Stephen Jay Gould
Powerfully persuasive piece that helped me gain a "healthy" perspective on the statistics thrown out by doctors, researchers, other medical professionals--and the media. No understatement to say, this essay made a huge difference in my life and health.
The Median Isn't the Message
by Stephen Jay Gould
My life has recently intersected, in a most personal way, two of Mark Twain's famous quips. One I shall defer to the end of this essay. The other (sometimes attributed to Disraeli), identifies three species of mendacity, each worse than the one before - lies, damned lies, and statistics.
Death by Medicine - According to a review study, more deaths are caused annually in the U.S. by medical treatment and diagnostic procedures than by heart disease or cancer.
|Adverse Drug Reactions||106,000||$12 billion||Lazarou(1), Suh (49)|
|Medical error||98,000||$2 billion||IOM(6)|
|Bedsores||115,000||$55 billion||Xakellis(7), Barczak (8)|
|Infection||88,000||$5 billion||Weinstein(9), MMWR (10)|
|Outpatients||199,000||$77 billion||Starfield(12), Weingart(112)|
|Unnecessary Procedures||37,136||$122 billion||HCUP(3,13)|
|ANNUAL TOTAL||783,936||$282 billion|
And these numbers are based on reported deaths, which suggests the true death toll from medical treatment is much higher.
Is American Medicine Working? Here is the reviewers' reply...
The drug dichloroacetate (DCA) appears to target cancer cells, causing them to die. It's potency as a cancer killing agent has been tested in tissue cultures and, just recently, in mice -- all with very promising results.
Problem is, this drug has been used for many years to treat rare metabolic disorders and is not patentable as a cancer treatment. Without patent protection, the pharmaceutical industry has no interest in investing millions in clinical trials, even though the drug's impact on cancer could be profound.
Rice Bran Cures Cancer - This article exposes a potential cancer cure from Japan that's been overlooked. Here's the basic idea:
Cancer cells contain more iron than other cells (to support growth). Seed and rice bran contains a compound (inositol hexaphosphate or IP6) that "chelates" or binds iron, making it unavailable to fuel the tumor cell's growth. Man-made chelating drugs can work, too, but most have dangerous (even toxic) side effects, and their effectiveness appears to be inferior to the natural sources found in seed or rice bran.
Immune to Cancer - Scientists discovered that some mice just don't get cancer--they seem somehow immune. So they took the white blood cells of those cancer resistant mice, and inject them into previously non-resistant mice. Within a few days or weeks of being injected, those normal mice become resistant or immune to cancer.
Will this approach work in humans?