Cancer will always be with us, according to more recent research

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http://www.npr.org/2014/08/21/342012360/an-unstoppable-killer-new-research-suggests-cancer-cant-be-cured

The first comment below the article at that link reads:

Cancer Researcher:
As a cancer researcher...I don't think we've ever thought the possibility of eradication feasible. Most of my colleagues look to more of a co-existence or management model much like HIV as a more achievable goal...this puts a greater emphasis on advancing early detection vs late stage cures.

A great many of us are possessed of the idea that the medical establishment is watching our collective back, working feverishly to cure every ill the flesh is heir to.

From another thread:
Let me talk about how Big Pharma is to thank for pretty much all the pharmaceutical breakthroughs in the last 5 decades, if not more.

I doubt if going into implicit detail would do much good, but suffice it to say that a "breakthrough" can only be called such if it can be patented.

This severely limits the range of useful substances available to patients.

From another thread:
Developing pharmaceuticals is a complex, expensive and long process, that's why a cure for Alzheimer's or Asthma has been in the works for the last 3 or so decades and still isn't on the market.

We are talking development costs in the billions of dollars for the most cutting edge or revolutionary pharmaceuticals. Big Pharma realizes that whoever finds a cure for cancer will make all those billions back and then make enough cash to make Bill Gates seem like a pauper, because everyone is going to want the sure-fire cure and they will be ready to pay a lot to get it.

Given the above-stated facts(?), let us consider the logical consequences of finding a cure for Cancer, Alzheimer's or Asthma.

Parkinson's Law provides a useful explanation:

The First Corollary:

"In only the rarest of circumstances can an organization succeed if the fulfillment of a singular assigned mission means an end to the purpose which created it. If not provided with a subsequent mission, the organization will actually impede the goal(s) for which it owes its very existence."


If Big Pharma announces a sure-fire cure for "X chronic disease", then their patient base for that disease evaporates. It therefore makes more financial sense, in the long run, to keep a steady stream of patients alive, but sufficiently ill so as to necessitate protracted treatment; better known as "Symptom Management".

This often strikes many as an unlikely postulate, but consider that after all those who can be cured, have been cured, it would spell the end of the disease itself, as a sure-fire cure also means a sure-fire preventative. This would eliminate the need for research foundations and fund raisers, not to mention the disease specialists would find themselves redundant.

A gentleman in my acquaintance was recently diagnosed with a 3.5 CM malignant tumor in the lower left lung for which he was given 3 courses of Platinol, a Cisplatin based chemotherapy drug which has been in continuous use since its introduction in 1978.

His oncologist told him "though our success rates with this drug have leveled off, this is still cutting edge stuff we're using."

Most people seem to exhibit a sort of "Stockholm Syndrome" when it comes to their regard for modern medicine as in the quote below:

from another thread:
...it is still better that someone survives because Big Pharma spent the time and resources and took the risk on an experimental drug then if both died in agony because Big Pharma didn't exist...

Big Pharma might be driven by profit, but it also plows down insane amounts of money into pharmaceutical development and research, far more money then any or all governments or NGOs could ever do.

Big Pharma wouldn't plow down insane amounts of money if there was no guarantee of an equally insane return on the other end.

As stated above, this usually involves a patent. Without that, the profits aren't there. Nothing is done "for the good of the people"; that's not where the money is.

DMSO is one of the more well-publicized substances that could benefit almost anyone, yet it is continually kept out of modern medical practice, and its use is discouraged among physicians.

This news report from 1980 shows just how well DMSO can improve such a wide variety of ailments, and gives the reasons why it will never be adopted for clinical use:

Your Life is Their Toy - Merchants in Medicine (1948):

...the attitude adopted (toward modern medicine) has been much like that
of the ostrich:

"Why shall we face the horrors of the situation and permit ourselves
to develop a fear and consternation of the medical care and institutions
which we must accept when ill? It will only aggravate matters."

This attitude implies a failure to realize that most of these rackets will shrivel
and vanish when exposed; and the balance can be destroyed easily by the force of public opinion and action intelligently directed.

It is my purpose to expose them and to point out how the public can act to protect itself.

Well, maybe they could tone down ethics a bit and focus on the prevention via genetic level.
(or we can debate this for few million years until natural selection sort things out - at least for cancer that kicks in before reproduction)

P.S: nobody likes a quitter.

Maybe my paranoia wants me to believe this is true, I hope it is not. On the plus side, we have all the rapid science from the capitalist motivations of money. A negative would be the lack of "morals" or "ethics" I guess, whichever word fits better, that these industries are allowed to operate with.

Eh, we'll fix it in time. It's like ageing, or our own mortality. It's an unfortunate imperfection in our design that we will one day cure. You and I won't see it. We'll die. But our descendant won't have to worry about this.

Pirate Of PC Master race:
You guys read this shit?

Rosiv:
Nope.

Fox12:
Me either.

image

TL;DR Version:

Big Pharma profits, Oncology, Fundraisers, Research Foundations, and Charities all go away if Cancer is cured. They don't want to go away and get new jerbs.

Mr.Savage:
I can't read or understand words. Here's a picture of George Clooney.

I read the article. In the scope of the vastness of time and space, cancer is less then nothing. We are less then nothing. The entire human race is less then nothing. And I'm supposed to be scared of a few pharmaceutical companies? Everyone and everything you've ever known will be destroyed, including Earth and the human race, and none of them will be remembered. Every work of art, every conquerer, every hero, every despot, and every humanitarian will be forgotten. All of the groups you mentioned will fade away into dust. We're talking about a passage of time lasting millions, and billions of years. As society and technology advance, finding the cure to cancer will not only be possible, it will be inevitable. Assuming we don't go extinct first.

