October 21, 2007

NewsBusters Stole ‘My’ Post Ideas

Actually, other NewsBusters contributors got there sooner.

A lot of informative stuff has been put up at NB this weekend, including but not limited to these morsels:

  • “Does Neal Gabler Want Bill Kristol Killed in Iraq?” — yet another unhinged moment.
  • “Obama: No Hand on Heart for National Anthem” — it’s the next logical step after not wearing American flag pins for the aptly nicknamed BOOHOO.
  • “Bill Maher Throws 9/11 Truthers Off ‘Real Time’ Set” — Wow.
  • “New York Times Story on Limbaugh Auction Misleads in the Lede” — You expected otherwise?
  • “Reid Letter: ‘Today’ Omits Mention of Rush’s $2.1 Million Donation” — How convenient.
  • “ABC’s Stossel Takes on Gore Movie, Talks to Dissenting Scientists” — Consensus, Conschmensus.
  • “Price of Media Warm-mongering: Kansas Denies Coal-fired Power Plant License” — an early casualty of globaloney.

Positivity: Cancer Rates Are Dropping Faster Than Ever

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:56 am

From an annual report that is a collaboration of the American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and North American Association of Central Cancer Registries, as covered by the Associated Press out of Washington:

Updated: 12:58 a.m. ET Oct 15, 2007

Good news on the cancer front: Death rates are dropping faster than ever, thanks to new progress against colorectal cancer.

A turning point came in 2002, scientists conclude Monday in the annual “Report to the Nation” on cancer. Between 2002 and 2004, death rates dropped by an average of 2.1 percent a year.

That may not sound like much, but between 1993 and 2001, deaths rates dropped on average 1.1 percent a year.

The big change was a two-pronged gain against colorectal cancer.

While it remains the nation’s No. 2 cancer killer, deaths are dropping faster for colorectal cancer than for any other malignancy — by almost 5 percent a year among men and 4.5 percent among women.

One reason is that colorectal cancer is striking fewer people, the report found. New diagnoses are down roughly 2.5 percent a year for both men and women, thanks to screening tests that can spot precancerous polyps in time to remove them and thus prevent cancer from forming.

Still, only about half the people who need screening — everyone over age 50 — gets checked.

“If we’re seeing such great impact even at 50 percent screening rates, we think it could be much greater if we could get more of the population tested,” said Dr. Elizabeth Ward of the American Cancer Society, who co-wrote the report with government scientists.

The other gain is the result of new treatments, which are credited with doubling survival times for the most advanced patients.

In 1996, there was just one truly effective drug for colon cancer. Today, there are six more, giving patients a variety of chemotherapy cocktails to try to hold their tumors in check, said Dr. Louis Weiner, medical oncology chief at Philadelphia’s Fox Chase Cancer Center and a colorectal cancer specialist.

“I can tell you the offices of gastrointestinal oncologists around the country, and indeed around the world, are busier than ever because our patients are doing better,” he said.

Among the report’s other findings:

Cancer mortality is improving faster among men, with drops in death rates of 2.6 percent a year compared with 1.8 percent a year for women.

Lung cancer explains much of the gender difference. Male death rates are dropping about 2 percent a year while female death rates finally are holding steady after years of increases. Smoking rates fell for men before they did for women, so men reaped the benefits sooner.

Overall, the rate of new cancer diagnoses is inching down about one-half a percent a year.

New breast cancer diagnoses are dropping about 3.5 percent a year, a previously reported decline due either to women shunning postmenopausal hormone therapy or to fewer getting mammograms.

The report includes a special focus on cancer among American Indians and Alaskan natives. Overall, cancer incidence is lower among those populations than among white Americans, except for cancers of the stomach, liver, kidney, gallbladder and cervix.