Capitalism

Against it. For its supercession by socialism. :-)

Mind the Gap: Cancer and Class

... or 'The Lumpen Proletariat' ...

Over recent decades, UK cancer death rates have fallen significantly. They began falling in the late 1980s, and by 2006 had fallen by 17%. More people than ever before are surviving cancer, with 78% of women in England and Wales still alive ten years after their breast cancer diagnosis (2010-11).

But there are still big differences between cancer outcomes depending on how wealthy you are. Economic inequality - the polite term for 'class divisions' - is linked to 19,000 cancer deaths per year.

The Price of Progress: Capitalism and Cancer

After my breast cancer surgery, the factors which indicate whether I would benefit from chemotherapy were inconclusive. There was one further test available. The Oncotype DX test examines the activity of 21 genes in the tumour tissue of patients with early-stage oestrogen-receptor-positive (ER+) invasive breast cancer and calculates whether chemo will be effective or not.

My score was low (14/100), and so, like many others since this test was developed a few years ago, I do not have to go through the puking, hair-losing agonies of fighting cancer by throwing poisons at it. So far, so good.

So, what’s the catch? My tumour had to be sent to the USA to be tested. This took a few weeks, which delayed the start of my radiotherapy, reducing its effectiveness of in preventing the cancer returning. Radiotherapy is supposed to start within six weeks of surgery; mine started twelve weeks after. Only time will reveal the impact of this delay – but it could mean that my cancer comes back when it would not have done so otherwise.

Who Needs Bosses?

Without us nothing's moved nor made
No building and no bricks
Without us no foundations laid
And nothing broken fixed
Without our labour they've no purpose
No profits, only losses
The bosses always need the workers
But workers don't need bosses

If

A rewrite of Rudyard Kipling's 'If':

If you evade your tax when all around you
Are paying theirs and saying you should too
If values like integrity confound you
But ruthlessness comes naturally to you
If you can live off other people’s labour
And add their output to your growing hoard
And still proclaim yourself the wealth creator
That massive bonus is your just reward

If It Weren't For ...

If it weren't for hangovers, I'd get drunk every night
If it weren't for employers, employment would be alright
If it weren't for delays, the train wouldn't be late
If it weren't for the state, the welfare state would be great
If it weren't for the puncture, I'd be riding my bike
If it weren't for the job cuts, we wouldn't need to strike
If it weren't for the sick people, the hospital could cope

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