“Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics” — an observation often attributed to Mark Twain
Researching Your Cancer
This is a daunting task. You’re about to be inundated with scary statistics, esoteric medical jargon and terrifying treatments. Before you do anything, please read this Stephen J. Gould article.
Stephen J. Gould was an evolutionary biologist on staff at Harvard University. At the age of 40 he was diagnosed with abdominal mesothelioma. He was told he faced a “median mortality of 8 months”.
Twenty years later, Stephen J. Gould died of an unrelated cancer. His essay “The Median Isn’t The Message” is a realistic, heart felt look at cancer statistics and the reality of hope. This essay is a must read before you start your own research.
“We don’t know why… But match people with the same cancer for age, class, health, socioeconomic status, and, in general, those with positive attitudes, with a strong will and purpose for living, with commitment to struggle, with an active response to aiding their own treatment and not just a passive acceptance of anything doctors say, tend to live longer. Attitude clearly matters in fighting cancer.”