Giuliani Questioned About Ad Comparing Prostate Cancer Survival Rates

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The Commonwealth Fund on Tuesday in a statement said that the five-year survival rate for prostate cancer in Britain cited in a radio advertisement recently launched by Republican presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is inaccurate, the New York Timesreports. In the ad, which began to air on Tuesday in New Hampshire,Giuliani says, "My chance of surviving prostate cancer -- and, thankGod, I was cured of it -- in the United States? Eighty-two percent. Mychance of surviving prostate cancer in England? Only 44% undersocialized medicine." According to the British Office for National Statistics, the five-year survival rate for prostate cancer in Britain is 74.4%.

Maria Comella, a Giuliani spokesperson, said the rate cited in the ad appeared in an article in City Journal written by David Gratzer, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Instituteand an adviser to the Giuliani campaign. Gratzer in an interview saidthat he took the rate from Commonwealth Fund data but acknowledged thatthe data is from 2000 and "crude."

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In a statement, theCommonwealth Fund said, "Five-year survival rates cannot be calculatedfrom incidence and mortality rates, as any good epidemiologist knows."Comella said that the Giuliani campaign would continue to air the ad(Bosman, New York Times, 10/31).

Democratic Debate


Seven Democratic presidential candidates on Tuesday participated in a debate at Drexel Universityin Philadelphia during which they discussed health care accessibilityand quality, among other issues. Participants included Sen. Joe Biden (Del.), Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.), Sen. Chris Dodd (Conn.), Former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.), Rep. Dennis Kucinich (Ohio), Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.), New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (Debate transcript, New York Times, 10/31).
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