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This is a federal case from Washington D.C. the National Educational radio network brings you an examination of current issues facing our nation and its capital city. Did you know that cancer is the greatest single killer of kids between the ages of 1 and 14. I had no idea. I think it's better to live on cancer than the moon. How do you feel about the financial commitment made by the government to fighting cancer and sufficient to put it mildly. I think every resource we have should use that i'm patient to contribute more money to cancer upon want to pay taxes I certainly rather pay taxes like cancer on the war or whatever. I think it should be given priority. God God no money.
For the Public Information Center in Washington D.C. This is Jeff came in reporting look the other way. An examination of cancer and American priorities. Half of this dread killer but the many billions of dollars it cost Americans each year. The wrecking of families are wrecking the family budget and the terrible pain and the great cost of trying to treat it has reached this proportion and they American people should make it a name to cure this. This is United States senator Ralph Yarbrough of Texas. Ten years ago we had hearings going on appropriations for the National Institutes of cancer cancer to step up research into the cause and cure of cancer. And these greatest experts in the country told us 10 years ago that if we the country really wanted to find the cause of cancer and the cure that it would take about a billion dollars a year to do it for 10
years and that if we would put a billion dollars into this research we could find the cause and the Cure in 10 years. Well I said I'm ready to do it now but nobody else indicated there that the works epicenter Lester hill and I. And it wasn't done. Ten years have gone by and more people are dying each year than died the year before with this dread disease. Now in that ten years we've squandered over a hundred billion dollars in Southeast Asia and for 10 percent of that according to the best judgment of the cancer research and treatment experts of America. We could have found the cause and cure. And that illustrates I think the economic necessity for this and the humanitarian necessity and I just think on plain educated intelligent people that we should make the cause and cure of cancer a national priority. Much of the research in cancer especially now has been stagnated there here's some hope and there was a new avenues open but not nearly enough money is being directed towards this.
Dr. Michael Brecker M.D. attending physician Calvary Hospital in New York. The government seems to taking more interest in stopping. Cigarette commercials rather than attacking a cure for cancer it's true it's an indirect method but it seems that the emphasis by the government's not been on this on that actually getting getting to the problem. As you said new research we always say there's never enough money for research but certainly I think in terms of cancer many of the funds for teaching and the care and the research you can see is coming from private foundations rather than from government finance situations. Cancer is now killing over three hundred twenty thousand Americans a year. It's a primary number one cause of death in America each year. One out of each six people who die die of cancer and it's not a disease just of the aged. People used to think is a disease a disease of the age but 45 percent
of all the people who die in cancer each year are under 65 years of age and 10 percent of these are under 45. And when we take children after they get the baby or infant diseases of the first year cancer is the primary cause of. Death of children from one to 14 years of age kills more children in the right age bracket one to 14 years than any other color. Thing. We. See. I felt sick from the left side of the chest. I went to see my doctor and you know my medical doctor the family doctor. And then he told me that I have to see a specialist so he became me. You know the Allison everything. And I went to see him and when he examined
me he said that I had to take X-Rays which he did that broadly I needed an operation. Her cancer has been spreading for at least eight years I have been softened terribly but by having faced in God see because I believe in and I have every last thing alive I think if I'm going to die I die any time. And die. Run anything. So that faith is happy me. Or so you know to conquer. The sickness for a little more. My patient has cancer of the breast which is spread to both hips in her spine. You know as result of the two MY has fractured her hip bones either side is fractured her back and the lower part. She now is experience incredible pain in these areas they take very good care of.
They give me injections. They don't let anybody suffer here you know and. Just make friends before a lot of work but a few weeks ago I was walking around to know that this little friend of my there he was a little bit afraid but now he's not afraid anymore. You know that made me feel good saying. You made him not afraid you gave him some courage courage. Yes I made me feel better. Just see what he thought. You know. Of life. We expect hard to probably survive. Another three to six months. The major problem at this time is whether or not we're going to be able to effectively control our pain thus far she's on enormous doses of narcotics and they're barely holding up in the future we hope to do various nerve blocks to control the immense amount of pain treatments and
treatments of the knot. And I was feeling better. That I got sick again and that was thinking I'd insist to seven when I went to the hospital and I came here during those five years from 1962 to 1967. Were you living a normal life. Yes I did. I did until one day I began to feel in my hip you know on my back and I got better eyes on one side the right side. I couldn't do anything. See now I can not write very well. I don't do much but at least I use my own. I eat. Sleep. That's I think it's important to note that you still write that if you could talk to the president of the United States right now. What would you tell him about the need to cure cancer. Well. I would say so wonderful scene to live a normal life.
