolonged by drugs and/or machines and in the eyes not only of medical professionals but of most patients and families, it results from medical measures' failure.

So let my ask you this. Does the so called "natural death" still exists? Is it possible to have a death not labeled to one of the new "disease" found by medicine every half-hour? Remember, the term was invented at the time when the word cancer was still associated with the zodiac sign.

The fact is, humans we're not made to be eternal. We don't age for nothing, that's the cycle of LIFE. Just like an old machine, it's normal that your cells end up deteriorating. Of course you may feel some uneasiness or whatever, but of course! You can't die of "natural death" when you are a healthy top-shape ancestor, because if you are, you're not going to die just yet! So instead of treating life as a rubber band and trying to stretch it as long as we can, can't we just proudly meet our maker?

But assume we do make a huge technology leap and life expectancy is raised to 120 years. What then? Obviously, another "disease". Yet another, another, another, one after another. But if you live that long, are you also going to postpone retirement, to like 85 years old? If not, where are you going to get the money to live the extra 30 years of your life? In some places, there are social programs from the government meant to help these people, but to get that money, we are going to have to take even more money from the younger (worker) class aren't we? If you live 30 years more, you have no choice but to work 20 years more, or else huge economic problems will follow (life is NOT free, you NEED to work).

I feel so much like an ass writing this. But don't misunderstand me. There are people I know who died of cancer. At 45. Yeah, it would be REALLY practical if it was possible to save them back then. But cancer at 80? Is it worth saving, really?

When the money could go to much bigger killers, like global warming? Tornadoes, floods, droughts...we don't realize that these could end up killing much more then cancer does don't we?

Stardale

  • Freebird Linguist-Actor
  • *
  • Tier 7
  • **
  • Posts: 3759
  • Gender: Male
    • Blog
  • Current Mood: happy happy
  • Discord ID: senseigab#6268
  • Twitter: senseigab
Re: Priority of cancer research
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2009, 11:24:15 AM »
There are people I know who died of cancer. At 45. Yeah, it would be REALLY practical if it was possible to save them back then. But cancer at 80? Is it worth saving, really?
All I can say is that All life forms are important. Its a principle in Ecology. Though at some point, I have to agree with you there. Sometimes, not all old persons (like those in the old years already) have the strength to work and serve any longer. The main reason why most families save old cancer patients is because of their feelings/emotions to this person, whether male or female, even if things under the bright sun seemed hopeless. Lets take for instance that your mom is an 80y/o cancer patient. What would be your decision?

When the money could go to much bigger killers, like global warming? Tornadoes, floods, droughts...we don't realize that these could end up killing much more then cancer does don't we?

But these natural calamities can be avoided. You can escape from Tornadoes and floods by awareness, being prepared and early evacuation. You can avoid droughts and famines by saving food and stop being excessive. When we do those, less die. But in Cancer, there is no absolute cure for it. What is it? You are going to waste billions of dollars/pesos/yen/pounds/euros for just finding a cure? The only way there is at the moment is prevention. 

Reives

  • Dr Platplat
  • Director
  • Tier 7
  • ****
  • Posts: 11332
  • Gender: Male
    • Freebird Games
  • Current Mood: happy happy
Re: Priority of cancer research
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2009, 12:00:31 PM »
Another problem is over-population, on top of that the proportion of seniors being increased dramatically (already somewhat happening).

In order to aid the cases where 45 year olds are being afflicted with cancer, the life-span lengthening of seniors is almost a spill-over "side-effect", if looking at it as a negative phenomenon. People like to have control, and to develop a cure would mean having the capability of saving the families where the single working mother who has two children is afflicted with the disease. While I think curing cancer itself doesn't necessarily extend the life span on the higher end, it does raise the average life span, resulting in a higher proportion of seniors - still a fairly big problem.

I'd say that it's more or less a choice of weighting personal values (comforting individual cruel cases) against society values (a healthy population proportion). Kinda reminds me of arguing for or against utilitarianism.

As for the suggestion of fundings going to other killers like floods, droughts and etc. - if we're just talking about the casualties resulted as the incentive as the sentence seemed to suggest, and not the previous source of vacillation; why cancer research? If we're weighting lives saved, there are countless fundings wasted in areas that don't save lives per se, and it's somewhat like saying "why chew gum when you can use that dollar and save the life of a child in Africa?" It's a matter of where to draw the line.

zekallinos

  • *
  • Tier 5
  • **
  • Posts: 270
  • Gender: Male
Re: Priority of cancer research
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2009, 12:43:16 PM »
What I mean was, we could put much more research on ways get clean water (very problematic in pretty much everywhere except a few places in the northern hemisphere), find a way to "un-fuse" CO2 or something...which should reduce some of the natural disaster which will become ever more frequent. Alright, maybe not that good examples, but there are a lot of long term potential crises to take care of NOW.

