Almost every week I hear about a friend, acquaintance, old schoolmate or family member being diagnosed with cancer. I have Facebook friends who report almost daily about their routine chemotherapy treatments. They, along with millions more are in a battle for their lives.
Cancer routinely takes 577,000 plus lives every year in America.
The cost is over 103 billion in direct medical costs. The statistics are always changing but are staggering. (Cancer facts and figures, 2012)
No one fighting cancer cares about how much they have to spend to defeat the disease. Life is worth more than all the money in the world. However, have the doctors and drug companies figured this out? The money pipeline related to all cancer treatments is worth billions. How many people would be out of a job if we found a cure?
I'm irked about cancer. I'm irked that we spend billions on wars. We have spent over 700 billion dollars on Afghanistan. We give billions away to sustain foreign governments. We know how to put someone on the moon but people are dying every day from cancer. I realize our government is broke but we need to spend more on cancer research. The National Cancer Institute receives about 5 billion a year to conduct research but they and major research centers across the nation need more.
We could start by taking better care of ourselves. Exercise more, eat better, sleep more, and stress less. There are severe environmental issues from chemicals pouring into our air and contaminants polluting our water. We need to clean up our air and water. We can do without a lot but we can't live without water and air.
Start demanding from your local and national politicians answers on what they are doing about real healthcare in this nation. The answer is not just medical insurance to pay more dollars so that doctors and pharmaceutical companies get richer. We need a cure for cancer, multiple sclerosis and many other diseases. I'm glad for all people to have health insurance but we need health solutions. It's past time for a cure for cancer.
Glenn Mollette is an syndicated columnist and author of 11 books and read in all 50 states. This column does not necessarily reflect the view of this paper.