05 September, 2009

People Don't Die From Cancer

It's True! Tell Everyone! Cancer Is A Hoax Perpetrated On The World By The Medical-Insurance-Pharmaceutical Complex! It's The Biggest Lie Of Our Generation! No One Is Safe!

...Um, no. The above isn't so. But it is a fact that, whenever you read that "Insert Name died of cancer," you're reading horseshit.

People die from complications due to cancer. So is it too much to ask that magazines, newspapers, newspersons, et cetera please, for the love of Baal, start using that one word for the sake of being correct, and so that reading-obsessed people with a decent IQ and OCD can lead lives filled with slightly less annoyance?

Purely hypothetically, let's imagine that I just read in The Atlantic, while having coffee at Stumptown Coffee Roasters on SW Third, that someone died from lung cancer. And let's imagine it drove me batshit enough to write this, because I know that a simple growth in a lung can't cause someone to cease living.

The subject of the article I hypothetically read didn't die of lung cancer. This person, who had lung cancer, died from, perhaps, the metastasis of said cancer into other parts of his body. Perhaps the growth invaded this person's heart, causing it to fail.

Therefore, in this case, the person died from heart failure brought on as a result of lung cancer.

The above example also implies the (hopefully) well-known truth that cancer cannot kill unless it metastasizes. And this is why the early detection of cancer is so incredibly important, and why this fact is drummed into our skulls by every source out there telling us that people drop dead from abnormal growths when, in truth, these abnormal growths have to gum up the body's works to truly cause problems.

So, publishers and newspersons of the world: The word is "complications." Please, please use it till you love it, or I promise to continue erupting into anger and frustration in public and freaking out those around me.

Can you live with causing innumerable freakouts? Or with the complications that arise therefrom?

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