Sunday, September 06, 2009

Medical Musings

With all the scientific minds working on research on Biomedical markers, why, oh why, have we not come up with a rapid test to check Bullshit titers. This, above all other tests, would save BILLIONS in unneeded tests, especially in the ED. There has got to be a specific endorphin or catacholamine that can be detected at the bedside to allow for rapid discharge from the ED, without untoward misdiagnoses. That is to say, even if someone does have a medical problem (which we all will have eventually-human mortality last time I checked was 100 percent) it doesn't need to be worked up today. If someones titer is zero, with an 11/10 on the pain scale, and 16 previous visits over the past year, they are triaged out.

Also, why is 21 BILLION allocated by the NIH on Aids research, education, and treatment, while the NCI (National Cancer Institute) gets a paltry 4.75 billion for CANCER. I could save a lot of money using the resources of the Air force and the NIH. I would print up fliers with an unsheathed dinger and a picture of a butt hole and a vagina with a big red circle through it and and slash. In addition, a circle with a needle going into a vein in the arm would also have a slash through it. Explanations in English and Spanish on how NOT to catch the HIV virus would be printed on the bottom. We would fly over most of the metropolitan U.S. and blanket the whole place in fliers. Everyone who brings a flier in to their local McDonald's and can explain what it says gets a free cheeseburger and diet coke. Cost- 5-10 million. The process could be repeated in Africa, as we could use Al Gore's private jets to drop in fliers in all the hundreds of native tounges on that continent.

Back to cancer. Why does the lowly prostate get half the funding of breast cancer research (572 million to 285 million), when in 2008 there were an est. 186,000 new cases of prostate cancer and 184,000 new breast cancer cases. This is not to slight breast cancer research. I know the walnut sized gland under the nut sack is not as glamorous, but as someone who has one, I'd like a cure by the time mine's the size of a grapefruit. I'm just sayin'.

Finally, why don't all these bleeding hearts come to the realization that MILLIONS of lives (mostly children), especially in their beloved Africa and Central America, could be saved with one simple chemical. The book Silent Spring is responsible for many millions of deaths and much morbity in Africa due to malaria, and should be banned. The bed-net program is fine, but bring back DDT on a large scale and watch the suffering end.


  1. To anyone but the most easily distracted reactionary, these questions are rhetorical of course. The simplest answer is the least satisfying one: because the allocation of funds and effort isnt, nor has it ever been, based purely on statistics. Breast cancer gets lots of money because there are lots of people fighting for the cause. I would imagine somewhere around half as much effort has been put forward for the lowly prostate. I suppose that does make sense though. There are two boobs for every one prostate, right?

  2. Why does the lowly prostate get half the funding of breast cancer research

    This one's easy. There are roughly twice as many breasts as prostate glands.

  3. My husband says it's because boobs are bouncy and fun and prostates are ... well, prostates.

  4. The elusive Bullshit Titer is an indirect result compiled from the Serum Porcelain Test, referenced against the Standing Fecal Volume result. An effective discriminator is the Varney Test Question ("Do you have pain behind your eyes when you urinate?") which is insinuated into the initial assessment battery. The final result is quantifed as milihovies per Avogadro's Constant or for easier reibursement, micrograms per jeroboam.

  5. On the subject of cancer, hopefully I am the exception, but all I have seen are temporary remissions, then the cancer came back, stronger and deadly.
    Why, despite the trillions of dollars donated to cancer research over the centuries, is there still no permanent cure. Have we been giving our money to total morons?
    Just wondering.

  6. Dear NCEDRN,
    Don't forget one of my favorites... "Do your teeth itch?". Otherwise agree with your clinical diagnostic battery.

    Dear Amy-65c,
    Think of it this way. "Cancer" is to neoplasia as "Rash" is to skin disease. There's tons of different kinds all behaving in largely different fashions. The people who do cancer research are, as a rule, very smart.

  7. Actually, aren't there 4 times as many breasts than prostates?

  8. ...and Amy, we all are loaded with an infinite amount of termination code combinations. Most with fail-safe mechanisms.

    Uh, sorry, just came from Frank's geeky trekkie post... yikes it's contageous!


  9. CAT,
    Obviously your prostate gets half the funding that my boobs get because you only have one of them, and it's not even that cute.

  10. Harper - Do moobs count as breasts? Should they get full points? I don't think men get breast cancer at the same frequency ... so how would you weight that?

  11. Dev

    I'll have you know I have one of the cutest prostates in the world, at least that's what my bunkmate told me in prison.

  12. PeggyU, yes, I was counting moobs! A quick Google reveals that male breast cancer accounts for about 1% of newly reported cases, though it is usually diagnosed later and, as a result, has a higher mortality rate. I don't know how you would weight it. I suppose that there are probably parallels between male and female breast cancer, so research for one could/should serve the other. I agree with booblover, that this is a classic case of the squeaky wheel getting the grease. Let's have a prostate cancer 5k!

  13. Harper ~ I think they do, actually. And they wear blue ribbons instead of pink. My husband underwent treatment for prostate cancer in 2001. So I hope Amy is wrong about it usually returning.

    So far, so good at our house!

  14. Isn't prostate cancer more common in old people who don't die of it (a tendency toward slow growth and lack of metastasis), vs. breast cancer being aggressive (and thus fatal) in many more cases?

    Not to mention more survivable after surgical treatment?

    I imagine that's why - because funding isn't based on "number of tumors" but on death rates and/or quality of life.

    (That and, you're right, breast cancer has more attention and activism behind it. But as far as I know it's legitimately more deadly, so that's fair, ain't it?)

  15. I don't mean to be "that guy" but in light of the DDT comment, I have sit in the corner for natural selection (cause it's gonna win anyway). It may be cold and heartless but if you compare the 50 million (estimate but can't remember from where) lives lost via DDT eradication to the comments this week "", it might be easy to say that this was part of the plan all along. Add to that some groups (God forbid we refer to them as individuals) appease the anger of their multiple pseudo-deities and their self-imposed guilt by selecting Central/South America and Africa for charitable purposes and this observer sees a bit of a circle forming. Some might also say we have enough people and need to keep more birds...This kind of argument is long from over.

  16. Our current political climate holds that female diseases are somehow more deserving of lavish government funding than are male diseases. Go figure. Maybe it's to atone for totally disregarding female diseases in the past. or something.

    However, AIDS patients (mostly homosexual men)have a very active political agenda which kind of evens up the female:male disease funding algorithm.

    Nobody ever said that medicine was about medicine.