Sunday, July 14, 2013

Would You Prefer Cancer Or Alzheimer's: Discuss

Oh, here is a topic for endless debate. Pour the wine, get out the ice cream and round up your friends. If you had to choose--if it was within your power to choose--would you choose Alzheimer's or Cancer?

No, it's not really as if we get to choose but it's looking like there is some genetic choosing going on. USA Today released the story yesterday.  Thank you to reporter Karen Weintraub. Longitudinal research now suggests that there is a link between the two diseases and it is an inverse correlation.

People with Alzheimer's had a 43% lower risk of developing cancer than those without Alzheimer's. And those with cancer had a 35% lower chance of developing Alzheimer's than those with out cancer. The USA Today story reports that several scientists and multiple studies led to this conclusion. It is very intriguing. The length of the studies ruled out the so-called simple explanation: that someone with either disease didn't live long enough to get the other but that is not the case. The "Protective factor" clearly exists.

So, really can you imagine having to choose? Your choice may depend on how closely you have lived to people with either disease. Alzheimer's is less painful in a sense--no surgery, chemo, side effects etc. But look at the pain for the family. On the other hand while cancer gives you a degree of conscious control and choice there is, as we know here in CancerLand, so much pain.

There is another bit of information in this article that must get our attention. Weintraub reports that "Alzheimer's is expected to triple over the next generation and become a huge social and financial burden....Alzheimer's is a disease that is going to dwarf every other disease..."

It makes one pause and perhaps find a tiny bit of gratitude for cancer.

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