Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pink Panthers ... and Redskins and Jets and Packers etc.

It’s bad enough having to watch the Redskins, and pro football is ridiculous enough, without having to gag on all the pink that permeates the NFL – a wholly owned subsidiary of the cancer lobby.

It is only for the month of October, but every player, coach, referee and prime stadium advertising space throughout the stadiums is bathed in pink.

Is there not enough awareness of breast cancer yet? Or are the American Cancer Society and the Susan G. Komen Foundation (which so far as I can tell is not involved in the NFL campaign) merely rackets that exist to market themselves and raise money?
Any corporation, including cancer-causing ones, line up to get the Komen-pink imprimatur, and the ACS is basically, like all “disease organizations” heavily funded by the drug industry.

Ah, but what’s wrong with fighting cancer? Nothing, except we have been at it for 40 years and breast cancer is not the biggest health threat facing women, and not even the biggest cancer threat.

You have probably heard that women have a 1 in 8 chance of getting breast cancer. That is not exactly true. Women have a 1 in 8 – or 12 percent chance -- of getting breast cancer over a lifetime. But that risk is virtually nonexistent in children and women into their 30s. The only meaningful statistic is the risk at any given age, because it changes based on how long you have lived without breast cancer and how long you might live.

According to the National Cancer Institute, a woman’s chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer is:
• from age 30 through age 39 . . . . . . 0.43 percent (often expressed as "1 in 233")
• from age 40 through age 49 . . . . . . 1.45 percent (often expressed as "1 in 69")
• from age 50 through age 59 . . . . . . 2.38 percent (often expressed as "1 in 42")
• from age 60 through age 69 . . . . . . 3.45 percent (often expressed as "1 in 29")

And that is the rate of diagnosis, not the death rate. The most fatal form of cancer in women is lung cancer. And the biggest threat to women’s health – as it is for men – is heart disease.

By the way, Major League Baseball not only uses pink bats on Mother’s Day but blue paraphernalia for Father’s Day, as if breasts and prostates are somehow equivalent. And, yes, prostate cancer is not the threat, either, that most people assume.
Although about 1 man in 6 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, but only 1 man in 34 will die of the disease.

Professional sports is so much about statistics, so it would be nice if the public understood more numbers than just passer ratings and earned run averages.

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