Is technology helping reduce cancer?

Is technology helping reduce cancer? It seems to be yes.

Cancer is death rate down is down 23% in 21 years. That link goes into great deal about how cancer is currently affecting the population. While cancer is reducing, in some populations is in increasing. It also hits certain ethnic groups like Blacks harder than whites.

Cancer has had at least 40 targeted medicines developed for it, and more new classes of drugs. It is remarkable the improvements on the quality of life and other benefits that has been achieved.

I remember growing up in the 80’s when someone had cancer it was a quick death sentence. As I got older, the improvements in cancer detection and treatment slowly got better. For example, getting an MRI in the 80’s was very, very expensive. It had just been developed in the 70’s, and was very new technology for most hospitals. When someone I knew got cancer they had to go to the state capital because that was the only place with an MRI machine and treatment.

Is technology helping reduce cancer?Now MRI’s seem to be on every street corner and clinic. They are still expensive machines, but they have enabled early treatment and probably saved millions of lives. It is estimated that there are 60 million MRI scans each year. Since MRI has been operating since the late 70’s, no exact numbers for this could be found by myself.

As a comparison as a child I had a problem and in the 70’s, the best the doctor could do at that small local hospital was take an X-ray. I remember it so clearly. The loud hum of the machines, the cold table and the awful drink I had to drink so my insides would show up better. It was primitive. I saw my photo and it didn’t look like anything useful for all that expense and trouble.

I was able to see the results of an MRI scan a decade later and I was just amazed at what I could see. I could see details that I never imagined possible. That was something that a doctor could benefit from. It was clear to me that no matter the cost, X-rays should die and MRI was the way of the future.

So the combination of technology and medicine is helping people to live longer with cancer, and have a better quality of life. What a wonderful use of technology!

Time to conserve Helium. Earth is running out of Helium.

It is Time to conserve Helium. Earth is running out of Helium.

Did you know that Helium is used in MRI scanners and other technology? It is used by NASA for fuel as well. Yet the supply of Helium is running low, and using it to fill balloons is being considered to being discontinued.

Time to conserve Helium. Earth is running out of Helium.Helium is projected to run out between 2030 to 2040. Isn’t that amazing? It is a simple element and to think we could run out of it is just shocking. The nearest supply the article says is Jupiter. That is a reason to explore space isn’t it?

Besides MRI, it is also used in the LHC. I wonder if we will one day be able to create elements to replace what we have used. Or better yet, find other things that can replace their unique properties.

It will be strange to explain Helium one day to children. To tell them that we used to suck it to make our voices sound funny instead of using it for MRI’s and scientific instruments. I wonder if they will understand how ignorant we once were and thought that everything could be consumed without limit?

It is surprising isn’t it? We consume things like helium that could help us understand the world and heal ourselves. We allow money to determine how helium should be used instead of the greater good. What use is money when people are dying from cancer, or if we can’t understand physics well enough for interplanetary travel?

Therefore what does the future hold? It is really scary for people who are on the younger side and have to live in the future. I wish that the people who got us into this situation had to deal with the fallout of their decisions. Is is sad that those people who are most concerned about the future are the least positioned to make change.

More importantly, Helium is a gift we let slip through our fingers. No scratch that. We let it dissipate through our breath.