Fear tactics

Interesting misuse of statistics.  Cancer is a serious issue. The report on which this is based headlines “Effective prevention measures urgently needed to prevent cancer crisis.”  But there is no crisis. Why is cancer rising? Because people are living longer.  If you live long enough, cancer will kill you.  Our ancestors were “spared” cancer because most died of something else first.  The black plague was a great way to avoid cancer or heart disease. It seems less a crisis to know that increased cancer is caused by longer lives.

It reminds me of the headline from the Onion http://www.theonion.com/articles/world-death-rate-holding-steady-at-100-percent,1670 “World Death Rate Holding Steady At 100 Percent.”  It went on to call all medicine a failure, since it clearly had not prevented even one death in the long run of history.

The good news is that cancer rates have been dropping for two decades. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140107102634.htm, that is when you compare the comparable.  Naturally, an 80-year-old has a greater risk of dying of anything than a 20-year-old.  If you have more old guys, more people die. It doesn’t mean life is more dangerous.

BTW homicides using guns has also dropped a lot.  They are down 49% in the last twenty years.  http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/05/07/gun-homicide-rate-down-49-since-1993-peak-public-unaware.  Rape rates have dropped to one-sixth of what they were 20 years ago.

The fact is that almost everything is getting better, but we don’t know that because the reports are much worse.  Some of this just has to do with the news.  But much of it is the active measures by activists to create fear to gain more funding or political power.  Life is not perfect today, but it really is better than ever.

But if you want to be afraid, let me help.  I can guarantee that sometime in the future something will kill you.  Nobody gets out of here alive.  And if you live long enough, you will get cancer.  Believe it.

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