“Rationing” the treatment of cancer has already begun.


From a 7-29-12 editorial in the Los Angeles Times, near the end of a piece about cancer, they mention the dreaded “rationing” word.

Access to healthcare already is being rationed to some extent by insurance companies, and not always in ways that make medical sense.

The editorial (See link below) provided an excellent review of what is wrong in the world of cancer treatment, but didn’t offer much of a recommended solution. While the medical system is ordering tests and conducting procedures at all-time record levels, the public remains skeptical when they hear the  calling for less screenings and less treatment. The public worries about the “rationing” of health care services.

They should also be worried about “secondary cancers,” the ones that are caused by the treatment of primary cancers. The recent news about these cancers was not mentioned in the L.A. Times piece, but I have provided a link below for your convenience.

Looking for clarity over confusion, read the works of Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr. — Bill Clinton did and it probably saved his life.

The public should be worried about learning how to avoid all “disease care” services. They should be demanding to learn exactly how to prevent cancers in the first place. Dr. T. Colin Campbell and scores of enlightened medical doctors now know that, by far, the leading cause of cancer is our toxic Western diet—yet we hear almost nothing about that from our medical system or from the media.

This fact was not mentioned in the L.A. Times piece, but they did a pretty good job of describing an unsustainable mess with regards to the conventional method of detecting and treating cancer in a high-tech world. Describing part of the dilemma:

The public, though, seems a little doubtful about pronouncements that Americans are over-tested and over-treated, and it’s easy to see why. Our very nature tells us that if there’s a bad thing in us like cancer, we want it out.

Also, insurance companies and the government have been warning that runaway increases in medical costs are unsustainable. This makes patients worry that important medical tests and treatments will be withheld for financial rather than health considerations.

What many people fail to realize is that some unnecessary tests and treatments are currently being ordered for a different financial reason: in order to earn doctors money. Many procedures are profit centers for medical providers; in other cases, they are ordered to shield practitioners against possible malpractice suits, rather than because they are medically necessary and appropriate.

You will find zero clarity here. They don’t even mention that our toxic diet is even among the causes of cancer—not to mention the leading cause.

As for controlling further increases in the cost of health care, the article once again focused on treatment rather than prevention. Sorry, fellas, that’s just never going to work. Eventually, we must address the causes of these chronic diseases—and we must do it with clarity, instead of the confusion that reigns supreme today. The L.A. Times piece, which ended thusly, failed to do that:

And yes, healthcare expenses must be curbed as well. Along with studies on what works best medically, there will have to be research-based determinations of which medical treatments offer too little benefit for the cost.

Restrictions on such treatments will be hard for people to accept, but access to healthcare already is being rationed to some extent by insurance companies, and not always in ways that make medical sense. It will be easier for the public to trust tradition-defying findings if there is no hidden agenda, and it is made clear which recommendations are based on cost-benefit analysis and which are based on research that is concerned only with what ails us and what’s medically good for us.

The Bottom Line. Our current cost of health care is $2.7 trillion and accounts for almost 1/5th of our gross domestic product (GDP). That’s up from 1/20th in 1960. If our entire “system” got real clear about EXACTLY what we must do to take charge of our health, I truly believe that we’d see that number begin to drop dramatically in less than five years.

Comparing U.S. cost of health care as percentage of GDP with other developed countries.

Within fifteen years, I believe that we could cut our health care costs in half, and that those costs would be under one trillion dollars by 2032. A 70% reduction in twenty years. By comparison, since Nixon declared war on cancer 37 years ago, our cost of health care has tripled—and as you can see in the above graph, we’re spending about twice as much as the country that ranks second in health care spending.

Handy 4-piece take-charge-of-your-health kit—from Amazon.com

Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Diagnostic Survey. It takes less than five minutes and you can score it yourself. After taking the survey, please give me your feedback as it will be helpful in the development of our future 4Leaf app for smartphones. Send feedback to jmorrishicks@me.com

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J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

For help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4Leaf page or some great recipes at Lisa’s 4Leaf Kitchen.

Got a question? Let me hear from you at jmorrishicks@me.com. Or give me a call on my cell at 917-399-9700.

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Blogging daily at hpjmh.com…from the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

—J. Morris Hicks, board member, T. Colin Campbell Foundation

About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
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2 Responses to “Rationing” the treatment of cancer has already begun.

  1. Nigel Richardson says:

    Health/disease care is rationed by price, so some have better access to it than do others. Our “market” system of medicine has driven up costs faster than in any western “socialized” system, with a concominant decline in health. This should give us pause to question how beneficial our system is for the patients; it certainly is good for the providers.

    The solution is in our hands. We can continue with our mostly animal protein diet with its high risk and dismal history of disease promotion, or we can adopt a plant protein diet with low risk and health improvement, the benefits of which are seen in other, mostly Asian, countries. I have chosen a plant based diet and wish I had done so thirty years sooner.

    Incidentally, Richard Nixon may have declared war on cancer 37 years ago, but my parents raised funds for a “cure” for cancer when they lived south of London thirty years before that. Which should also give us pause to consider whether the “cure” is attainable, or merely illusiory; my parents concluded the latter. Cancer, heart disease, Alzheimers, etc. are apparently “good causes” to which I no longer donate. If someone comes along with a fund to promote change to a plant – based diet, I would give willingly, after the questions that is!

    • J. Morris Hicks says:

      Hi Nigel, Thanks for your well-written comment. As for the “fund to promote change to plant-based,” I am happy to report that there is such a fund. It is the T. Colin Campbell Foundation—“Scientific integrity for optimal health.” We are a 501(c)(3) and donations are tax deductible. Our mission statement at http://www.tcolincampbell.org reads:

      “Provide public education about the health benefits of a whole food, plant-based diet.”

      As a recent graduate of Dr. Campbell’s Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate Course yourself, I know that you’re very familiar with the foundation and our mission. I just wanted to make sure that our readers were given this information. Your friend for almost forty years, Jim Hicks

      PS: To donate, click here: http://www.tcolincampbell.org/courses-resources/donate/

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