Robbie Knievel dies after battle with pancreatic cancer, but anti-vaxxers blame Covid-19 vaccines

Robbie Knievel dies after battle with pancreatic cancer, but anti-vaxxers blame Covid-19 vaccines

Robbie Knievel dies after battle with pancreatic cancer, but anti-vaxxers blame Covid-19 vaccines

Daredevil stuntman Robbie Knievel died Friday morning at the age of 60. He was in a hospice in Reno, Nevada, battling pancreatic cancer, which accounts for about 3% of all cancers but about 7% of all cancer deaths in the United States. , according to the American Cancer Society. The diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is often delayed because the pancreas is nestled deep in your abdomen, where you can’t see it in selfies. Therefore, the sad news of Knievel’s passing is an opportunity to raise awareness about this dreadful cancer that will likely kill over 50,000 people again in 2023. After all, greater awareness could end up saving lives by getting diagnosed more people sooner and by raising more funding. for research to find new ways to diagnose and treat pancreatic cancer. Yet guess what various anti-vaccination social media accounts tried to do instead? Yes, you got it, blame the Covid-19 vaccines.

It’s a big deal trying to exploit Knievel’s fame in this way. Robbie Knievel, the son of legendary stuntman Robert “Evel” Knievel, certainly jumped into the daredevil business early in his life. He started jumping on his bike when he was four and riding a motorcycle when he was seven. Yeah, seven years on a motorcycle isn’t something you see every day. It clearly predicted a stunt career in which he would use motorcycles to jump a wide variety of things, from fountains to limos to the Grand Canyon, setting 20 world records in the process. Robbie Knievel began touring with his famous father at the age of twelve before eventually embarking on a solo career. You may have seen him wearing his red, white and blue jumpsuits, which are reminiscent of the leather jumpsuits his father wore.

While Robbie Knievel’s life was not common, pancreatic cancer is unfortunately all too common. The American Cancer Society reports that approximately one in 64 Americans will be diagnosed with this cancer at some point in their life. That’s a pretty high number if you think about it. So if you were to host a “People Who Believe Space Lasers Caused the California Wildfires” wine and cheese party with 64 people, on average at least one of those attendees would be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

The problem is, such diagnoses don’t tend to happen in the early stages of pancreatic cancer because you don’t tend to think about your pancreas and look at it in the mirror every day. Of course, if you see your pancreas in the mirror, see a doctor as soon as possible. Diagnosis is usually made by seeing it on an ultrasound, endoscopic ultrasound (EUS), computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or positron emission tomography (PET). Definitive diagnosis requires a biopsy of any abnormalities seen in the pancreas. These are not things you can do every day. You probably can’t set up a scanner around your bed or try to biopsy your pancreas while plucking your nose hair. There is a blood test for a tumor marker called CA19-9. But it’s not a very reliable screening tool for pancreatic cancer because you can have pancreatic cancer without having high levels of CA19-9.

People may use the phrase “silent but deadly” to describe farts. But it really applies to pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer can grow and spread silently for some time. Whenever you notice symptoms such as abdominal pain radiating to your back, loss of appetite, fatigue, unintentional weight loss, yellowing of your skin, or changes in the color of your stool or urine, the cancer has often spread beyond the pancreas and reached its advanced stages. This can make surgical removal of all the cancer impossible.

Even when the cancer is still confined to the pancreas, surgery can be difficult. Your pancreas is not like your nose. It is not located in a convenient and easily accessible location. Instead, it’s nestled deep in your abdomen, tucked next to your small intestine, gallbladder, and a group of major blood vessels. Only very skilled surgeons can carry out the complex procedures needed to remove the cancer and parts of adjacent structures and reconnect everything. Therefore, don’t believe health systems when they claim that all docs are the same. It would be like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers saying all quarterbacks are the same and starting Tom Cruise or Wayne Brady as the signalman rather than Tom Brady.

Therefore, if social media accounts were to post an awareness to help people after Knievel’s death, it should be to raise awareness of this often deadly cancer. This would be to advocate for more funding and research to develop new ways to diagnose and treat pancreatic cancer. Even though so many people succumb to this cancer every year, a lot more money continues to be spent on finding new ways to take and share selfies and making movies like “Mars Needs Moms.”

Yet, once again, anti-vaccination accounts are trying to divert valuable discussions from real health issues by spouting unsubstantiated claims. For example, a Twitter account with a blue verified checkmark claims, “Very possible vaccines / boosters damaged his pancreas and caused cancer.” Yeah, it’s very possible that this statement is full of beeps. Another account requested about Knievel, “Was he another victim of #Covid #Vaccine aka #DeathJab???” Um, if over 262 million people in the United States have already received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, how can you call the vaccine a #DeathJab?

Yes, this is the same old strategy that anti-vaccination accounts have been trying to use lately, as Resistance activists on Twitter and brothers Brian and Ed Krassenstein pointed out here:

Those with anti-vaccination agendas have continued to jump over facts and scientific evidence. If nothing is done to combat this scourge of misinformation and disinformation that has infected society and is propagated by politicians and TV/radio/podcast personalities, our society will soon be heading for a crash landing.

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