He's Yellow
January 10, 2007 10:45 AM   Subscribe

Lance speaks out on cancer: one of cycling's all-time greats and possibly the world's best known cancer survivor, founded the Lance Armstrong Foundation with the goal of inspiring and empowering people with cancer. He now campaigns for more government funds for cancer research and treatment. {commentary on CNN}
posted by fluffycreature (20 comments total)
Good for him! Corporate-funded research is not going to show us the best way to treat cancer, or any other disease. There are many good treatments out there; the issue is that we need impartial research to demonstrate the best ways to use the tools we have. I would like to see NIH or some other non-partisan, impartial body conduct the bulk of drug trials - we could collect a user fee from pharma companies to fund this research.
posted by Mister_A at 11:08 AM on January 10, 2007

Lance Armstrong is the perfect man to teach us all how to cheat cancer.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 11:10 AM on January 10, 2007

He should have eaten more jalapenos.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 11:24 AM on January 10, 2007

Former Yankee slugger Bobby Murcer's condition is grave.
posted by wfc123 at 11:46 AM on January 10, 2007

KG: Remind me to keep a syringe and so Louisiana Hot Sauce handy when the cigarettes take their due. It may kill me, but then I'll eventually be dead anyway. On the other hand, if I somehow survive they might jail me for practicing tasteless insanity without a license. Mmmmm, deep fried tumors.
posted by IronLizard at 11:47 AM on January 10, 2007

I lost my father to cancer almost two years ago, and in around that time the whole yellow bracelet fad was exploding. I saw a couple of Lance Armstrong/Nike commercials and I always had a very bad feeling about them. There was a dramatic 30-second spot where the voiceover says (paraphrasing) "they said he'd only live a few months", "they said he had no hope..." etc. And then "Just Do It". I found it really disgusting at the time, that a shoe company was trying to use the emotional impact of cancer to enhance their image.

There was also a subtle argument being made that cancer was a disease that could be beaten, if the person only had enough willpower to "fight" it. This is true to a very limited degree. Many tough people (my father included) fought it for as long as they could and succumed. The idea cancer being beatable by willpower, prayer, alternative medicine or what have you is a destructive urban legend that gives people an excuse to continue unhealthy behavior and put off taking their health seriously. The fact of the matter is, for many types of cancer, your odds of surviving more than five years are miniscule and up more to genetics and blind luck than "willing" the cancer away.
posted by pcameron at 11:50 AM on January 10, 2007 [8 favorites]

Is it in you?
posted by hal9k at 11:56 AM on January 10, 2007 [1 favorite]

(not in response to your comment, pcameron. Bad timing on my part)
posted by hal9k at 11:59 AM on January 10, 2007

IL, the LA Hot Sauce probably has enough vinegar in it to kill you itself. This stuff might be better.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:17 PM on January 10, 2007

Since I work in cancer research, he's trying to get people to pay my salary.


Go Lance Armstrong!

Suddenly I have a reason to give a crap about somebody who rides a bike a lot.
posted by gurple at 12:23 PM on January 10, 2007

Would this be a good time to tell you I wasn't serious about the particular brand? Were I to actually do something like this it would have to be with reagent grade capsacin and some hard data on toxicity levels. Not to mention some very good measurements to target and a skin marker drawn bullseye over it (tumor).

If you're going to do something crazy, you may as well do it as carefully as possible.
posted by IronLizard at 12:24 PM on January 10, 2007

I say any research is good research. If someone can turn America's fascination with celebrity life into more money to find a cure for cancer, more power to them.

My mom died from breast cancer in June, and I'm sure she'd say the same thing.
posted by schlaager at 12:36 PM on January 10, 2007

Don't forget to order your $10,296 Livestrong bracelet. Or maybe you'd like a Livewrong bracelet instead?
posted by fixedgear at 12:55 PM on January 10, 2007

Cancer kills more people than heart disease now. It's time the gummint invested an appropriate amount of money in prevention and screening.
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:56 PM on January 10, 2007

Running alongside all the knew knowledge we've gained about cancer over the past several decades, is the awareness that cancer is more complex and multifarious, than was ever dreamed of in the day when Richard Nixon declared "war on cancer." Each new level of understanding of cancer reveals a whole new landscape that needs to be mapped and explored, and within that, more new lands to be managed. It's becoming more and more apparent that the secrets of cancer parallel the secrets of life itself at the molecular and deepest philosophical level -- and so may never be understood.
posted by Faze at 1:02 PM on January 10, 2007

Well right, faze. There will never be a "cure for cancer", because that term, cancer, covers so many different diseases.
posted by Mister_A at 3:19 PM on January 10, 2007

I could not agree with you more pcameron. Recently I was reading the magazine Pink, a newsletter type thing put out for women (not the men as far as I could tell) who have or are currently suffering from breast cancer. They liked to do profiles on women who not only had beat cancer (through sheer force of will, etc, etc) but gone on to achieve amazing feats like run in a 10km marathon or some such. While all that stuff is great, I would have loved to hear more about the people who got through it and just...lived. Loved the family, spent time with their friends. There's suddenly this expectation (in the breast cancer community, at least) that you have to come out of this disease with flying colours and that simply surviving is not enough.

I also felt it did a huge disservice to my mother who passed away with cancer as if the assumption was that she lacked this "inner-drive" that Lance and what-have-you had. I found this in subtler forms from just people I knew, who enjoyed telling me various stories of a "friend of a friend" who had a liquid diet and when he went for another scan the cancer had completely disappeared. In many, many cases nothing is enough to overpower the destructive force of cancer and while I'm all for Armstrong bringing about more awareness and education regarding these diseases, I think it could be handled in a different way.

The feeling that I get from this kind of thing is that my mother somehow "lost", a loser, if you will. And she is far, far from that. She won because she tried her best during a period of extreme hardship. And that's really all that should be asked of these people.
posted by liquorice at 4:14 PM on January 10, 2007 [2 favorites]

Thanks liquorice, couldn't have said it better myself :)
posted by pcameron at 5:54 PM on January 10, 2007

pcameron and liquorice, thanks so much. You are so right. My mom has metastatic cancer, and although she has exceeded expectations for her condition, it makes me incredibly pissed off when people say, "oh, if she remains positive she'll be ok," or "she must be fighting so hard." As if when she dies it will be because she was lazy, or just gave up, or something.

I usually try to reply "well, with a statistical five-year survival rate of less than 15%, she'll need more than the power of positive thinking, unfortunately," in a cheery voice. Usually shuts them right up, and hopefully give them something to think about besides platitudes.
posted by miss tea at 3:53 AM on January 11, 2007

Lance's CNN essay was absolutely idiotic. I'm all for fighting cancer and research blah blah blah, but his overall tone and message seems to be that the federal government should devote ALL resources to battling cancer, and he seems to be dumbstruck that the American voters don't seem to place the same sense of urgency as he does on the issue. It's almost as if he thinks that the government has completely un-funded all medical research.
posted by davidmsc at 9:04 AM on January 13, 2007

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