Super Tuesday

02.4.2008 | 7:58 pm

Cancer is the leading killer of Americans under the age of 85. That seems like an issue worth a presidential candidate’s attention.

It’s Super Tuesday. Choose wisely.


  1. Comment by KanyonKris | 02.4.2008 | 8:31 pm

    When I stopped to think, it’s silly that cancer isn’t a higher federal priority. The government spends all kinds of money to protect our safety (food, drugs, consumer products, highways, working conditions, etc.) and I daresay many of those government activities affect fewer lives than cancer. So why doesn’t the government do more? Perhaps that’s the question Lance has as well. And as a result it seems he’s aggressively pushing the issue into the public area this election season. Good tactics LAF! All kinds of info at the LAF website –

  2. Comment by Undomestic | 02.4.2008 | 9:14 pm

    I look like that picture right now…having just completed chemo 2 weeks ago. Has Susan started yet? I think about and pray for her often.

  3. Comment by fatty | 02.4.2008 | 9:16 pm

    undomestic – susan went off chemo in order to have her hip replaced. she starts again in march.

    i hope your treatment was totally successful and that your cancer is gone forever.

  4. Comment by Rocky | 02.4.2008 | 9:29 pm

    I hope the very same hope for Susan – that chemo will find its mark and eradicate her cancer forever. I hope.

  5. Comment by buckythedonkey | 02.5.2008 | 1:03 am

    Poorly-informed non-American question: do any of the candidates for the Presidency have cancer high on their agenda?

    Best of luck Undomestic – I sincerely hope you get rid of your cancer for good.

  6. Comment by Big Boned | 02.5.2008 | 3:29 am

    I haven’t heard any of the candidates say a word about cancer. You may have to go for the “universal health care” candidate, though figuring out exactly who that is and what they mean when they say that is difficult…

  7. Comment by Mike Roadie | 02.5.2008 | 3:47 am

    I swear I was going to try to post the exact same ad this morning!!!!

    If you click on the ad, you can see what the candidates said at the Cancer Forun in Iowa earlier this year. VOTE FOR THOSE WHO CARE!!!!!

    Instead, I’ll try to see if this info will show up:

    Cancer Facts and Programs in Your State
    Find state and national cancer statistics and see what we’re doing locally to help cancer survivors.
    If the link doesn’t show, it is:

    In the meantime, click my ad to the right, or below:

    Be well, VOTE……and LiveSTRONG!!!!!

  8. Comment by Little1 | 02.5.2008 | 4:00 am

    your politics confuse me… but then so does most politics. I just hope that this time someone with direction who champions for humanity gets in! (this of course would include cancer as an agenda item!)

  9. Comment by Uphill Battle | 02.5.2008 | 5:16 am

    Thanks, Fatty. If everyone who reads this blog sends the ad to ten people, who each send the ad to ten people, and so on….who knows? Maybe we can make a difference.

  10. Comment by Bigger1 | 02.5.2008 | 5:52 am

    I am not sure what candidate is going to address cancers a specific issue. Unfortunately, it does not bring the star power that other topics do. Mainly, we just need a cadidate that believes in science and research, unlike most Republicans. They believe in the almighty dollar.

    “The government spends all kinds of money to protect our safety (food, drugs, consumer products, highways, working conditions, etc.)”

    Actually…they don’t do much to protect our saftey, imho. I would argue that their loose rules/regulations on druges, food, consumer products is what has caused the increase in cancer among the population. Is the sun giving you skin cancer or the sun screen? What about plastic bottles, plates, gladware, tupperware? That is made from petroleum. Petro is a very heavy carcinogen. People microwave their gladware, it breaks down into the food, etc.

    Another example: Shampoo. Have you looked at the ingredients? There are several carcinogens in there. The Food and Drug Admininstration is the organization that regulates food, shampoo, and consumer products. The The Food and Drug Admininstration’s rules are less strict than the EPA. Which means, you cannot have any contamination in the soil in your front yard. We are talking like 1 part per billion (do you know how small that is?)…..but….you can take that shampoo, deoderant, facial cream and rub it all over your skin, eyes, head, etc.

    Politics do not confuse me, but I do agree with Little1: We just need someone who “champions for humanity”

  11. Comment by yourmmom | 02.5.2008 | 5:54 am

    “If it don’t make dollaz, it don’t make sense” – DJ Quik

  12. Comment by Canadian Roadie | 02.5.2008 | 7:17 am

    As someone from north of the border, it has always bothered me why Americans pay so much for health care. However, be wary of the universal healthcare plan. While we pay less for health care, we are now seeing a steady decline in quality and a steady increase in wait times for care in Canada. There is no easy answer but I wish you all the best of luck (?) when choosing a candidate.

