Is Cancer Research Insufficiently Academic?

academicResearch

If you follow trends in science research, especially biomedical research focused on cancer, you know that government (taxpayer-paid) funding for research is flat to down. More scientists are battling for less grant money.  At the National Institutes of Health (NIH) the percent of grant applications that are awarded funding are “in the lower teens” down from 30% […]

Tearing Down Cancer Data Silos

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When I was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in 2009, I ran to the Internet to learn as much as I could about it, its treatment, and of course, its implications. Article after article described how prostate cancer was invariably linked to an elevated PSA. I had been diligent about monitoring my PSA annually for the previous […]

Obamacare, Stress, and the “Overhang”

OverhangZion-arrows

If, like me, you’re the owner of an advanced (Stage III or Stage IV) cancer that is currently in remission, the good news is that the disease is currently being held at bay, and we are able to get on with our lives. But the threat of recurrence always looms over us, a phenomenon that […]

What New Product Rollouts Taught Me About Obamacare

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I spent my 35-year career marketing test systems called Automatic Test Equipment (ATE), which are machines used by electronics manufacturers to test semiconductors and printed circuit boards. ATE consists of highly complex hardware and software systems, and a single test system costs anywhere from $100,000 to upwards of $1,000,000. These machines have been used to […]

Men Resisting Recommendation to Skip PSA Test

WIIFM

In May 2012 the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) issued a statement advising against prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing to screen for prostate cancer. In March 2013, Consumer Reports echoed the USPSTF in a cover article that claimed that the benefits of PSA testing did not outweigh its risks. In the prostate cancer community, these recommendations […]

Should a biotech company own a piece of me?

BRCAkit

Angelina Jolie recently went public with her decision to undergo a prophylactic mastectomy to reduce her odds of developing breast cancer. Her surgery has been widely celebrated as a courageous act. Jolie watched her mother die painfully of ovarian cancer and later discovered she had a mutation of the BRCA gene, which greatly increased the […]

How Much Awareness Is Too Much?

Logo for Breast Cancer Awareness Ford Mustang

Prostate cancer advocates have long bemoaned the public’s relative ignorance of the extent and consequences of this male cancer.  This ignorance is especially striking when compared to widespread knowledge about breast cancer, even though the two cancers have a nearly equivalent number of diagnoses (about 230,000) each year in the US. It’s easy to explain […]

Cancer Awareness, by the Numbers

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Like consumer products competing for sales on the open market, cancer research funding depends, in part, on public awareness of the cancer in question. The more people know about a particular cancer–especially when this knowledge is accompanied by compelling stories of individual cancer patients–the more enthusiastically they are likely to donate to the cause. Public […]

Reconsidering the War On Cancer

WarStrategy

Richard Nixon signed the National Cancer Act in 1971, and since then, we’ve been waging a “war on cancer.” For almost 42 years, we have dedicated billions of research dollars to gleaning insights into the biochemical labyrinth of cancer treatment. Or, to state the situation more correctly, we have been waging war on cancers with […]

The ACA & Its Consequences

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The 2300-page “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” aka “Obamacare,” (hereafter “ACA”), signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010, is an incredibly complex piece of legislation. Its various components take effect over a 10-year period. We are now almost three years into the phase-in period, with many changes to take effect in […]