h a l f b a k e r y
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It's been estimated that 50% of people in the west will be diagnosed at least once in their lifetime with some form of cancer.
At the same time, cancer treatments are becoming more and more specific. Nonetheless, it is doubtful that national dabaseses exist which track conditions, treatments and
outcomes in explicit detail. Even doctors may be practicing on anecdotal evidence.
The idea is for an internet database where patients can chart their progress, particular symptoms and outcomes, thereby aiding patients with similar conditions. Naturally, patients would need to query their own physicians in detail for updates, which, frankly, is as it should be.
||It is said that the plural of anecdote isn't data, but anecdotes
can indeed be plundered for data.
||It seems to be a strange artifact of statistical methods that a reasonably large number of actively self-reporting subjects will be taken less seriously than a smaller random sample of people who normally wouldn't have reported at all, but who were asked a highly limited number of questions regarding a topic (like cancer) for which neither the questions nor the answers are well-established.
||In my own priority of preferences, I'd much prefer constant, medically administered reporting of outcomes, with large sample sizes, etc., etc., but given the choice between no publicly available sources of patient self-reporting or instead, being offered answers provided by survivors in any form at all, I'll still choose the later.