Practice Matters

News from Lola Butcher about health policy and practice management issues of importance to oncologists

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Poverty as a Carcinogen

Sorry to be late taking notice of this, but this post by Len Lichtenfeld, MD, the American Cancer Society's "Dr. Len," is too important to let it pass by.

His post in conjunction with last week’s release of the ACS’s Cancer Facts and Figures 2011 is titled “Poverty is a Carcinogen. Does Anybody Care?"


We all know about the disparities in cancer diagnosis, treatment, and mortality associated with poverty.


And, to our shame, we all know the answer to Dr. Len’s question.


As he puts it:  “Sitting right in front of our noses is the fact that if we did what we already know, at least 37% of cancer deaths in people between the ages of 27 and 64 could be avoided right now.


“So who, my friends, is talking about that?  Where is the national conversation about the fact that poverty is a carcinogen?  Are you talking about it?  Is the media talking about it? Are the politicians talking about it? Are your friends talking about it?


“If the silence is deafening, then perhaps you have your answer,” he says.


Go read his post, and start talking about the link between poverty and cancer -- first noted by former NCI Director Samuel Broder, MD, back in 1989.