Counterparties

By Felix Salmon
July 2, 2010
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Winemakers are nearly always white. Can South Africans step up and change things? — Atlantic

Elliott Associates has one of the “veritable flotilla of special-interest bills is quietly floating through the Legislature” in Albany — NYT

Q: So should I see the film in 3D or 2D? A: Do you have a third option? — VF

Best acquisition announcement ever — YouTube

Why Ghana can beat Uruguay — Twitvid

IBM moving to Firefox as its default browser — Sutor

“Smoking and drinking alcohol are the biggest risk factors for oesophageal cancer, particularly if they are combined” — NHS

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Posted by littlebecky6 | Report as abusive

My first lesson in the danger of statistics came about as a result of oesophageal cancer. My mother was diagnosed with the squamous cell variant, and our personal research led us to believe that she didn’t stand a good chance of making it beyond two years, as the article says. Of course, she was not over 55, a smoker, or a heavy drinker, so something seemed off. She is, however, Japanese. A good doctor parsed the information, and it turns out Asians have a much higher incidence of squamous cell carcinoma (as much as 81% more likely in Asian males than white counterparts, in some studies). If you could sound an alarm, it would be for Asian/Pacific Islanders to routinely get screened after 40 (not 55) for oesophageal cancer. In many Asian countries they routinely screen after 40, but expats (and US doctors) don’t often know this. This isn’t to say the NHS article is wrong, but correlating two factors with an increased chance of cancer without exploring racial differences might put some at (false) ease. Additionally, for squamous cell carcinoma, radiation is used quite often. Hope I don’t sound contentious, but early screening and knowledge can save lives. You’ll be happy to know the rate of survival among Asians is siginificantly higher.
Study link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16388 522

Posted by OneTime | Report as abusive
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