Lance wrote an editorial for the Austin American Statesman today about the anniversary of his cancer diagnosis, his cancer story, lack of insurance at diagnosis and how we need to fight for healthcare reform in this country.
Friday, October 02, 2009
Today is LIVESTRONG Day, a global day of action to raise awareness in our communities about the fight against cancer.
Today is also the 13th anniversary of my own cancer diagnosis. Like most 25-year-olds, I was fearless, ready to conquer the world and, because I was in the midst of changing employers, without health insurance. I was lucky. One of my sponsors, Oakley, stood up for me and threatened to take all of their business elsewhere if their insurance carrier refused to cover me. Without their help, I might not be alive today. Or I might be completely broke, still trying to dig my way out of a massive pile of medical bills.
That kind of luck shouldn’t have anything to do with whether the 12 million people around the world who will be diagnosed with cancer this year go broke trying to get the treatment they need to survive.
Cancer is projected to become the world’s leading cause of death next year. More than 28 million people around the world are living with cancer today and, without greater progress in detection, prevention and treatment, that number could triple by 2030.
If the cancer epidemic continues to grow as predicted, it will have a devastating effect on world economies. A new Economist Intelligence Unit study commissioned by the Lance Armstrong Foundation pegs the global economic impact of the disease at more than $300 billion in 2009 alone. In coming years, developing nations will be forced to spend increasing amounts of money on treatment and on public assistance to patients. In the U.S. and Western Europe, where aging populations are already straining public health costs, the rise in cancer means an ever greater percentage of national budgets will be devoted to healthcare.
Read more of this article on www.statesman.com