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By Mcintosh M. W.

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Often, the surges of information about cancer that come our way seem to have no real bearing on it and may even lead us further astray from the truth. I therefore believe that we need a “theoretical oncologist” who can guide us toward the right path. Otherwise, we will continue to follow the herd, being oblivious of the fact that the blind could be leading the blind. We drift and sway in whichever wind of hope or hype that happens to be blowing at the moment. When it concerns cancer research and a cure for cancer, a theoretical oncologist is one who will wave a red flag rather than a white one.

Already, it is the biggest killer of those younger than 75 years. Among those between 45 and 64 years, cancer is responsible for more deaths than the next three causes (heart disease, accidents, and stroke) combined. It is also the leading cause of death of children, those in their 30s, and everyone in between. In the foreseeable future, it will become an even greater public health issue as life expectancy increases in developing countries. I believe that our ability to conquer cancer depends to a large extent on our ability to discover its inscrutable origins.

In the Chinese philosophy of harmony in life, disruption of that harmony by natural forces in the universe can result in disease and death. And in the Hebrew tradition, health was given to and taken from man consistent with the monotheistic concept of Jehovah or God. Because disease could afflict humans as a consequence of their sins, prayer and repentance were necessary for healing and preventing recurrence. The oldest known written description indicating that cancer afflicted our early ancestors was found in seven papyri dated around 1600 BC in Egypt, in which a hieroglyphic meaning “tumor” of the breast was depicted (see the figure at the beginning of this chapter).

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A parametric empirical Bayes method for cancer screening using longitudinal observations of a biomar by Mcintosh M. W.


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