  13. Comment by Gillian | 02.5.2008 | 7:32 am

    This month is three years since my college friend Joe, 26, died of a brain tumor & leukemia. Super Tuesday indeed.

    In other unrelated news – - – your blog posts now appear way low on the page to me. When it first pops up, it looks totally blank, and I have to scroll down about two monitors’ lengths to see the newest entry. If it’s just me, no big deal, but if it looks that way to others it may be a fixable problem . . . ?

  14. Comment by Bryan (not that one) | 02.5.2008 | 7:50 am

    People who comment on this blog have been very generous to Elden and Susan and it’s a wonderful thing to see. Elden has said many times how amazed he is at the generosity of the people here.

    Politicians take this opportunity from us and all the positive feelings that result. Things like love, appreciation, faith in humanity and in the compassion of others. What do they get in return? VOTES. Politicians promise other people’s money to gain votes for themselves.

    Wouldn’t you rather have government get out of the way, pay less in taxes, and then have more money to give?

  15. Comment by Mary | 02.5.2008 | 9:02 am

    Lance was an inspiraton to all when he rode in the 2007 Iowa Ragbrai. Have you ever rode your cycle in our Ragbrai? It’s a week of hard riding across the state of Iowa, dipping your back wheel in the Missouri River and at the end dipping your front wheel in the Mississippi River. Thousands of cyclists participate from all over the country and in fact the world every year.

  16. Comment by BurkeInTheOzarks | 02.5.2008 | 9:15 am

    Bryan (not that one), although that seems like a good idea on paper (and is the rallying cry of the Republican Party), it just doesn’t work that way in reality. The government needs to be involved to some degree (although in a responsible way) or millions of people fall through the cracks. The “give us our money and we’ll help the needy” philosophy just doesn’t work. I’m not for welfare ‘free rides’ but we have a lot of people that are simply not capable of taking care of themselves for a variety of reasons and I, for one, think it is our duty to care for and respect the least among us.

  17. Comment by Truth-in-lending | 02.5.2008 | 9:37 am

    Bryan (not that one) AMEN, BROTHER! As long as we are going political today, know this. The Government spends MORE MONEY (much more)on “undocumented workers” EVERY year than they’ve spent in IRAQ since day one. It’s a fact. When that is the case, I can’t agree with you Burkeintheozarks.

  18. Comment by Little1 | 02.5.2008 | 9:54 am

    Hi Fatty,

    Gillian – I concur, I keep finding I have to scroll way down. the first few times i didn’t scroll and couldn’t figure out why fatty had not posted! Then the post popped back up to the top then back down again. Now it loads way down the bottom, but after finished loading it seems to have settled back up? so all you computer programmers out there… figure this one out!

  19. Comment by Sprocketboy | 02.5.2008 | 10:37 am

    Without wanting to turn this into a political debate (after all, I’m not even an American!), I just wanted to point out that the cost of the Iraq war is an estimated $6 billion per week, which is clearly far beyond what is being spent on “undocumented workers.” But more important is Fatty’s message to get out and push the battle against cancer. The US government is heavily invested in organizations such as the NIH, the National Cancer Institute and the Center for Disease Control and it makes sense to properly fund these, as well as university research and private labs. Politicians respond only to pressure so it has to be relentless or the issue will disappear in the face of other demands of less importance, like congressional inquiries into steroid use in baseball.

  20. Comment by born4felt | 02.5.2008 | 10:40 am

    Knowing that this is not a political website, and not wanting to start a shouting match, I still thought I would post this description of the President’s proposed budget plan out today because it is germane to the topic:

    “The proposal includes freezes or cuts to popular domestic programs that are likely to rile congressional Democrats. It would cut discretionary spending by the Department of Health and Human Services by more than 2 percent in part by freezing the budget of the National Institutes of Health, which heads the government’s medical research efforts.”

    From Bloomberg (

    I suppose your view of this depends on your take on the efficacy of Government-funded research as opposed to defense spending (which is way up) in promoting the public welfare.

  21. Comment by Sprocketboy | 02.5.2008 | 11:00 am

    I think the budget proposal is a way to send a message that health care costs have to be controlled but if passed it will of course have a severe impact on the kind of research programs that are needed. And the valid argument that Medicare/Medicaid needs to be improved in its cost-effectiveness should not push aside the need to defeat csncer, with all its human and economic costs to the country.

