Friday, August 28, 2009


Pretty harsh judgment in a NY Times op-ed about Kennedy's cancer death:

"Despite billions that have been spent, the death rate from most cancers barely budged."

In substitution for fact and statistic, the author opted to use words like "most", and phrases like "barely budged". Which is fine, but I'd expect the same author to describe a glass half full as "almost empty".

Sure, a lot of cancers remain terribly stubborn and difficult to treat. Many others have seen dramatic improvements in morbidity and mortality, thanks to better drugs, screening, and other intervention. Look at testicular cancer, which in 1960 had a 5 year survival rate of less than 5%; its closer to 95% now. Screening and early detection have improved breast cancer outcomes. We just developed a vaccine for cervical cancer. I could go on and on.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Tell me about it... Someone call the NY Times and tell them to stop being such a Deb.