Mar 18, 2011

It's A Man's World


It's a man's world, and in it is a man's disease, prostate cancer. Although it strikes about 270,000 men a year, you don't see a circle of men discussing the issue with Oprah. It's not manly to discuss such things, we just soldier on. Oddly enough, one of the biggest research programs on the disease is currently funded by the Department of Defense. Odder still, is that one of our great soldiers, Senator John McCain, proposes removing the line item from the defense budget. The Senator is not against cancer research, he just doesn't believe that the program belongs in the defense department. The problem is that the move may well interrupt the funding mechanism on two new promising drugs which are in clinical trials. Men, and women who care about them, should contact Dent, Casey and Toomey to urge that the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) remain in the defense budget.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Michael -

I'm not against cancer research, but it certainly doesn't belong in the defense budget - if it is to be funded by the government at all.

michael molovinsky said...

the defense budget is $660 billion, the prostate cancer portion, $80million. veterans have a higher incidence of prostate cancer, it may be related to depleted uranium used in weapons. perhaps the line item should not have been placed in defense years ago, but there is a good record of value for that program, and removing it risks the interruption of some critical programs. although i'm conservative, i feel that cancer research should be funded by the government, especially in a recession.

gary ledebur said...

Regardless of where in the budget it is paced, the hard work is done by the NIH, National Institutes of Health and its cancer research agency. Total funding is closer to $500 million or higher. If the government had not funded cancer research the number of folks dying of cancer would be 10 times what it is today.

gary ledebur said...

There is another issue here. My wife is recovering from breast cancer. She and hundreds of thousands of women are alive because of work done by the National Cancer Institute which is federally funded. I guess some folks don't care if Americans die from this horrible disease in order to stick to their pure political philosophy of limited government.

That being said, the problem is that even though the incidence and prevalence of prostate cancer it equal to that of breast cancer, the government spends double the money on breast cancer research!

gary ledebur said...

MM: One of the primary reasons funding gets put into the Defense Department is that some folks, like some of your readers, will always support defense spending even if they have no idea what is included it in.

Anonymous said...

gary ledebur said...

"I guess some folks don't care if Americans die from this horrible disease in order to stick to their pure political philosophy of limited government."

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No Gary, some of us choose to donate to cancer (and other) research privately, and raise awareness for the issue through involvement in fundraisers and the like.

Curiously, it was those who favor big government involvement in health care who derided the profits of the pharmaceutical industry - whose R&D finds far more cures than government-funded research.

I will place my faith in market-based solutions and individual efforts over the government anyday.

michael molovinsky said...

gary, the total is $278 million; 15 for alzheimer's, 150 for breast cancer, 12.8 for lung cancer, 20 for ovarian cancer and 80 for prostate cancer.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 8:47, we need both. the federal funds finance much of the university hospital research. drug companies don't profit or participate in radiation oncology research or new robotic surgical techniques.

Anonymous said...

MM -

Understood, but I think that's where private advocacy - and funding - should step in.

Anonymous said...

If we relied on fund raisers, donations and Jerry Lewis types, many of my friends and relatives would be dead. The pharmaceutical industry does not make, nor has it made, any significant advances in cancer research. The National Cancer Institute has been responsible for development of the recent effective treatments that have kept my wife and thousands of others alive. I'll bet that anyone who wants "market forces" to drive cancer research has never had cancer.

Anonymous said...

anon 8:47am

BULL SHIT

You and your "market" types are so blind.

The market may have its merits, but there are lots of actions that require a government push and a government source of funds. I am so tired of people saying the market is perfect. IT IS NOT!

Monkey Momma said...

I wish the entire defense budget would be turned over to cancer research, of any kind. It sure would be a lot more productive than the majority of projects our defense budget funds.

Anonymous said...

Good plan, no national defense.

Anonymous said...

Monkey Momma is always thinking with boldness and creativity. His creativity is only exceeded with his in-depth and critical analysis of issues. Go Monkey!

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:05 -

Nobody is saying the market is perfect, but it's a heck of a lot better than injecting politics (i.e. the government) into the issue.

Anon 3:08 -

I am happy that your wife is alive. However, for every dollar used by the government for cancer research, it is taken from somebody else. We only see what government has "accomplished". We don't recognize the diseases that go uncured because those dollars have been taken for government-favored research, nor do we know how much faster things would have progressed without government involvement.