We won't see it. You and me are going to die, and it will probably be very, very painful. Thankfully, if our feeble race survives long enough, our descendants won't have this problem. They'll find the cure to every disease imaginable. Then they'll discover the cure to mortality. All the groups you mentioned are feeble little pissants that can, at best, hold back humanity for a few seconds before the long march of progress carries on. All they will do is guarantee that a few more people die. Big pharma may seem powerful, but in the face of the sheer scope of time they are nothing. They are a temporary construct of a flawed economic system that hasn't worked itself out yet.

Yes, it's distressing that there's so much wrong in the world. And it's sad that we won't live long enough to see it changed. It's sad that we will have to suffer, and then die. But there is hope. Not for us. We're the damned. But our descendants will be able to live a much better life then us, and that's good. I've seen my mom stricken with cancer. I've seen my aunt, uncle's, and grandparents die of cancer. I've seen my uncle waste away with AIDs while his family demonized his homosexual lifestyle. I know that I have a higher risk of cancer then most people, due to genes. That all really sucks. But future people won't have to worry about any of that, and that makes me feel pretty good.

Fox12:

I read the article. In the scope of the vastness of time and space, cancer is less then nothing.

After many years studying patents, out-of-print books, and medical articles by people ahead of their time, there aren't words to effectively convey just how ironic that statement is.

Fox12:
We are less then nothing. The entire human race is less then nothing.

I wasn't trying to broach the existential, but these days, I am inclined to agree with this world view.

Fox12:
And I'm supposed to be scared of a few pharmaceutical companies?

You're not supposed to be scared of them, but let's face it; we will all require medical attention of some sort in the future if we haven't before.

I can only speak for myself, but I'll be looking for something other than prescription drugs and needless surgery to deal with any health problems that may crop up.

Fox12:
Everyone and everything you've ever known will be destroyed, including Earth and the human race, and none of them will be remembered. Every work of art, every conquerer, every hero, every despot, and every humanitarian will be forgotten. All of the groups you mentioned will fade away into dust. We're talking about a passage of time lasting millions, and billions of years. As society and technology advance, finding the cure to cancer will not only be possible, it will be inevitable. Assuming we don't go extinct first.

I can't help but hear the voice of Carl Sagan in my head as I read that bit. You're mostly right, and I struggle with a defeatist perspective all the time.

What I find bemusing is the assumption that the cure for cancer would be made cheap and available to all; as if our decedents would lack the imperative to exploit others. Natural selection can only purge so many poor traits.

Fox12:
We won't see it. You and me are going to die, and it will probably be very, very painful.

Probably a realistic prediction, but if there is even a remote possibility of avoiding that last bit, it warrants investigation.

Fox12:
All the groups you mentioned are feeble little pissants that can, at best, hold back humanity for a few seconds before the long march of progress carries on. All they will do is guarantee that a few more people die. Big pharma may seem powerful, but in the face of the sheer scope of time they are nothing. They are a temporary construct of a flawed economic system that hasn't worked itself out yet.

Given the whole "those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it" thing, I doubt very much that things will work themselves out when history shows how unnatural a course that would be.

Fox12:
Yes, it's distressing that there's so much wrong in the world. And it's sad that we won't live long enough to see it changed. It's sad that we will have to suffer, and then die. But there is hope. Not for us. We're the damned."

Defeatism is always alluring, and in so many situations, it's practically realism. The fact is; there are a dizzying amount of real-world solutions that have been proven to work, but would disrupt the current economic system, so they aren't brought out through mainstream channels.

Fox12:
That all really sucks. But future people won't have to worry about any of that, and that makes me feel pretty good.

I'm not so confident that a utopia awaits our decedents, nor am I contented to suffer in my own time by subjecting my flesh and blood to the whimsy of a system that seeks only to profit from my misfortune.

Mr.Savage:
snip

Parkinson's Law provides a useful explanation:

The First Corollary:

"In only the rarest of circumstances can an organization succeed if the fulfillment of a singular assigned mission means an end to the purpose which created it. If not provided with a subsequent mission, the organization will actually impede the goal(s) for which it owes its very existence."


snip

Meh, this does look very much like an ad hoc explanation at best, not suited to make any useful prediction about what to expect from an organization. You could say the exact same thing about literally every single interest group or field which does not exclusively rely on unpaid work and is meant to solve any sort of problem. Just a few examples: the police, WHO, any kind of politcal activism, environmentalism... just to name a few, but the list is endless.

one squirrel:
Meh, this does look very much like an ad hoc explanation at best, not suited to make any useful prediction about what to expect from an organization.

What is the specific variable which renders this explanation ad hoc?

one squirrel:
You could say the exact same thing about literally every single interest group or field which does not exclusively rely on unpaid work and is meant to solve any sort of problem. Just a few examples: the police, WHO, any kind of politcal activism, environmentalism... just to name a few, but the list is endless.

The entities you mention are elastic in their function, and therefore adaptable. The some cannot be said for a research institute or an entire medical branch which specializes in a singular discipline whose stated goal is to eradicate the reason for it's very origin.

Management and treatment options will improve. Assuming we can stop companies evergreening patents...

image

Basically, this isthe real problem confronting us to ever finding better drugs that actually do more. It's actually more profitable to patent a slightly less effective compound medication formulae (knowingly), wait till people complain and/or patent runs out, change the formula to something you always knew was going to work better, evergreen the patent by saying it's something entirely new.