  22. Comment by Truth-in-lending | 02.5.2008 | 11:26 am

    I’m unable to post (it gets blocked) but I have VERIFIED figures that show the cost of $338 BILLION a year from illegals. I’ll be happy to share the verified facts with you, just drop me a way to get it to you. I’m curious as to where your $6 billion a week figure comes from as the most LIBERAL estimates I’ve seen are $275 million a day (which by my estimations fall a bit short of $6 BILLION a week)?

  23. Comment by Truth-in-lending | 02.5.2008 | 11:28 am

    That $275 million estimate also factored in salaries of the soldiers/airmen/marines. When I was in the service I got paid no matter where I was stationed so an honest person would remove that total and that GREATLY reduces the total.

  24. Comment by BurkeInTheOzarks | 02.5.2008 | 12:02 pm

    Just for the record, my comment was in no way tied to undocumented workers. That’s a separate issue.

    There are plenty of US citizens not able to care for themselves due to mental or physical ailments. Also, there are many more who work full time but not necessarily for a living wage, and certainly not for enough to afford health insurance.

    Even those who can afford insurance can be wiped out by the out-of-pocket costs of cancer treatment. My wife is a breast cancer survivor of two and half years and we have what I consider to be pretty good insurance. Still, our out-of-pocket costs to date have been about $18k…

  25. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 02.5.2008 | 12:08 pm

    Bryan, you’re kind of missing the point.

    Beating cancer is not necessarily about universal health care, or beating down big pharma, or increasing or decreasing taxes, libertarianism, republicanism, socialism, etc.

    Those who say the answer is getting gov’t out of healthcare are wrong.

    Those who say the answer is socialized medicine are wrong.

    As always in life, the answer lies somewhere in the middle. For example:

    • Colon, prostate, and cervical cancers are 99.99% preventable and 99.99% treatable if caught early. Therefore, the gov’t should provide complete funding for screening for those diseases. The screening processes for prostate and cervical cancers are ridiculously easy and cheap; colon cancer screening is less easy and less cheap, but it’ll save us a boat load of money in the long run.

    • Funding basic and translational research at universities often generate spin-off companies that take a supported hypothesis and turn it into a product. The research adds to a public database of knowledge and the companies employ people increase local tax base, etc. More funding=more knowledge and more companies. It’s a win/win.

    Our current system, although not perfect, has demonstrated itself to be by far the best in the world at generating meaningful research and new drugs/medical practices that have had a positive impact on patient outcome. So, I say pour some more coals on the fire.

    What we don’t need is more gov’t interference and people getting up in arms about some people getting paid by the gov’t to do research and then using that research to start a company and then getting rich by selling a product back to the public (the preceding statement is a simplification of what really happens). Look at the big picture. Look at what works. Over the past 50 years, where have the vast majority of improvements in drugs/medical devices/medical procedures, etc come from? Yep. Maybe the rich get richer. Maybe some people wind up double-dipping. However, there is no doubt that we all benefit.

  26. Comment by Mocougfan | 02.5.2008 | 12:24 pm

    Well said Botched. As a Dr (Dentist) myself, I am totally against socialized medicine. It’s not good when insurance companies start telling Dr’s what to do. I can imagine it would be even worse if the Government did.

    My brother in law went through BYU and got a perfect 4.0 GPA. He’s a genius. He then went through a MD/PHD program at Stanford. He did the lab work for the winner of the man that got the nobel peace prize. Now he is at Harvard doing his residency. He plans to go to the Huntsman Center after that. He, and many others like him, are our hope for curing this disease.

  27. Comment by been to county hospital.... | 02.5.2008 | 1:00 pm

    For all of those so against universal health care, it seems to work in many nations…. and recent studies have shown that those diagnosed with cancer who don’t have insurance are far more likely to die of the disease. As someone who now has worked all her teenage and adult life and is well educated, but is in a profession where health insurance is not the norm, I have experienced how difficult it is to get medical care without insurance. I am all for universal health care because I don’t think in a country with this many resources people should die just because of unlucky circumstances. So far two of my friends have, both without insurance.

    Mocougfan – the idea is that doctors become free to administer the care they deem necessary INSTEAD of being told what to do or not do by an insurance company. Also, perhaps universal health care would lead to more reasonable pharmaceutical costs, because these companies are making a tremendous amount of money without necessarily putting it back into research.
    Just my opinion.