Is if it can be hope is something that. Nobody can do anything about it is different but not by negligence. If the government can do something about the sick people that will be accepted and appreciated by these sick people because they like to be in a bit suffering with pains all the time. Right now I guess you know I say you watch television and you read some too don't you. Yes. That the United States government is spending billions of dollars not millions but billions on sending men to the moon and fighting in Asia. Do you think that that money should be spent. In trying to cure cancer. I believe so. I'm the song. Because. I think by helping sick people from cancer. Dead doing something even better that fund they are doing now. See. Because they are research and they don't to know what they're going
to get a ride they're looking for. To my knowledge perhaps a not but to me I don't see. Why they're looking for. You mean in the race to the moon in the race to the moon. Yes it's a case of will and a case of priorities and I think Americans when they stop to think about this will have the will to do it of the present population. Two hundred four million people we know in the coal percentages that over 50 million of these 200 4 are going to have cancer in their lifetimes and 33 million one out of six of this two hundred four million about 33 million are going to die from cancer. Unless we find new cures we spend less than 200 million dollars a year on day finding cures for cancer and that's about $4 per year for each potential cancer victim. We saile spend more in this country per year on ballpoint pens own chewing gum than we do for cancer. Finding the cause and cure of cancer. I'm talking about per person expenditures per year.
I would like to believe in all my life. But being that I'm sick. I have to get out there just the same the federal government putting 200 million dollars in it. Now it wouldn't be correct to say that there isn't some care but there isn't enough care it's not made a national priority. There are more glamorous things and more glamorous things about having a foreign war reaching the moon. I voted for the Space Exploration of course I believe in scientific exploration endeavor but I didn't vote at all this 10 years to get more money for cancer research now we spent 25 billion dollars and put a man on the moon and a third of a million people are dying on earth every year of cancer not only within the United States alone. So I think finding the cause and cure of cancer is as important as going to the moon. Important is exploring Mars far more important than getting bogged down in wars in three different countries in Southeast Asia. I think we don't have to slow up space exploration to find the cause and cure of cancer. I think we can just stop some of the wastage of thirty six billion dollars a year we're
pouring into the war in Southeast Asia. Three billion dollars a month for 10 days that's 100 million dollars a day for 10 days of that war in Southeast Asia that your billion dollars a year for cancer research. If we de-escalated 10 percent of that war in Southeast Asia just de-escalate 10 percent we'd have over 3 billion dollars more to spend on Nation priorities in United States and one billion is all we need on cancer research. The experts have said we couldn't spend more than that wisely and expeditiously. We do not have the research facilities of the trained personnel. They don't ask for a billion dollars the first year and two billion the second three billion the third they ask for a billion dollars a year spread out. That's all the research for sold his will accommodate. And we have an easy quick way of. Finding that money by cutting out some of the useless overseas expenditures. OK Christine and.
I have. Had. A. Really. Good. Man. And me and him and her hair. And. Hair and. Today. And. Now. We. Have.
A. Man. Right. Now. Who. Really. Care. We have collected to ourselves people that nobody else wants. You know our rule is the more someone else doesn't want you the more we want you. This is it. What is it like for a patient with a disease like this. It's exactly this. He has suffered despair. This is the greatest. And I think the most painful part of this disease is absolute despair.
There's no. There's no way to turn. There's no way to turn one agonizing day follows another one. Yeah and they don't eat anymore they don't breathe anymore. And if somebody to talk to no one really cares. And this is it. I want to bring you home I want to be so big and mean it. I don't know what it was. She had to use this desperation. This is this desperation is all are you crying now I know honey I know I agree I mean I can tell you Katherine don't cry. You've got a crime. I would be a fool to say don't cry. But. I. I would like to know what you say you have a desperation trying to tell me more what you what's going on inside your heart and inside your mind what what do you feel what's going on inside you right to want to me so glad everything out that you can.