A lot of countries outlaw that practice, but in the US it's legal and even outside the US it's incredibly expensive and time consuming to fight.

I don't think cancer is 'curable'. Cancer is a lifelong spectre that even if you beat it requires constant scanning and examination to see if it returns. It's not something you can simply vaccinate against, nor is there likely going to be a magic, all-purpose pill that cures all cancer in every form.

I think cancer will become easier and quicker to diagnose, and treatment better, but I don't see how you could cure cancer.

Mr.Savage:

one squirrel:
Meh, this does look very much like an ad hoc explanation at best, not suited to make any useful prediction about what to expect from an organization.

What is the specific variable which renders this explanation ad hoc?

one squirrel:
You could say the exact same thing about literally every single interest group or field which does not exclusively rely on unpaid work and is meant to solve any sort of problem. Just a few examples: the police, WHO, any kind of politcal activism, environmentalism... just to name a few, but the list is endless.

The entities you mention are elastic in their function, and therefore adaptable. The some cannot be said for a research institute or an entire medical branch which specializes in a singular discipline whose stated goal is to eradicate the reason for it's very origin.

Admittedly, my use of the word ad hoc was not correct, but you understand what I mean. I am still not convinced that

1. The financial gain of curing a disease would be lower than treating symptoms. If I ran a company which could cure cancer, surely, after some time the funding for cancer research would disappear, but I would be the richest Mofo on the face of the earth by that time.

2. Reseachers wouldn't just find a cure and promote it just to become famous or for their own gratification. If someone could cure for AIDS or cancer, private companies would not be the only possible way to distribute and promote it. The state/government has a huge interest in the physical wellbeing of citizens, not even to mention the insurance sector.

What would, according to you, be the solution, or best counter-measure to Parkinson's law? I don't see an alternative to Big Pharma.

Misleading title is misleading. it should read something more like "cancer cannot be stopped from being a possibility" which i will admit is not very sexy at all but more accurate. nothing to do with curing a given individuals cancer but about eliminating it from humanity the way we can do with diseases such as smallpox.

they might even be right. might not be of course, these things could well change as we learn more.

First of all cancer isn't one thing, it is a large collection of different diseases that feature similar symptoms and causes. We CAN cure cancer, certain cancers caught at certain stages can be cured, so that blows the first hole in this conspiracy theory bullshit.

Secondly there will likely continue to be more effective treatments for various cancers developed. There are some interesting treatments for some cancers coming down the pipe even now.

Keep in mind that cancer cells are our own cells. Anything that can kill the cancer cells can and will kill our own cells. That is why chemotherapy is so awful for people to take.

As advanced as our medicine is we still have a long ways to go in understanding and healing the human body. Compared to even 100 years ago the advances in the field of medicine have been IMMENSE. I cannot overstate to you how far we've come. So many diseases that could not be cured, conditions that had no treatment, that today no one has to think twice about. Yet we take it all for granted. If I had been born 100 years ago I'd have almost no vision left, because I have a rare eye disorder that damages my vision. Because of modern medicine I have close to normal vision.

There is no big conspiracy here, you can literally email the people working on cancer treatments today, and I urge everyone reading this kind of stuff, be skeptical. The fact that we don't have this anymore:

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-SgdTsCd5QmQ/UrcDkgUsWYI/AAAAAAAAIBY/aqdOdTrEBKo/s1600/Children+in+an+iron+lung+before+the+advent+of+the+polio+vaccination,+1937+2.jpg

should clue us all in to the fact that we're living in a golden age of medicine and things are only getting better. We should all feel lucky to be living when we are.

Another case of latest paper syndrom settles the answer for ever. Science is a process that produces changing conclusions based on evidence. If you analyse a data set a certain way you get one answer, if you analyse a data set a different way you get a another answer. If you get a bigger data set then the answer changes again. The process always continues and a hypothesis is there to be disproved.

So what if the lastest paper says the possibility of cancer will always exist. Another paper published next month might say the opposite. A published paper is the first stage of the debate and all it does is open the area to further investigation.

one squirrel:
I am still not convinced that:

1. The financial gain of curing a disease would be lower than treating symptoms. If I ran a company which could cure cancer, surely, after some time the funding for cancer research would disappear, but I would be the richest Mofo on the face of the earth by that time.

The thing is, your cure would have to be expensive if you want to be the richest Mofo around. And you would have a limited number of patients to make that money off of.

So you want money? Then you take a page from Big Pharma, and lean towards treatments which are the most expensive, the most complicated, and least accommodating to self-administration as you can get. Only in this way can you justify your funding requirements.

Many cancer drugs cost well over $100,000 for a year's worth of medicine. In the fight against cancer, most people can expect to be on more than one drug. The bill for medications can escalate to nearly $300,000, a price tag that doesn't include fees charged by a doctor or a hospital. Health insurance companies - including government polices like Medicare - don't cover the full cost of these drugs. Some policies don't cover some of these drugs at all.

Bristol-Myers Squibb will charge $141,000 for the first 12 weeks of treatment and $256,000 for a year of treatment, according to the Wall Street Journal.

And don't forget, cancer often reoccurs, and is treated the same way all over again. Something you can't take advantage of so you have to make hay while the sun shines.

How can a cure that works the first time generate more revenue than something like Chemotherapy which doesn't work every time?