The proportion of seniors is more due to that fact that the children/women ration is under 2.1 (in some places). But then again, too many babies and we will have overpopulation. Impossible choice.

(P.S. Bubble gums and other products can stimulate economy resulting in more money.)

Quote
Lets take for instance that your mom is an 80y/o cancer patient. What would be your decision?

I knew this would be brought up. This is where it becomes important for everyone - not just me or my mother - to start accepting that life comes to an end one day. Minimize the pain and die proudly in sleep. But the current trend right know isn't to "die proudly".

KRoP

  • Tier 5
  • *
  • Posts: 389
  • lol quintessence
Re: Priority of cancer research
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2009, 07:33:08 PM »
  The inevitable discussion here is going to be the problems of overpopulation.  The two issues here are the growth rate of the human race and the ratio of retired people to workers.
  The population almost quadrouples every generation (one baby is born every three seconds, while a person dies every 13).  There are numerous results that can sprout from this.
  • Not too long ago, I wrote a short story about a terrorist organization, which killed and killed just so the population wouldn't grow anymore.  Either this will happen, or it will be organized by government, which seems far more sinister.
  • Another event I touched upon with the afformentioned short story: the destruction of all plant life, and subsequently following the destruction of all animal life (or vice versa, perhaps).  So following it will be a collosal collapse in population.
  A limited number of children isn't going to work either, because it increases/quickens the next problem.
  The other problem, ratio of retirees to workers.  It'll come to be that the workers will be worked exhaustively, while the food produced will be slowly decreasing for the relaxing retirees.  To find the likely solution to this problem, let's look at the philosiphical insights of The Giver.  Within that book, instead of a retirement age, there was a death age, a set time, based on the average of when workers are no longer capable of working, when the worker will be executed.  Similar to the terrorist organization, but not as randomized.
  I've listed out the only solutions to the problem that don't randomized killings, the destruction of all life (not as melodramatic as it sounds), or decrease life quality.  Of course, none of them will come into play, just as Reives had said.  We can say "this needs to stop" but as one death is a tragedy and a million is a statistic, they will either never come into play (the exception is India and other countries in the far east, but I still don't believe that death cap law is going to last long) or tragedy stories will create exception upon exception to the point of repealment.

. . .

  Sorry for the rant. :x
I recently discovered that I was capable of sending coins to myself, and exploiting this is surprisingly entertaining.

Valtier

  • Tier 5
  • *
  • Posts: 368
  • Gender: Male
  • Apathy taken to an artform
  • Current Mood: depressed depressed
Re: Priority of cancer research
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2009, 06:48:28 PM »
This topic is getting Orwellian.

Sticking to the original question, I don't see how the elderly are the only ones suffering from cancer.  I kid you not, I know of and am having to deal with a fourteen year old boy who was diagnosed with lung cancer two weeks ago.  Honestly, I don't agree with natural selection here, and while I realize that this was a result of stupidity and not fate, the kid deserves a chance at life.  Looking at cancer as a pruning of the elderly population really isn't the right way to look at discovering a treatment for it, neither morally or logically.

zekallinos

  • *
  • Tier 5
  • **
  • Posts: 270
  • Gender: Male
Re: Priority of cancer research
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2009, 10:59:39 PM »
This topic is getting Orwellian.

Sticking to the original question, I don't see how the elderly are the only ones suffering from cancer.  I kid you not, I know of and am having to deal with a fourteen year old boy who was diagnosed with lung cancer two weeks ago.  Honestly, I don't agree with natural selection here, and while I realize that this was a result of stupidity and not fate, the kid deserves a chance at life.  Looking at cancer as a pruning of the elderly population really isn't the right way to look at discovering a treatment for it, neither morally or logically.

Totally agree. My question was more aimed towards the 70+. But cases such as that one are not that common. During the course of our life, we keep hearing cancer cancer cancer research. At one point, we develop a phobia as our life progresses and knowing that in your late age you will get cancer (or some other common lethal disease) so you want to keep the reaper away for as long as you can, fruitlessly, and only to be miserable for the last days of your life (at least, it's the case for some people).