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Why Can’t Diabetes Get Better Coverage?
Last October was Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For nearly every day of that month, there were numerous and extensive reports on both local and network news broadcasts pertaining to virtually every aspect of breast cancer: research and recent developments, treatments, statistics, charities and personal stories, to name a few. A major road in my community was closed for a breast cancer walk.
Finally in November, Diabetes Awareness Month arrived. But on the news shows, I saw reporting on—breast cancer. I did not see one single report or item regarding diabetes. I know from reading literature in the diabetes community that there have been tremendous strides in the care and treatment of the disease. At the same time, however, diabetes continues to be a deadly disease.
Statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2002 reported that diabetes was the sixth leading cause of death listed on death certificates. These death certificates reflected that diabetes was the underlying cause of 73,249 deaths, and that diabetes contributed to 224,092 deaths.
The CDC reported that in 2002, breast cancer accounted for 133.6 deaths per 100,000 people, and the American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that breast cancer will account for 40,410 deaths in 2005. My view may not be politically correct, and no one is denying that breast cancer is a horrible and deadly disease, but I do not understand why a disease that causes more deaths, not to mention devastating complications, is given minimal media and public attention.
Lane R. Zbar
Attention Should Be Paid for Test-Strip Costs
I am writing in hopes that we can get some media attention to the costs of glucose test strips for the major manufacturers of testing devices. They nearly give the devices away, but what good does that do if one is not able to afford the test strips? I see many celebrities [in your pages] who tell diabetics to check their blood glucose often. Most of these celebrities don’t have the financial restrictions that a lot of Americans have who can’t afford health insurance, let alone testing supplies.
There are not a lot of people out there who can help you if you are financially unable. What we need in this country is someone to take the war to the manufacturers to bring down the price for test strips. I mean, there are how many diabetics in the United States alone? You would think that someone like Wilford Brimley or another celebrity might lend their name not just to telling people to test more often but would go head-on with the companies that charge an outlandish amount for the strips to make it impossible for the majority of diabetics to test as often as they should.
Thanks for listening.
Dr. Edelman Calls Foul on Insulin Article
I felt compelled to write to you about the sidebar article, “Can Insulin Cause Cancer?” in the February 2006 issue of Diabetes Health.
Below are some of my points:
I do not understand what was the driving force behind [publishing] this old, irrelevant, irreproducible negative report in cell lines from cancer-prone rats about an insulin analogue that has been used safely worldwide in millions of people with diabetes with no evidence of cancer whatsoever.
Steven Edelman, MD
Professor of Medicine
University of California, San Diego
Veterans Affairs Medical Center
San Diego, California
Editor’s note: We really appreciate this letter. This article was thoroughly researched and fact checked and the personal and scientific sources are all credible. The data cited was the most recent data available to support the claims of the sources. If newer data becomes available supporting or refuting the claims of the sources, we will publish that as well.
Q: Are you in a support group for diabetes?
May 1, 2006
Diabetes Health is the essential resource for people living with diabetes- both newly diagnosed and experienced as well as the professionals who care for them. We provide balanced expert news and information on living healthfully with diabetes. Each issue includes cutting-edge editorial coverage of new products, research, treatment options, and meaningful lifestyle issues.