At that point, it comes down to simple ethics, really.

one squirrel:
2. Reseachers wouldn't just find a cure and promote it just to become famous or for their own gratification. If someone could cure for AIDS or cancer, private companies would not be the only possible way to distribute and promote it. The state/government has a huge interest in the physical wellbeing of citizens, not even to mention the insurance sector.

The government would likely step in and regulate how much you could charge for the cure, so that anyone could get it.

one squirrel:
What would, according to you, be the solution, or best counter-measure to Parkinson's law? I don't see an alternative to Big Pharma.

Honestly, the best alternative to Big Pharma that I've run across is what this guy had going (and he isn't even the first one to discover it):

If I'm reading this right, you're pointing to a two year old article and then making the claim that cancer is only incurable because of the money involved.

It's a strange argument to make, honestly, because there are better examples to point to that may actually be legitimately what your talking about (Though I wouldn't make the argument myself). Cancer isn't one of them. For one, as Amir Kondori pointed out, cancer is a huge world, with hundreds of conditions being linked under the name 'cancer' who's only shared characteristic is 'cells gone wild.'

For two, there is a very good reason why many say cancer is unpreventable - It's a logical consequence of how cells work. Trying to create a 'vaccine' for cancer is about as reasonable as creating an oil system for a combustion engine that never requires oil replacement - It's a fruitless endeavor that boggles the mind. Where to even start?

Will we ever being able to prevent cancer? Perhaps. But if there is a way to do that, it's probably unlike anything we currently practice in medicine. It's going to be something as bizarre to us now as the idea of vaccination were in 1797.

Mr.Savage:

one squirrel:
What would, according to you, be the solution, or best counter-measure to Parkinson's law? I don't see an alternative to Big Pharma.

Honestly, the best alternative to Big Pharma that I've run across is what this guy had going (and he isn't even the first one to discover it):

John Holt used hyperthermia therapy to treat cancer, yes. But it's a therapy that's currently being used in many places. Modern medicine (Or Big Pharma) is picking it up and running with it.

Mr.Savage:

The entities you mention are elastic in their function, and therefore adaptable. The some cannot be said for a research institute or an entire medical branch which specializes in a singular discipline whose stated goal is to eradicate the reason for it's very origin.

Yes, because one a research institute cures cancer, or rather another form of cancer since cancer represents a wide variety of different diseases, there obviously will never be a single disease ever. The medical system will break down, because a single disease was cured. Oh, the humanity.

Your entire point is pointless. Reseach institutes and medical personal isn't flexible? Theres enough diseases for research institutes to operate for centuries. One kind of disease cured will put noone out of existance. And even if a cure is found it will still be need to be adminerstered by doctors. Or they will just start to specialize in something else.
That's not even touching the fact that holding back a cure would be retarded since it would easily make the corporation or individual inventing it one of the richest in the world.

Amir Kondori:
We CAN cure cancer, certain cancers caught at certain stages can be cured, so that blows the first hole in this conspiracy theory bullshit.

I'm talking about curing terminal cases. Early detection is small potatos. What little progress is reported by the pollyanna of the cancer profession can primarily be attributable to early detection and prevention - activities which cannot begin to address, quantitatively, the large sums invested each year in cancer research and treatment.

Amir Kondori:
Keep in mind that cancer cells are our own cells. Anything that can kill the cancer cells can and will kill our own cells. That is why chemotherapy is so awful for people to take.

Liposomal Cisplatin is at least a step in the right direction as regards the mitigation of collateral damage to healthy cells: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20671511

Amir Kondori:
As advanced as our medicine is we still have a long ways to go in understanding and healing the human body.

That exact phraseology is repeated ad nauseum in the medical field.

Michael Thun - Head of Epidemiology, American Cancer Society:
In terms of the big picture, we are continuing to make progress, but we have a very long way to go."

Amir Kondori:
Compared to even 100 years ago the advances in the field of medicine have been IMMENSE. I cannot overstate to you how far we've come. So many diseases that could not be cured, conditions that had no treatment, that today no one has to think twice about. Yet we take it all for granted. If I had been born 100 years ago I'd have almost no vision left, because I have a rare eye disorder that damages my vision. Because of modern medicine I have close to normal vision.

I'm not indicting the entirety of modern medicine. I myself have benefited from the skilled hands of a trauma surgeon after an accident, but that, admittedly, is a less profitable branch of practice.

Amir Kondori:
There is no big conspiracy here

I never suggested there was. I merely stated that the current business model utilized by Big Pharma is a long established one, and they are used to making money a certain way.

Amir Kondori:
The fact that we don't have this anymore:

image

should clue us all in to the fact that we're living in a golden age of medicine and things are only getting better. We should all feel lucky to be living when we are.

July, 1949 SOUTHERN MEDICINE & SURGERY- Dr. Frederick Klenner, MD:
In the poliomyelitis epidemic in North Carolina in 1948, 60 cases of this disease came under our care. These patients presented all or almost all of these signs and symptoms: Fever of 101 to 104.6?, headache, pain at the back of the eyes, conjunctivitis, scarlet throat; pain between the shoulders, the back of the neck, one or more extremity, the lumbar back; nausea, vomiting and constipation.

The treatment employed was Vitamin C in massive doses, given intravenously. It was given like any other antibiotic every two to four hours. The initial dose was 1000 to 2000 mg., depending on age. Children up to four years received the injections intramuscularly.

With precautions taken, every last patient of the 60 recovered uneventfully within three to five days, escaping the iron lung.

