Friday, July 29th, 2011

A Very Beautiful Visualization of Cancer Survival

This is a gorgeous drawing and also an excellent explainer, actually, about cancer, survival and math. (via)


11 Comments / Post A Comment

brent_cox (#40)

That very beautiful thing is not exactly the way I hoped my day would start.

blily (#1,411)

@brent_cox To make it even sadder: The author's finacee has breast cancer.

Annie K. (#3,563)

Still, I'm impressed with the attention it's getting from the internet. Maybe the internet has humans running it after all?

Dave Bry (#422)

It looks like strips of paint being peeled from an old barn door by the wind. Sigh. Warren Zevon.

Smitros (#5,315)

I think Edward Tufte would approve.

Adouble (#1,300)

Pretty? Yes. Good explainer about cancer and math? I disagree. Other than saying you'd want type 1 breast cancer vs. type 4, what do you get out of this? I can't even tell where type 2 and type 3 breast cancer start and end on this image. This is a case where the data would be distinctly easier to understand in table with percentages rather than an infograph.

Rosebud (#4,107)

@Adouble This isn't an infograph.

jfruh (#713)

@Adouble Also, I'm assuming that the different "types" are a human-imposed segmentation on what's actually a spectrum of risk, right? Probably?

deepomega (#1,720)

@jfruh: Yes. And the point isn't really about types 1 thru 4, it's about how survival is measured over time in general.

Adouble (#1,300)

Well, if people are talking about Tufte and it being an "explainer" of math, I think they are talking about it like it is. It's fine as a cartoon panel, but I just think as something that is actually informative, this basic table from wiki is better:
Breast cancer stage 5-year overall survival of over 50k patients
Stage 0 92%
Stage I 87%
Stage II 75%
Stage III 46%
Stage IV 13%

Thank you Choire. I'm dealing with health issues that are ever so much less serious (but troublesome and bothersome). When something is wrong with you, you pass from the world of your friends to the other place where no one knows what the fuck but everyone who knows you knows just what to tell you. And not much helps. Even worry. Good luck to everyone who is sick. We'll all be there or have been there or are there.

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