Do Some Conditions Hog the Spotlight?

August 07, 2019

If cancer is the emperor of all maladies, then diabetes is king. It affects 9.4% of Americans and is the third leading cause of death in the country by some estimates. Every day, 230 Americans with diabetes undergo an amputation.

But patients often underestimate diabetes, dismissing it as just "a touch of sugar," said Andrew Boulton, incoming president of the International Diabetes Federation. He calls for raising the profile of diabetes as a "serious and life-threatening disease" that should be taken "as seriously as we take cancer."

And it goes beyond diabetes: 1 in 4 US adults have two or more chronic conditions and aren't getting the attention they need. Is it time to pay more attention to chronic illnesses besides cancer?

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