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Thread: what if a complete cure for cancer ?

  1. #1 what if a complete cure for cancer ? 
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    What if there is a complete cure for all cancer patients 10 millions worldwide, besides extend life to humanity, would there be significant side effects to the world's economy....like the insurance companies, salaries, pharmaceutical companies wind up because no more cancer aided medications would be needed.....


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    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    Of course. Massive changes to the world economy. For a start, we could expect fantastic population growth, with all that entails.

    If there was a medical break through that guaranteed me an extra 50 years of life, I would go into long term investment mode. In particular, I would try to buy land - lots of it. Multiply that reaction of mine by millions of people, and see what happens to the economy. The price of land would sky rocket. Ditto other long term investment values. Fortunes would be made and lost in a very short time - possibly enough disruption to cause a depression that would make the 1929 one look like a damp squib!


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  4. #3 Re: what if a complete cure for cancer ? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by xenobiology
    would there be significant side effects to the world's economy....like the insurance companies, salaries, pharmaceutical companies wind up because no more cancer aided medications would be needed.....
    There is really no limit to the money that can be spent on medicine. If cancer were cured, the people dying of cancer would die of some other cause, and the money would be spent on that or something else.
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    The most profitable drugs by a long shot for the pharmaceutical companies are mood altering drugs, statins, and diabetes medication. Cancer drugs aren't worth as much because the patients eventually die. Antibiotics are worth the least to a drug company.
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  6. #5  
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    Yeah even if we cured all cancers it would only add 3 years onto national life expectancies world wide. (treating infectious diseases has added 10 years it is estimated.)
    As it is today, cancer is becoming a chronic disease which people are living with long enough to die of something else in some cases. Cure is not an expected outcome for many & such may not add hugely to one's life expectancy if one can live with the disease.

    Curing cancer would not create as big an impact as is discussed by some people above except that the cost to governments could end up huge.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Areo
    Finding a cure for cancer would be amazing. It would help so many people, it would save many lives... But on the other hand, many pharmaceutical companies earn A LOT of money on drugs for treating cancer -- they don't cure it, just slow it down.

    If someone found a cure for cancer today, it would definitely turn the world around. And the economy, of course.
    The same amount of people will get sick and die. They'll just die of various cardiovascular diseases and neurodegenerative diseases. Big pharma have nothing to worry about as long as we're a mortal species.
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    Not to mention the longer a person lives the more time they get to spend on those anti-depressants.
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    cardiovascular diseases
    heart disease is our # 1 enemy..i'd say cure the most deadly disease first, then cancer
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    That's true but the reality is we have the drugs to treat heart disease, we just don't have the systems in place to detect everyone with high blood pressure/lipids etc. and people continue to eat unhealthily and smoke.

    Heart disease is almost more a social issue now than it is an academic/scientific research one.
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robbie
    That's true but the reality is we have the drugs to treat heart disease, we just don't have the systems in place to detect everyone with high blood pressure/lipids etc. and people continue to eat unhealthily and smoke.

    Heart disease is almost more a social issue now than it is an academic/scientific research one.
    We need to find cheaper and more efficient ways to monitor people's hearts. Sudden cardiac death of young athletes is rare but heartbreaking (beta blockers can be used but it's often too late as the first sign that something is wrong can be sudden death) and other deaths caused by congenital heart disease should be more effectively managed as well...but as a start, we should eradicate plaque buildup in the arteries to the extent that it's no longer an issue...why hasn't this yet been accomplished? Plavix only does so much...
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    I would prefer money be spent on researching more effective treatments for malaria and TB, but as a microbiologist I may be a tad bit biased >.>
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    Not to mention the longer a person lives the more time they get to spend on those anti-depressants.
    Exactly...drug companies would much rather have live patients who they can continue to sell drugs to indefinitely, instead of patients who get sick, buy drugs for a while, and then relatively quickly die.

    Also, it's important to remember that 1) there are a lot of drug companies, 2) usually each new drug is only made by a single company, and 3) they are all in competition with each other. A drug company's ideal cancer cure would probably be something that didn't actually kill the cancer, but stopped it from spreading - that way each person who is diagnosed with cancer becomes a life-long customer who will buy their drug forever. But even if such a treatment were available, every other drug company that wasn't selling that particular drug would still keep searching for a better drug that would actually kill the cancer, since they would then be able to sell it to their rival's customers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    I would prefer money be spent on researching more effective treatments for malaria and TB, but as a microbiologist I may be a tad bit biased >.>

    Malaria? i thought that malaria has not been a serious disease anymore....I mean, the disease is under control in most of the countries except in Africa....am i right?
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  15. #14  
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    Far from it. 40% of the worlds population are at risk of malaria. It is a huge problem; it just doesnt affect the western world so is forgotten about here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RathDinen
    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    I would prefer money be spent on researching more effective treatments for malaria and TB, but as a microbiologist I may be a tad bit biased >.>

    Malaria? i thought that malaria has not been a serious disease anymore....I mean, the disease is under control in most of the countries except in Africa....am i right?
    It's still one of the top 5 killers, of the top of my head I think it's 20 million people a year, out of 500 million people infected.

    TB is even worse. It still kills 1/100,000 people a year in the developed world, and there are issues with the TB vaccine since the strains being used for producing vaccines in many developing countries have mutated too much to still be effective. Luckily the mutation required to produce an attenuated antigenic strain of M. bovis has been identified, so we can work towards producing some sort of consistency in the quality of TB vaccines.
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  17. #16  
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    Malaria kills 1 to 2 million people per year. This number is much lower than it has been in the past, and this drop is due to effective control of malarial mosquitoes in many nations. However, in the poorest nations, such insect control is too expensive and the disease runs rife.

    Most adults who get it will survive, but children are very vulnerable, and the deaths are mostly children. The disease is bad in Africa but is found in Asia, South America, and through much of the tropical Pacific. It has also grown resistant to some of the traditional, quinine based drugs.
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