Archive for October, 2013
In 2010 we wrote a blog post titled Cancer Research or Halloween and since then not much has changed.
To get our fright on, it is estimated that Americans will spend between $6.9 billion and $8 billion on Halloween festivities this year. U.S. News and World Report reports that the average participant will spend $80 which is up from the $72 spent on Halloween for 2012.
To put these large numbers into perspective the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is expected to only spend $5.6 billion on cancer research in 2013 via the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
Does that mean that cancer isn’t scary enough so we have to supplement the frights with Halloween spending?
We think it shows the financial power of the public.
The federal government uses our tax dollars to fund the NIH and NCI but the best that they can come up with is $5.6 billion dollars. Note that this is in spite of the Obama-Biden Plan to Combat Cancer in which they promised in September of 2008 to double the funding for cancer research within 5 years. We have yet to find any proof that the budget has doubled.
If all the Americans that participated in Halloween were to give the average of $80 a year to fund cancer research then we would be able to double the funding provided by the NIH. Our point being is that to many people $80 a year or $6.67 a month isn’t an enormous amount of money. In fact, most people would feel that even if they gave $10 a month to cancer research or to a charity that helps reduce the burden of cancer that it wouldn’t amount to much.
In fact, that is not the case. Giving $10 a month and encouraging your ghoulish friends to do the same can add up and make a huge different. Every little bit helps but don’t skip out on the Halloween candy to make a donation towards cancer because we don’t want the American Dental Association to get angry at us for reducing the rate of caries.
Clinical trials are the tools that are used to improve our ability to treat cancer.
Many people think of clinical trials as an all or nothing principle that dates back to the early days of placebo-controlled clinical trials. Before there were effective treatments for a disease they would conduct trials where patients were given a drug or a sugar pill to see if the drug performed.
In today’s age, it is no longer ethical to use placebo controlled trials, especially when we have proven treatments, so there really are no longer any of these sugar pills. Clinical trials are often used to compare new treatments to the best that are currently available. By comparing these promising new treatments we can help improve our current “gold standards.”
In order to find a clinical trial we used to have to rely on the knowledge of our treating physician. Then the National Institute of Health designed a clinical trial registry but this registry was designed more for the clinical trials to have a place for public posting and not really a place for patients to find trials to meet their needs.
Now we have CureLauncher, which was co-founded by two-time testicular cancer survivor David Fuehrer. CureLauncher has “translated” the clinical trials into an easier to understand format. They also use Relationship Managers to ensure that they are there for your first and that they are focusing on finding clinical trials that match your unique needs and goals. Instead of having to rely on which trial is at the large local hospital we now have access to CureLauncher and their list of All clinical trials.
[Note: You may not see Testicular Cancer in the condition selector on their home page but they DO have testicular cancer trials available so simply give them a call at (800) 488-6632]
Thanks for taking a closer look at clinical trials.