Yeah, I know, posting (again) on NewsBlusters is like shooting dead catfish in a tiny barrel with a shoulder-fired rocket-propelled grenade launcher. So fire me.
But before you do, come take a look with me at Matthew Vadum’s awesomely idiotic posting which he hilariously titles “CNN Aims to Discredit Canadian Mayo Clinic Patient, Flops Spectacularly.” Now, I assume that even in Basic Wingnut Blogging 101 they teach you that it’s not a good idea to accuse someone else of flopping in a post where you don’t just flop but you crash, burn, explode, and incinerate, leaving behind only some skidmarks and a few burnt crumbs from the toasty Quiznos sub (with extra Ranch dressing) that you had for lunch.
So let’s step back and watch Vadum self-destruct:
It features Holmes, who came to the U.S.-based Mayo Clinic, to have a brain tumor removed. Canada’s dysfunctional government-run healthcare system informed Holmes that she would have to wait for six months to see a specialist. “In six months I would have died,” Holmes says in the spot. The Mayo Clinic where Holmes received successful treatment tells her story at its website.
What really elevates this post from minor fuck-up to total self-immolation is that Vadum actually cites Ms. Holmes’s story at the Mayo website without having even the teensiest clue that it completely contradicts the story that Holmes, Vadum and Patient’s United Now (with its sadly unfortunate acronym) are pushing.
Let’s roll the tape:
Dr. Naresh Patel, neurosurgeon, diagnosed Holmes as having a Rathke’s cleft cyst (RCC). The rare, fluid-filled sac grows near the pituitary gland at the base of the brain and eventually can cause hormone and vision problems.
Cancer? Brain tumor? Certain death in six months? Well, Sadly, No!™ Not one word about any of that on the Mayo website. And, you know, I just bet that The Great Gazoogle can tell us lots of stuff about Rathke’s Cleft Cyst. (Consulting Google is frowned on at NewsBlusters as a frivolous waste of bandwidth when you can just scream “socialism” and be done with it.)
Here’s an interesting fact:
Rathke’s Cleft Cysts are not true tumors or neoplasms; instead they are benign cysts. Rathke’s pouch forms as part of normal development and eventually forms the anterior lobe, pars intermedia and pars tuberalis, of the pituitary gland. This pouch normally closes in fetal development, but a remnant often persists as a cleft that lies between the anterior and posterior lobes of the pituitary gland. Occasionally, this remnant enlarges to form a cyst. RCCs can cause pituitary failure, headaches and in some instances, vision loss.
And an even more stubborn fact:
Mortality associated with RCCs is extremely rare. In a study conducted by Shin and colleagues, the mortality rate was 0%, and the recurrence rate was 19%.2 In the literature, recurrence rates typically are lower, commonly 5-10%; however, Mukherjee co-authors reported a recurrence rate of 33%.3
Shin’s study reported the cumulative rates of recurrence-free survival to be 85% at 5 years, 81% at 10 years, and 81% at 20 years.
So, let’s sum up. Holmes didn’t have a brain tumor She didn’t even have cancer. And her condition wasn’t deadly. The Canadian health system hadn’t given her a death sentence, as she, her American handlers and Vadum are suggesting — which means that Holmes’s story, as dutifully-repeated by the Google-challenged Vadum, is, to use the precise term of art, utter bullshit.
Quelle surprise, as people who, like myself, are French, fags, or both often say.
UPDATE: Mayo took down its page on Shona Homes, no doubt because she had turned herself into a spokes-idiot for the anti-reformists. Thanks to the miracle of the Google cache, we have saved the page as a pdf for posterity and you can find it here.