If only Republican candidate for Congress, and former Erie County New York Executive, Chris Collins, had taken the time to check on breast and prostate cancer mortality statistics, he could have spared many of us the anger and hurt caused by his remarks.
His comments appeared in The Batavian (batavian.com), an online publication providing news and community views from Batavia NY. The Batavian reported on his recent speech, in which he stated, “People now don’t die from prostate cancer, breast cancer and some of the other things.The fact of the matter is, our healthcare today is so much better, we’re living so much longer, because of innovations in drug development, surgical procedures, stents, implantable cardiac defibrillators, neural stimulators — they didn’t exist 10 years ago. The increase in cost is not because doctors are making a lot more money. It’s what you can get for healthcare, extending your life and curing diseases.”
If only he had taken the time, or had one of his election campaign team take the time to go on line and visit the American Cancer Society site, he would have found that an estimated 39,920 deaths from breast cancer will occur in this year alone. Estimates put the number of men dying from prostate cancer this year at 28,170.
If only he had chosen to visit sites serving women and men with metastatic breast disease, he would have learned that the is no cure for metastatic disease. There are an estimated 155,000+ women and men living with metastatic breast cancer, being sustained on costly medications that often bankrupt them, and have side-effects that seriously impact on their quality of life.
If only he had checked with the hospitals and health care centers that treat the poor, he would have learned that uninsured people are less likely to have their cancers detected early. As a result, they have much poorer prognoses. Their cancers are far more expensive to treat, and they, as patients, have fewer resources to draw upon during treatment.
If only he had done his research, he would have been more sensitive to the feelings of those women and men who live with the very real fear of a recurrence and metastatic disease.