Monday, September 26, 2005

New York Times Does The Math - And The Numbers Don't Add Up! Someone Must Have Cheated To Pass Their Regent's Exam!

The premise of the above article is that science can not prove diet has any correlation with cancer rates. The Times does state, though, that a more healthful diet can't hurt when it comes to preventing cancer - and that it will likely help with heart disease. But the paper also firmly states that it can not be proven there is a link between diet and preventing cancer since concrete facts are lacking.

However, the New York Times does state that cancer rates are soaring. And then they quote the following facts and figures to prove that:

That, however, is little consolation to cancer patients and family members who are terrified that cancer might strike them next. And there are more and more. As the population ages, the number of cancer patients is soaring. From 1997 to 2004, the number of Americans with cancer jumped, to 9.6 million from 9.4 million. Cancer strikes one in two men and one in three women in their lifetimes.

There's only one little problem here. The 'soaring' number of patients comes out to a total increase of just a hair over 2.1% over seven years. That comes out to little more than a .3% increase per year.

Pretty pathetic for soaring, I would say.

Even more damning is the inconvenient fact (and, yes, facts are so very often... inconvenient) that during the same seven years, the population of this country was growing at around 1% per year. That would mean the population is growing over 3 times - that's 300% - higher than the rate of cancer increase! That means that cancer rates - as the country ages - are plummeting!

Now I doubt if that is at all true and there has to be some explanation for this. But it sure has nothing to do with the facts presented in the article.


Cancer rates are actually DROPPING in this country - and not soaring as the New York Times says tomorrow in what appears to be front page story! As proof --

Annual Report to the Nation Finds Cancer Incidence and Death Rates on the Decline: Survival Rates Show Significant Improvement

The nation's leading cancer organizations report that Americans' risk of getting and dying from cancer continues to decline and survival rates for many cancers continue to improve.

Yup - not only are the numbers of cancer patients not 'soaring' - but the rate at which Americans get cancer in this country is ... actually... dropping.


NYT corrects misspelled name - but not 'soaring' cancer rates.

An article and a picture caption in Science Times yesterday about scientific doubts on the role of diet in cancer prevention misspelled the given name of a Harvard epidemiologist who discussed the difficulties of correlating dietary habits with cancer rates. He is Dr. Meir Stampfer, not Meier. (Go to Article)

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