Your Life is Their Toy - Merchants in Medicine (1948):
During the past century there has been a great improvement in the art of medicine. Some of this improvement does not represent a real advance in medical science, but constitutes the process of retracing ground that was lost when young medical science arrogantly threw aside the age-old tradition of medicine that accumulated and was handed down since the origin of man. But real advance has been made. If this aspect of the subject is slighted, it is not because of failure of appreciation of it.

Amaror:

Reseach institutes and medical personal isn't flexible?"

Not the specialist branches, no. How does an Oncologist change his specialty?

Amaror:
Theres enough diseases for research institutes to operate for centuries. One kind of disease cured will put no one out of existance.

No, but it would cut off a rather significant revenue stream

Amaror:
And even if a cure is found it will still be need to be adminerstered by doctors.

Would you be opposed to self-administration?

Amaror:

That's not even touching the fact that holding back a cure would be retarded since it would easily make the corporation or individual inventing it one of the richest in the world.

And you think that all the drug companies who compound Chemotherapy wouldn't lobby against the proliferation of something that jeopardizes their position?

AccursedTheory:
If I'm reading this right, you're pointing to a two year old article and then making the claim that cancer is only incurable because of the money involved.

You read it right.

AccursedTheory:
It's a strange argument to make, honestly, because there are better examples to point to that may actually be legitimately what your talking about

Such as?

AccursedTheory:
(Though I wouldn't make the argument myself)

That's why I'm doing it. It's popular to assume that the Medical Industry puts public health first, but a thorough examination of their own history reveals obvious incongruities.

AccursedTheory:

Will we ever being able to prevent cancer? Perhaps. But if there is a way to do that, it's probably unlike anything we currently practice in medicine. It's going to be something as bizarre to us now as the idea of vaccination were in 1797.

While you'd maintain it would be highly improbable, do you believe it is at all possible for this discovery to originate outside of the conventional research circles?

AccursedTheory:
John Holt used hyperthermia therapy to treat cancer, yes. But it's a therapy that's currently being used in many places. Modern medicine (Or Big Pharma) is picking it up and running with it.

And Holt didn't even originate the concept of using RF bands to target Cancer. That honor goes to Royal R. Rife (1934), whose method was quite unique, and even garnered acceptance by the Smithsonian Institute. It used coordinative resonance (without diathermic effects) to selectively target cancer, leaving healthy tissue unharmed. His discovery was violently suppressed by the Medical Trust.

image

https://archive.org/stream/annualreportofbo1944smit#page/206/mode/2up/search/rife (Smithsonian Institute Report.)

This very same concept was rediscovered independently by Anthony Holland:

There was an episode of Vice fairly recently about the new methods of tackling cancer.
Scientists are taking diseases such as meningitis and even aids, tinkering with them so the disease becomes a vaccine that helps the bodies immune system, to then discover and attack tumours.

Here is a snippet of the documentary, it's fascinating stuff and the doctors in it believe we will have a cure possibly in our lifetimes.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGkJYMPPA4s

Cancer is going to always be with us I imagine but I think one day we will be able to manage it.

Considering cancer is just uncontrolled cell growth caused by a variety of ailments and mutations.

Until we figure out how to stop mutating, best we can do is play whack-a-mole with whatever pops up.

Here's the thing that must be understood about cancer, and in fact about medicine as a science in general: compared to other fields of science, medicine is about 150 years behind. The state of medical science right now is roughly comparable to the state of physics in the mid-to-late 19th century, looking back in a few hundreds we would undoubtedly call this era medicine's "Classical period", much like how the 19th century was for physics. We're making good progress and have figured out some fundamental ideas, but we've run into some things that we completely lack the scientific knowledge to adequately deal with. Germ theory was medicine's Principia and things like cancer, prion disease, and aging are medicine's Ultraviolet Catastrophe. Medicine is not constrained by money but rather by the state of medical science.

There will never be a thoroughly perfect way to prevent cancer. There are 100 trillion of cells in your body and billions of cell divisions happen every day. Errors in gene copying are inevitable, and in fact they happen constantly. Your immune system is constantly identifying and destroying cancerous cells before they become tumors, sooner or later someone's immune system is going to fail to catch one. "Big Pharma" would roll over for a perfect cancer prevention drug because everyone in the world would want to buy it and every person to ever be born from there on would be a customer, and even if that was impossible then a perfect cure would still be highly desirable to them because, due to the inevitability of cancer, they will forever be guaranteed a market. They don't exactly like chemotherapy either, chemotherapy is so expensive because those drugs are so expensive to produce.

Mr.Savage:

Amaror:

That's not even touching the fact that holding back a cure would be retarded since it would easily make the corporation or individual inventing it one of the richest in the world.

And you think that all the drug companies who compound Chemotherapy wouldn't lobby against the proliferation of something that jeopardizes their position?

This is a perfect example of game theory, specifically this is what's called a "Rabbit and Stag" problem. The medical industry as a whole would (taking for granted that what you're saying actually is true) benefit from suppressing a cancer cure, however, they would have to cooperate in unison (the "stag"). However, the first company to market a cancer cure (the "defect" option, ie the "rabbit") would be in the position to market a product with no competition. Thus even though cooperating (contributing to the suppression) might be cheaper and ultimately more profitable than defecting (developing a revolutionary new medicine), it has an uncertain result because every other company individually has a motivation to defect, hence all companies defect. This is why profit-motivated technological suppression just doesn't happen in the real world.

