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A lot of donkeys are braying about Rudy Giuliani’s radio ad in which he has the audacity to applaud the American health care system. Specifically, they’re making a din about Hizzoner’s comparison of U.S. and British survival rates relating to prostate cancer:
My chance of surviving prostate cancer — and, thank God, I was cured of it — in the United States? Eighty-two percent. My chance of surviving prostate cancer in England? Only 44 percent under socialized medicine.
So, is “America’s Mayor” fudging the numbers? Are American and English cancer survival rates about the same? Not according to David Gratzer and Clive Crook. Here’s how the former puts it:
The percentage of people diagnosed with prostate cancer who die from it is much higher in Britain than in the United States … 57 percent of Britons diagnosed with prostate cancer died of it; and, consequently, just 43 percent survived.
And here’s how the latter brings the point home:
Nationally, American cancer survival rates are significantly better … And here is the politically salient question: If you have cancer, would you rather be an American with insurance or an Englishman without? The answer is obvious.
Indeed it is. Giuliani’s political ad, like all examples of the genre, makes considerable use of hyperbole. But no matter how much racket the jackasses make, his basic point is irrefutable.
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+ May 2007
November 2nd, 2007 at 5:17 pm
The author of this post is either fundamentally dishonest, or stupid. American men are more likely to survive after a diagnosis of prostate cancer only because they are much more likely to have it diagnosed; Americans are tested a lot more than Brits. Many more Brits survive prostate cancer without ever being diagnosed as having it.
Mortality rates from the disease are almost identical in both countries, which means that if the incidence is about the same, it’s unlikely that which country you live in will make any difference at all to your survival prospects if you have cancer.
This is despite the fact that the US spends 2.5 times as much on healthcare as the UK.
November 2nd, 2007 at 6:22 pm
2.5 times as much per capita, that is.
November 5th, 2007 at 5:26 am
[…] David Catron added an interesting post today on Stat Wars: Giuliani and the Prostate Cancer DebateHere’s a small reading […]
November 6th, 2007 at 1:10 pm
…and this. Very encouraging.
“A lot of donkeys are braying about Rudy Giuliani’s radio ad in which he has the audacity to applaud the American health care system”
It’s one thing you spending your days trying to mislead the rubes, but do you have to be a dick about it?