  28. Comment by sorelegs | 02.5.2008 | 1:58 pm

    I am a daily reader and seldom commentor on this blog and LOVE it. Thanks Elden for everything. I seldom comment becasue I like to talk politics and dont want to rile tempers. That said I couldn’t help myself today.
    Now speaking as someone who is in the hideous limbo period of waiting to be diagnosed with Cancer (bone marrow biopsy tomorrow) I want to point something out.
    There are NO US Politicinas advocating “socialized medicine.” That is a misnomer propogated by the right wing spin machine. The correct term for the most liberal health care plan being floated is single payer health care (neither Hillary or Obama). In this sort of plan doctors and other health care PROs are not employed by the state. They simply bill one payer, in this case the US govt. How much time/ money do you health care pros in private practice spend trying to collect your billings from umpteen different insurance compaines? How much easier would it be if you were billing one insurer at a set rate.

    I am a well paid professional who pays his own insurance bill. Since I am a 40 year very fit (cyclist) male with a young (fit) family I choose to have a high deductible HSA type insurance. Whod’ve thunk I be facing a cancer diagnosis.
    I am very worried about how my family is going to fare with the impending crisis. I have good financial reserves that I am ready to kiss goodbye as I look at potentially month of missing work and paying for the extra stuff that is going to be entailed in my impending diagnosis.
    Those reserves would remain in my bank accounts if my government choose to put an emphasis on health care for all rather than starting wars in foriegn places over lies. My tax dollars would go to yours and my health care rather than a boon for the military industrial complex. I have worked hard, played by the rules and am about to get screwed by a random disease as well as a government that has lost its care and respect for the middle class.

  29. Comment by Compañero Alejandro | 02.5.2008 | 2:19 pm

    Una pregunta para “Verdad-en-Prestar” (Truth-in-Lending): ?Porque tan enojado? ?Perdiste tu trabajo de limpiar los inodoros o cortar los céspedes a un inmigrante?

    $338 billion?? A ver… hay 12 million de nosotros “illegals”… si tengo razon, debe ser
    $28,166 para mi. Por favor, envíame mi cheque en cuidado del Cyclista Gordo (Fat Cyclist)

    Muchas gracias. !Cuando llega la revolución, te recordaré bien!


  30. Comment by Bryan (not that one) | 02.5.2008 | 3:06 pm

    BurkeInTheOzarks – I completely agree with your statement, “I, for one, think it is our duty to care for and respect the least among us.” I wholeheartedly agree that it is our duty. Not the government’s duty, but our duty. If the “give us our money and we’ll help the needy” philosophy doesn’t work, then why are there so many charities out there for those with food, shelter, and medical needs? If no one gives any money to help others, those charities could not exist.

    BotchedExperiment – How did I miss the point? You’re comments are that 1. government (i.e. taxpayers) should provide complete funding for screening colon, prostate, and cervical cancer. 2. Funding (taxpayer money) should be given to universities. 3. “So, I say pour some more coals on the fire.” I said politicians promise other people’s money to gain votes for themselves. Your comments are all about providing taxpayer money.

    I pray that cancer is cured. My mother had cancer. My grandmother died of cancer. I can’t wait for Elden’s post that Susan is cancer free and what a wonderful day that will be! But let people decide to give their money. The government should not force them to do it.

    Fatty, post something else soon so we can all go back to just being cyclists. :-)

  31. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 02.5.2008 | 3:26 pm

    Bryan, what I meant about you (and others) missing the point is that the question regarding cancer isn’t about libertarians/republicans/democrats and it isn’t about lowering or increasing taxes and it isn’t about raising or lowering the gov’t budget.

    My suggestions regarding screening would actually result in a cut in federal spending. It is extraordinarily expensive to treat cancer. It is very, very cheap to screen for/prevent some forms of cancer.

    For the examples I gave, if we spend some money for 5 years on screening/prevention, we will effectively spend ZERO on treatment. Which would you rather pay for, a $20 office visit and a $100 PSA test or a $500,000 cancer treatment bill?

    My point was that gov’t just butting out isn’t the answer. In some aspects of cancer, the gov’t needs to get out of the way and make it easiser and cheaper to bring new drugs to market. In other aspects, the gov’t needs to get more involved (and therefore spend more of our tax money).

    I’m not trying to take a politcal position here, but rather want to point out that what is needed in regards to cancer is pretty simple, and requires steps that members of any politcal party could/should support, but are not totally in line with historic platforms of either major party.