Cancer is a malfunction of cells, something that has a higher and higher possibility of happening the older a body is. The best way to prevent cancer is to exercise and eat well, to keep the cells in your body healthy and therefore less likely to glitch out and kill you. That's why I don't mourn people who die from cancer in their 80s - it's a simple eventuality. In cases like this it was not a genetic predisposition like it might be for some forms of breast cancer or kids who get it at age 5 - simply a thing that happened because that person was old. For the kinds of cancer that can be traced back to genetics and are therefore preventable, great, go forth and research a cure. But this is not all cancers so there will never be a magic pill that kills the disease in all its forms.

one squirrel:

Meh, this does look very much like an ad hoc explanation at best, not suited to make any useful prediction about what to expect from an organization. You could say the exact same thing about literally every single interest group or field which does not exclusively rely on unpaid work and is meant to solve any sort of problem. Just a few examples: the police, WHO, any kind of politcal activism, environmentalism... just to name a few, but the list is endless.

Pretty much. The "but if they solve it, they will be out of work" fallacy is just that, a fallacy. It implies that cancer research is all that these companies/scientists/groups do. That's like the conspiracy theory that climate scientists are just pushing climate change to make work for themselves even though they all know it's a hoax. There's still going to be climate research to be done even if we fix man-made climate change, and there will still be medical research to do even if we cure a disease.

Medicine is an arms race. You knock out one threat and there will always be more. It's entirely fine to be wary of big-pharma. They do some very shady things with how lax current US regulations regarding them are. But the whole "they don't actually want to cure any disease so that they keep us sick forever" is, I feel, more conspiracy theory than anything. And it assumes that every doctor and scientist in America would go along with such a plan (a lot of them would not).

However! On the topic of medicine, no I don't think we'll ever "cure" cancer. Do you realize how many cell divisions are going on in your body at any given time? Do you realize the unfathomable amount of genetic information that your body has to replicate *perfectly* with each division? It's a wonder that we aren't all constantly riddled with cancer. Cancer is, at the end of the day, a natural result from being alive. Short of massively altering the way our cells function (or inventing nanomachines) I don't think we'll be able to pre-emptively cure all cancer.

What we *can* do is develop ever more sophisticated, and ever less-severe, ways of treating it when it crops up. My money is on targeted viral agents myself. Modified viruses that could specifically target and kill cancer cells without the scorched-earth mess that is chemotherapy. Such viral agents could also mark cancer for your body's own immune system to destroy as well (a lot of the really bad cancers are masked from your immune system because they still retain the normal cell markers healthy cells all have). Duke University has done some interesting research using this exact method. They used a modified strain of the polio virus to attack and mark a type of terminal brain cancer, and a portion of their patients actually showed positive results. I believe some of the patients they tested this on even went into remission (which is an incredible result for a type of cancer that is usually 100%, unquestioningly fatal). It's still way too early to tell for sure, but it's very interesting research that could do an amazing amount of good if it turns out to be viable on a larger scale.

I want to say I've heard of another group who wanted to use modified HIV to treat leukemia as well, but I could never find it again when I looked.

I figure we'll either cure cancer or circumscribe it eventually, but it's not something that seems feasible in the current scientific and economic climates. Unless something else does Humanity in first, I'm confident that we'll have made progress some generations down the line.

I won't benefit from it, however. Neither will my children or my grandchildren.

Isn't cancer an unregulated growth of cells? You can't really cure that (as in never have it happen), you can only prevent it.

And yeah, there are so many things that profit from cancer that it is unlikely that we will ever see any amazing preventative measures, within our lifetime at least.

I am a little more optimistic though.

It's a fallacy of the uninitiated to believe that cancer can be 'eradicated'. There is no eradicating cancer. It's just what happens when some cells in your body decide to grow beyond what they normally should.
In fact your body has a multitude of ways to fight cancer. Abnormally growing cells are usually targeted by a section of your immune system (cytotoxic T-cells) and marked for destruction. The T-cells literally tell the cancerous cells to kill themselves (the proper term is apoptosis) before they spread too much. Your body is probably putting out dozens of cancerous growths right now.
A cancer only becomes noticeable when the rogue cells ignore the command to self-destruct and don't stop multiplying. What we need is more effective treatments for cancer, not ways to eradicate it.

rcs619:
[quote="one squirrel" post="18.935172.23537878"]
What we *can* do is develop ever more sophisticated, and ever less-severe, ways of treating it when it crops up. My money is on targeted viral agents myself. Modified viruses that could specifically target and kill cancer cells without the scorched-earth mess that is chemotherapy. Such viral agents could also mark cancer for your body's own immune system to destroy as well (a lot of the really bad cancers are masked from your immune system because they still retain the normal cell markers healthy cells all have). Duke University has done some interesting research using this exact method. They used a modified strain of the polio virus to attack and mark a type of terminal brain cancer, and a portion of their patients actually showed positive results. I believe some of the patients they tested this on even went into remission (which is an incredible result for a type of cancer that is usually 100%, unquestioningly fatal). It's still way too early to tell for sure, but it's very interesting research that could do an amazing amount of good if it turns out to be viable on a larger scale.

I want to say I've heard of another group who wanted to use modified HIV to treat leukemia as well, but I could never find it again when I looked.

I did post this earlier so I hope I don't get told off for it, but vice news did a documentary on these new modified viruses. They used smallpox, HIV, diseases that pretty deadly really. When given the injection the subjects would have a very bad reaction though and results would vary. some have stabilised, others have seen a reduction in their tumours and some have been miraculously cured.
As I said I did post this before so hopefully I don't get told off but you seem like you would be interested in it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGkJYMPPA4s

rcs619:
And it assumes that every doctor and scientist in America would go along with such a plan (a lot of them would not).

