Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Death Statistics update

In response to my comments on the Death Statistics study, Research Scientist and Associate Director of Biostatistics, Donn C. Young, Ph.D., of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center offered this reply:



Dear Ms. Bell,

Thank you for your thoughtful note about our recently published study.
The questions you raise are important, but difficult to answer within
the framework of scientific investigation. Since we were working from
information recorded on death certificates, there was no way of knowing
such things as the individual's intent or manner in which they
approached their disease. And position and credibility have nothing to
do with it - it's a matter of looking at the data.

But I disagree that our study removes hope - far from it. We know that
many cancer patients live well beyond what might be 'expected'. But
those of us who specialize in statistics know that random variation
results in a few individuals who achieve often remarkable survivals. For
example, Stephen Jay Gould, the evolutionary biologist, survived 20
years after a diagnosis of abdominal mesothelioma - a remarkably
agressive and fatal form of cancer. He understood the nature of
statistical distributions and understood that a few would have a lengthy
survival - and found solace in the hope that that would include himself
- and it did.

And while optimism and a positive coping style may greatly enhance a
patient's quality of life, there seems little evidence that they have
any influence on overall survival in people with cancer. You may wish to
read the two articles below from the journals Cancer and British Medical
Journal.

Schofield P, Ball D, et al. Optimism and survival in lung carcinoma
patients. Cancer 2004;100:1276-82.
Petticrew M, Bell R, Hunter D. Influence of psychological coping on
survival and recurrence in people with cancer: systematic review. BMJ
2002;325:1066-76.

We by no means remove hope, but wish only to emphasize that if you have
a family member, friend, or loved one dying of cancer or other chronic
disease that we need to give them an early gift of our love, our
friendship, our attention, and our time. Nothing is more important. I
hope this message is clear.

Sincerely,

Donn Young


8 comments:

Steve Austin said...

Enjoyable blog. Please check out my mesothelioma lawyer. It is all about mesothelioma lawyer.

jon said...

I was looking at your posts about cancer uterine and found a good article about the same cancer uterine info too...

God luck with it : )

thermoplastic resources said...

Looking for uterine cancer information I came across this post. I totally agree with you and would feel the same way!

jon

Paul said...

Hey, nice site!
I have a site about mesothelioma.
If you or someone you know have mesothelioma cancer, than you should check out our site for important information on mesothelioma.

Bloggy said...

It's always good to find more resources about delaware mesothelioma attorney, and I too have a couple of pages about Mesthelioma,
delaware mesothelioma attorney
delaware mesothelioma attorney

Mesotheliomata Attorney said...

I was just browsing through a few blogs, looking for information related to my mesothelioma info site. That's how I came accross your blog. I know our sites are not exactly related, but I figured I'd leave a comment to express my appreciation for the great content you got on your blog, and I'd like to extent my personal invitation for you to visit my site if you are even the least bit curious about mesothelioma info, or anything related to mesothelioma.

_________________________________________________________
Let's end the pain and suffering of this deadly disease

Mesothelioma Cancer said...

You have writen a very good blog! I will bookmark it at once!

I have a mesothelioma compensation site/blog. It pretty much covers ##KEYWORD## related stuff.

Go and check it out if you get time.

Mesothelioma Cancer said...

Your blog is one for my list!

I have a mesothelioma support site/blog. It pretty much covers mesothelioma support related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)