  32. Comment by AMR | 02.5.2008 | 5:08 pm

    This interview on Texas Monthly with Lance Armstrong is good. He was at/held a forum on cancer in Iowa last year and he names the candidates that attended.
    He alludes to candidates not knowing enough about cancer to put it front and centre in their campaigns because then they’ll be grilled on it. (What?!! And come off looking like a bit of an idiot? Think that would happen?)
    It’s high time.
    Here’s the clip…

  33. Comment by fatty | 02.5.2008 | 8:56 pm

    sorelegs – i really, really hope your results come back clean. let me know, ok? you’re in my thoughts.

    everyone else – this is too important an issue to not get involved in in every possible way, and that includes politically. that said, for those of you who believe that things like this belong outside the arena of politics, i really hope you’re working to fight cancer in other ways.

    my final word: i don’t want to fight anyone about cancer. i just want to fight cancer.

  34. Comment by woogie | 02.6.2008 | 7:45 am

    Who says universal health care equals insurance companies? That’s the solution that is proposed by the politicians of both parties in this country.

    The proposals so far are that you have to have insurance, through work or through purchasing it yourself. It would be illegal to be uninsured. They do throw us a bone, in that previous conditions don’t apply, but it is still money out of our pockets into big business.

    In Canada, you’re covered, that’s it. You don’t go out and buy insurance. In Canada the insurance is run by each provincial government, not by a company.

    The downfall of the Canadian system is being a neighbor to the US, better opportunities and better money.

    Then there’s geography, the country is huge, and there are areas with minimal population density, that still require medical coverage. Many Dr’s don’t want to work in a remote area making limited income while incurring excessive expenses.

    Then there’s the flat fee issue. In Canada the top orthopedic surgeon makes the same as the worst orthopedic surgeon for a hip replacement. And they are both paid by the government to do the work. So if you didn’t have to pay and could pick any Dr you want to do your surgery, who would you go to? Add this to the shortage of Dr’s and you get waiting lines.

  35. Comment by Sprocketboy | 02.6.2008 | 8:09 am

    The Associated Press has summarized costs of the Iraq War below. Think of what that could have done spent elsewhere. I think my original figure of $6 billion per week may be a bit low.


    _Stepped-up military operations are costing about $12 billion a month, with Iraq accounting for $10 billion per month, according to a July 2007 analysis by the Congressional Research Service.

    _Total cost to the U.S. government so far is over $490 billion.

    _According to a November 2007 report from the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, total economic costs for the Iraq war are estimated at $1.3 trillion for the period from 2002 to 2008. This figure represents the hidden costs of the war beyond the direct budgetary appropriations, including interest costs of borrowing these funds, lost investment, long-term veterans’ health care and oil market disruptions.

    _ A January 2007 study by Linda Bilmes of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government put the total projected cost of providing medical care and disability benefits to veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan at $350 billion to $700 billion.

  36. Comment by sorelegs | 02.6.2008 | 5:35 pm

    Thanks Fatty,
    You are right about just fighting it. I’ll keep you posted.

  37. Comment by jarocco | 02.6.2008 | 7:03 pm

    I have only recently found the Fat Cyclist website so pardon me if you have heard this before. I enjoy everything related to cycling including your personal battles with food, fat and conditioning. Being a nurse at a major clinical cancer center, I can appreciate what you and Susan are going through. And cancer has hit our family too. I wish you both well. That said, I have to say, I’m not that excited to see politics enter the site. But as long as its out there let me say this about the single payer system. Every industrialized nation in the world has some form of universal health care. And it is hard for me to believe that, as smart as we Americans claim to be, we can’t find the best single payer plan that will work for all Americans. As some of your readers are finding out, even a seemingly well insured person, can find himself and his family in very dire straits when something as devastating as cancer hits. I work everyday on the fiscal side of healthcare. Trust me, health insurance companies have only one thing on their agenda – profit. How sad indeed that something as precious as our loved ones health is dependent on the beneficence of some cold and uncaring health insurance behemoth. I rant. Sorry.

  38. Comment by MAJ Mike | 02.7.2008 | 5:45 am

    There is a little maxim that holds true in all things:

    You get what you pay for.

    Frankly, I do better with a dollar than any government does, so I’ll do my own paying, thanks. Just let me keep my dollar so I can do that.

  39. Comment by sorelegs | 02.8.2008 | 9:26 am

    MAJ Mike,
    You might be great with a buck but unless you are independently wealthy you are not going to be able to pay for your own cancer treatment without the help of a health insurance company.
    Health Insurance is just another form of vegas style gambling; it is rigged so that the house comes out ahead. WHile else would they do it? It aint because the stock holders want you to get cured and spare any expense.
    So the question is not who is better with a buck you or the government. The questions is who is better; We the people running a system for our own benefit or profit driven health care corporations?
    Even if you can afford your own cancer or whatever treatment… What about those of us that can’t? Too bad we should have planned better?

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