I wish this counter-point would get brought up more often. How can you have such little faith in such a large number of people (many of whom have dedicated their entire lives to the advancement of medicine) that you believe that not a single one would let slip that there was a "cure" for cancer?

carlsberg export:

I did post this earlier so I hope I don't get told off for it, but vice news did a documentary on these new modified viruses. They used smallpox, HIV, diseases that pretty deadly really. When given the injection the subjects would have a very bad reaction though and results would vary. some have stabilised, others have seen a reduction in their tumours and some have been miraculously cured.
As I said I did post this before so hopefully I don't get told off but you seem like you would be interested in it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGkJYMPPA4s

It's a really interesting area of study. Viruses are, functionally, naturally-occurring nanomachines. The closest thing we're ever going to get to nanomachines until we develop some serious sci-fi tech too.

Important thing to keep in mind is that they aren't just injecting the viruses. In the Duke case at least, since it's the only one I'm familiar with. They modify the viruses so that they can still infect a cell, force it to break open, do everything as usual... *except* hijack the cell to produce more viruses. So, you're outright killing some cancer cells, but more importantly, you are marking those cells with viral proteins that your body can recognize. The cancer can't hide behind your body's cell-surface markers when your immune system thinks it's infected with a deadly virus. Your body goes "Holy shit guys, those cells have polio. Get 'em!" It's actually a really clever way to deal with cancer.

It's also (potentially) much less harmful to the patient than chemo. Surgical strike instead of scorched Earth.

It is still very, very new though and we definitely need to pursue it carefully. Find the right viruses for the various kinds of cancer, and the right ways to modify them to make sure they do their work safely. And it's entirely possible that there will be some people who will always react to such treatments poorly. Everyone's immune system is a little different, and these viral treatments do rely on the body's immune system to share the load some. The fact that otherwise inoperable, 100% lethal cancers have been reduced, or destroyed is immensely heartening.

But yeah, definitely need to proceed very carefully. I'm cautiously optimistic though. My mom died from brain cancer, so the idea of turning a bunch of viruses loose to eat the bastards up appeals to me greatly on a base, emotional level. Harnessing some of nature's greatest killers, and bending them to our will to save lives. I freaking love it, and I hope it turns out to be a productive field of research :D

Compatriot Block:
I wish this counter-point would get brought up more often. How can you have such little faith in such a large number of people (many of whom have dedicated their entire lives to the advancement of medicine) that you believe that not a single one would let slip that there was a "cure" for cancer?

Especially nowadays. We live in a society where you can't even fart in a public space without twenty different people commenting about it on their social feeds. The idea that *any* big, covert, insanely over-complicated conspiracy could work these days is insane.

And the fact is, there are a *lot* of scientists and doctors out there who also despise big-pharma, and would *love* to blow that kind of story wide open.

So guys are the conspiracy theories that cancer can be cured but 'big pharma' wont cure it pessimistic or optimistic?

Amaror:
[If] the medical industry as a whole would (taking for granted that what you're saying actually is true) benefit from suppressing a cancer cure, however, they would have to cooperate in unison (the "stag"). However, the first company to market a cancer cure (the "defect" option, ie the "rabbit") would be in the position to market a product with no competition.

So this would have no negative ramifications on the current business model?

Amaror:
Thus even though cooperating (contributing to the suppression) might be cheaper and ultimately more profitable than defecting (developing a revolutionary new medicine), it has an uncertain result because every other company individually has a motivation to defect, hence all companies defect.This is why profit-motivated technological suppression just doesn't happen in the real world.

Compatriot Block:
I wish this counter-point would get brought up more often. How can you have such little faith in such a large number of people (many of whom have dedicated their entire lives to the advancement of medicine) that you believe that not a single one would let slip that there was a "cure" for cancer?

rcs619:
Especially nowadays. We live in a society where you can't even fart in a public space without twenty different people commenting about it on their social feeds. The idea that *any* big, covert, insanely over-complicated conspiracy could work these days is insane.

And the fact is, there are a *lot* of scientists and doctors out there who also despise big-pharma, and would *love* to blow that kind of story wide open.

So if everything is, in fact, on the level, that would mean if something significant in the war against cancer were discovered, it would be evaluated on the basis of efficacy alone, and commercial interest would play no part in whether or not it is made available.

Even if this discovery were found to be more effective than current modalities (Chemo, Radiation, Surgery), it would, without question, be put into regular use to benefit the cancer patient.

If what you are all saying is really true, then I challenge each of you to justify your collective point of view in light of the findings below, because, according to every last one of you, the situation below could never take place:

"The Fitzgerald Report of 1953 from the Congressional Hearing"

What did the report conclude?

From the Report:
"Accordingly, we should determine whether existing agencies, both public and private, are engaged and have pursued a policy of harassment, ridicule, slander, and libelous attacks on others sincerely engaged in stamping out this curse (cancer) of mankind. Have medical associations, through their officers, agents, servants and employees engaged in this practice? My investigation to date should convince this committee that a conspiracy does exist to stop the free flow and use of drugs in interstate commerce which allegedly has solid therapeutic value. Public and private funds have been thrown around like confetti at a country fair to close up and destroy clinics, hospitals, and scientific research laboratories which do not conform to the viewpoint of medical associations."

Fitzgerald then specifically refers to the (Harry) Hoxsey Cancer Clinic because they revealed the true nature of the AMA in court. It was uncovered that:

"A running fight has been going on between officials, especially Dr. Morris Fishbein, of the American Medical Association through the journal of that organization, and the Hoxsey Cancer Clinic?"