I one of the people to know what a person is going through because I have a I'm like No no I probably can't do right now I can go. Right For You. So I know I can go. I know I'm filing I guess. Good. Man. Down. There come. Down and meet me. We have a great deal of trouble getting funds from the Medicare program for taking care of this type of patient. I don't want to
make it sound like Medicare has been deficient in any in the payments but our problem is that this sort of patient defeat it with great difficulty does not fall under the Medicare regulations and accordingly every facet of mind that's given to us for the care of these patients is almost sold out of the Medicare program. So we have been disappointed with other words we must constantly prove to them that this patient got exact medical care whereas other institutions perhaps this would. Not be the case. You know other words patients like this are costly and it would be expedient if they would die. I mean this is the attitude very frequently that's given of course this is not the attitude. If one of your own has this condition if you watch a 14 year old boy with the sarcoma. Then you want every single thing that can be done to make this boy comfortable Don't you want somebody to spend time with him but is it possible says the hospital scares me
as the as the governments will frequently say to us we're not going to pay you doctor to hold anybody's hand. And this has been told to us. You know we don't pay doctors to help patients here we say but doesn't this part of a disease count doesn't total despair Steria fear doesn't a boy who loses like who was playing ball one day two weeks later is in a hospital with a malignancy and had his leg amputated. The fact that he cries and I spent time with him while he's weeping this is not reimbursable. Somewhere somehow you don't feel that this is part of a good medical care in the answers. The answer to it was that we don't pay you doctor for holding patients hands. There.
Them four five weeks ago you were going as you wanted to go home but you were just as I was positive calling crying about how you have been doing recently. What has changed to make you feel this way do you feel something inside some impending disaster. Tell me what you feel right. I want to be in the future I want some future you know that is nothing. I'm just proud of my family that I can say there was no way I can say Alex Ferguson I don't think I am. What do you mean it's too much to come yet.
Everything in the right frame. I never knew any other day that you were very good and you were getting very scared or frightened. Well explain that to me. You know I mean right. The pain and then everything they. Say Well the thing that happened so. People don't care. Incoming patients have on occasion had to be deloused to be crawling with all sorts of men in their hair. They had exile and pubic areas and in addition we've had patients who had maggots and instead had to be removed. These patients came from real hospitals and not some little hole in the wall. Now they have come from hospitals and not from any hole in the wall. I have had to be deloused and I've had to have maggots removed from their
extremities. Fish food. Faster. Than. Any. One of the things that I would like the most. Is that there will be someone. To think of the poor sick people that are in the hospital with cancer. But I believe best has to be one that has this sickness because one doesn't that it doesn't know the sulfurous one that has. And.
This way. If. If that is someone that really cares for you. And your good. Q I think that is a wonderful thing to do for the sick people. In the past 24 hours almost 1000 Americans have died of cancer. The figure like the disease keeps growing. Meanwhile radio television and newspaper announcements suggest that we fight cancer with a check up and a check. Maybe they should tell it to the government. Musically this program was written and performed by Michael Baldwin and Richard letters.
We are grateful to Calvary Hospital New York staff and patients contributed so significantly to this effort. And man. Now to. Look the other way. Examination of cancer and American priorities produced by the Public Information Center Washington D.C.. This is Jeff Kaman speaking. You've been listening to a federal case a weekly examination of a national
issue from the perspective of our nation's capital. This is the national educational radio network.
A Federal Case II
Episode Number
Look the Other Way
Producing Organization
National Educational Radio Network
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Series Description
"A Federal Case II" is a weekly program produced by the National Educational Radio Network which examines current political topics in the United States and Washington, D.C. Each episode features interviews with experts, members of the public, and lawmakers concerning a specific issue of government.
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Politics and Government
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Producing Organization: National Educational Radio Network
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 70-18-8 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
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Chicago: “A Federal Case II; 8; Look the Other Way,” 1970-00-00, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 27, 2024,
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