Rudy Giuliani’s fake numbers on prostate cancer survival in the United States vs. Europe still have not been corrected by the candidate. He lied and he continues to lie about our health care system and the significance of a prostate cancer diagnosis for long term survival.

First, his lie about the “cure rate” discrepancy serves no purpose other then to automatically disparage the entire concept of any sort of government sponsored health insurance program. I know that this is a very controversial issue. Many of us in the United States who do have insurance are very concerned about losing the easy access we currently have to our doctors and to treatments. We hear horror stories about government sponsored insurance programs on a regular basis. We hear about long waits to see a physician and then the constant denial of treatments because of economic issues.

For those of us Americans who do have non-HMO private insurance we do have an extraordinary number of easy treatment options. HMO insurance policies do pose a significant number of additional restrictions to our health care options. However, even the non-HMO policies do have restrictions to the physicians, tests and treatments that are available to us without our having to pay a significant “out of pocket” penalty.

Of course, our current system allows for many children and adults to go without any health insurance. When one of these uninsured individuals goes to the hospital (even for routine matters because they do not have insurance for a private primary doctor) we still end up paying for them through state sponsored uninsured funds. So we still have the burden and in realty they do have a type of government sponsored insurance policy.

Despite all the concern about government medical insurance programs, the government sponsored health insurance for our seniors, Medicare, generally receives excellent reviews. This is just a point to think about.

The second issue that Giuliani’s fake numbers on prostate cancer survival has is to make the significance of prostate cancer seem much less important. He has totally denied the existence of the many quality of life issues caused by treatment. He also has denied the fact that over 1/3 of all men treated for prostate cancer will have a recurrence and need additional treatment. He belittles the fact that 27,000 men will die this year from prostate cancer.

We are constantly fighting for additional funds for prostate cancer research and education, but this main stream candidate is undoing all the progress we have made. I have had members of my own family tell me that prostate cancer is not dangerous like breast cancer, yet each year more men die from prostate cancer then woman die from breast cancer!

It is a shame that Giuliani feels the need to lie in order to get elected. Maybe he is just uniformed, but if he is comfortable about being dishonest with us about his cancer, what else will he be dishonest about?

Joel T. Nowak MA, MSW