From the Report:
"Behind and over all this is the weirdest conglomeration of corrupt motives, intrigue, selfishness, jealousy, obstruction, and conspiracy that I have ever seen."

Here is the film:

Mr.Savage:

"The Fitzgerald Report of 1953 from the Congressional Hearing"

1953.

Fitzgerald then specifically refers to the (Harry) Hoxsey Cancer Clinic because they revealed the true nature of the AMA in court. It was uncovered that:

"A running fight has been going on between officials, especially Dr. Morris Fishbein, of the American Medical Association through the journal of that organization, and the Hoxsey Cancer Clinic?"

You really want to hitch your horse to Hoxsey? Okay.

Who was Harry Hoxsey? He was a former coal-miner and insurance salesman who (with help from a local radio personality) claimed that he got the idea for his therapy from his great grand-father and how he treated the horses he raised. I'm not even aware if he had any real medical education or experience. If he did, I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere. He never got an actual license to practice medicine, at any rate.

Just so that we're clear, let's go over what Hoxsey's Therapy claimed was a *cure* for cancer.

- A type of herbal paste applied to external cancers.
- A type of liquid herbal tonic for internal cancers.
- Laxatives.
- Douches.
- Dietary changes.
- Vitamin supplements.

So, a reminder of what cancer is. Cancer is a malfunction with your cells on the genetic level, caused by abnormalities in those cells' genomes. It is not a skin condition. It is not an infection. You can rub as much salve, or shove as many laxatives up your ass as you want, it isn't going to do shit to a tumor. Hoxsey's methods may very well have treated some of the symptoms of cancer, and may have (in some small way) made his patients feel better, but it is not a 'cure' for cancer.

Hoxsey treatment was medical quackery, and there hasn't been a single peer-reviewed piece of research that has indicated it is anything but that. If you think that's because every single anti-cancer organization and medical group has been keeping it under wraps, and maintaining some kind of conspiracy for over 60 years, well... I guess that's your right. Doesn't mean I can't think it's one of the stupidest things I've ever heard.

This is the problem with an expert in one field making broad predictions over an indefinite period of time. I think from the perspective of genetic treatments, chemical therapies, targeted immune therapies and more they're correct. If however you look to the farther future of nanotechnology ("always be with us" including however long it takes to develop that obviously) it's hard to believe that cancer will be a problem. The ability to directly manipulate cells with small machines would, frankly, make cancer a non-issue for anyone with access to that technology.

So, with us for a very long time? Yes. Always? Don't say always.

rcs619:

Mr.Savage:

"The Fitzgerald Report of 1953 from the Congressional Hearing"

1953.

Fitzgerald then specifically refers to the (Harry) Hoxsey Cancer Clinic because they revealed the true nature of the AMA in court. It was uncovered that:

"A running fight has been going on between officials, especially Dr. Morris Fishbein, of the American Medical Association through the journal of that organization, and the Hoxsey Cancer Clinic?"

You really want to hitch your horse to Hoxsey? Okay.

Who was Harry Hoxsey? He was a former coal-miner and insurance salesman who (with help from a local radio personality) claimed that he got the idea for his therapy from his great grand-father and how he treated the horses he raised. I'm not even aware if he had any real medical education or experience. If he did, I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere. He never got an actual license to practice medicine, at any rate.

Just so that we're clear, let's go over what Hoxsey's Therapy claimed was a *cure* for cancer.

- A type of herbal paste applied to external cancers.
- A type of liquid herbal tonic for internal cancers.
- Laxatives.
- Douches.
- Dietary changes.
- Vitamin supplements.

So, a reminder of what cancer is. Cancer is a malfunction with your cells on the genetic level, caused by abnormalities in those cells' genomes. It is not a skin condition. It is not an infection. You can rub as much salve, or shove as many laxatives up your ass as you want, it isn't going to do shit to a tumor. Hoxsey's methods may very well have treated some of the symptoms of cancer, and may have (in some small way) made his patients feel better, but it is not a 'cure' for cancer.

Hoxsey treatment was medical quackery, and there hasn't been a single peer-reviewed piece of research that has indicated it is anything but that. If you think that's because every single anti-cancer organization and medical group has been keeping it under wraps, and maintaining some kind of conspiracy for over 60 years, well... I guess that's your right. Doesn't mean I can't think it's one of the stupidest things I've ever heard.

Don't argue with him. Over time, as cancer therapies approach 100% cure rates, people who refuse them for various reasons will simply die off. It's a problem with its own solution in tow, and unlike anti-vaccers, they won't take others with them.

rcs619:

1953.

Explain, succinctly, why the date is problematic.

rcs619:
You really want to hitch your horse to Hoxsey? Okay.

rcs619:
Hoxsey's methods may very well have treated some of the symptoms of cancer, and may have (in some small way) made his patients feel better, but it is not a 'cure' for cancer.

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rcs619:
Hoxsey treatment was medical quackery, and there hasn't been a single peer-reviewed piece of research that has indicated it is anything but that.

There hasn't been a single peer-reviewed piece of research about any of this stuff, why? If it is all just a load of shit, then how easy would it be to prove under scientific evaluation?

rcs619:
If you think that's because every single anti-cancer organization and medical group has been keeping it under wraps, and maintaining some kind of conspiracy for over 60 years, well... I guess that's your right. Doesn't mean I can't think it's one of the stupidest things I've ever heard.

Nothing has to be kept under wraps, it's just labeled quackery without investigation.

Is every last positive testimonial a paid shill? What gives?

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