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"If you lose, it doesn’t matter because you still tried."

"There's something different about being told you’re dying when you’re 10 years old: You’re not a grown-up, but you’ve thought about what you’ll be like when you’re 30, when you’re old. You’re not a baby anymore — you know what cancer is. People start feeding you pills and poking you with needles. You make a bucket list your mother worries she won’t be able to help you complete. You want to get your ear pierced, but you can’t risk the infection. You know what sex is, but you’re told you’re not ready. You want to try new things, but you need permission first. You never lose hope for a miracle, because you’re still a kid, and kids aren’t supposed to die." Ethan Alexander Arbelo-Maldonado: Little Man and the Pursuit of Happiness [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 7, 2014 - 19 comments

He actually looks as if he expects to win a case.

DA Hamilton Burger may be the best-known loser of early TV, but his portrayer William Talman's life (content excerpted from the Perry Mason TV show book) was far more interesting. At the height of his fame in 1960, Talman arrested at a nude pot party, and was fired and blacklisted as a result. It took Raymond Burr, the cast, and the fans to eventually get him his job back. At the end of his life, on the verge of dying, he made a powerful anti-smoking PSA (the PSA itself)
posted by julen on Aug 3, 2014 - 23 comments

It began with an itch I just had to scratch.

Doesn’t every adventure begin that way? I was lying in bed reading on a Saturday evening, and without even looking I idly scratched a spot on the right side of my chest –- at that point I had a chest, not breasts. As I did, my fingers rode over a small something, a little like a speed bump about an inch below and two inches to the left of my right nipple. “That’s a lump!” I thought, and suddenly I had a right breast. With a lump in it.
posted by michswiss on Jul 27, 2014 - 31 comments

Geraldine Ferraro, first woman nominated as a major party VP, in 1984

There were a number of notable firsts for women elected to office as early as the late 1800s, and there is a significant history of women running for president and vice president in the United States, but until 1984, no woman had been nominated to as vice president in one of the major parties. 30 years ago, the Democratic presidential candidate Walter Mondale announced Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate, and she accepted the nomination to resounding roar of excitement (another version, on YouTube; transcript). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 23, 2014 - 15 comments

One Doctor’s Quest to Save People by Injecting Them With Scorpion Venom

A scorpion-venom concoction that makes tumors glow sounds almost too outlandish to be true.
posted by ellieBOA on Jul 10, 2014 - 15 comments

"If you can read this, I have cancer again."

Jay Lake, science fiction and fantasy author, has passed away after a long fight with cancer. MeFi's own jscalzi has posted more here. JayWake, the pre-postumous wake, was held last year. [previously] The film Lakeside – A Year With Jay Lake, detailed his treatments, including participation in whole genome sequencing, in search of a new treatment path.
posted by korej on Jun 1, 2014 - 40 comments

Cancer Doctor Peter Bach on Losing His Wife to Cancer

The Day I Started Lying to Ruth - "I realized that I now had a secret we couldn’t discuss. I could see her future. Where she would end up. What she might look like. How she might suffer with me standing helplessly by her side. She couldn’t."
posted by Memo on May 6, 2014 - 37 comments

Surfing Superheroes to the Rescue

AJ Lindner, a 6-year-old fan of Spider Man and other superheroes, recently underwent surgery for brain cancer. Facing the start of chemotherapy, which requires him to keep out of the water, the avid young swimmer had one wish: he wanted to go surfing. But the waters off Long Island were too cold. After a plea for a child-sized wetsuit went out on Facebook, a “Justice League” of surfers went to work to fulfill the boy’s dream.
posted by etaoin on Apr 25, 2014 - 14 comments

Dave Lamb is Home

Dave Lamb of folk duo Brown Bird (previously), husband of bandmate MorganEve Swain, died yesterday at the age of 35 after a year-long fight with leukemia. [more inside]
posted by quiet coyote on Apr 6, 2014 - 14 comments

"Page 3 v breast cancer"

The Sun's page 3 has been featuring nude women since the 1970s. Last week the British newspaper teamed up with CoppaFeel, a young charity for breast cancer awareness, to inspire women to touch their own breasts. The headline reads "Page 3 v breast cancer", next to a model in a pair of underpants who barely covers her breasts. Readers are encouraged to ‘Check ‘Em Tuesday’ and post pics on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag #checkemtuesday.

While some applaud the newspaper for putting an important women’s health issue on the front page, others are against the sexist representation of women and concerned it could trivialize breast cancer.

Not only due to the titillating images on page 3, The Sun's readership is still mostly male. So does this campaign exist for women?
posted by travelwithcats on Mar 9, 2014 - 53 comments

The imperfect but honest image of a woman's body

How radical and provocative is an honest image of a woman's body? [possibly NSFW] [more inside]
posted by moody cow on Feb 14, 2014 - 39 comments

On Mammography

Annual mammography in women aged 40-59 does not reduce mortality from breast cancer... Researchers sought to determine whether there was any advantage to finding breast cancers when they were too small to feel. The answer was no.
posted by latkes on Feb 11, 2014 - 79 comments

Making peace with death

So, I calmly announced to my wife: “I’m going to build my own coffin. I just thought you should know.”
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Feb 4, 2014 - 25 comments

I can’t go on. I’ll go on.

The pedestrian truth that you live one day at a time didn’t help: What was I supposed to do with that day? My oncologist would say only: “I can’t tell you a time. You’ve got to find what matters most to you.” —neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi on coming face to face with his own mortality. SLNYT.
posted by Athanassiel on Jan 24, 2014 - 29 comments

"Nineteen months later, I feel safe answering"

"Why biotech whiz kid Jack Andraka is not on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list." Forbes science and medicine reporter Matthew Herper sends out Andraka's draft paper on his cancer diagnostic test to scientific experts, who find the results do not match the breathless excitement attracted by initial coverage, seen previously on MetaFilter and elsewhere. [more inside]
posted by grouse on Jan 8, 2014 - 30 comments

Cancer and the mythical journey

"The experience of being struck down by cancer is very interesting. Assuming it doesn’t kill you very quickly (and it does sometimes kill speedily and without mercy) the cancer sufferer can find himself or herself launched on an heroic journey. By that I don’t mean that I’m a hero because I have cancer; I mean ‘heroic’ in the mythical sense, in that your life is suddenly propelled along a remorseless narrative that has the structure of all great mythical journeys." -- Graham Joyce, himself recovering from cancer, looking at recovery as a quest story.
posted by MartinWisse on Dec 22, 2013 - 10 comments

When you wish upon a star...

Brenda Schmitz wrote a letter to STAR 102.5′s Christmas Wish in August of 2011 – one month before she passed away from ovarian cancer at the age of 46. She asked her friend to send us her wish once her husband David had found someone else to love him and to help take care of their four boys. David has found someone and Brenda's Christmas wish has been granted.
posted by NoraCharles on Dec 22, 2013 - 51 comments

If Only For A Second

Twenty cancer patients were asked to keep their eyes shut while they were given a makeover. A photographer then immortalized the moment they opened their eyes in front of a one-way mirror.
posted by gman on Dec 8, 2013 - 57 comments

PATIENT ZERO

There's A Whole New Way Of Killing Cancer: Stephanie Lee Is The Test Case [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 6, 2013 - 45 comments

Positivity Is Bullshit When You Have Cancer

We need to stop blaming cancer patients and start supporting their emotional needs. We can’t stop time. We can’t control most of life’s plot twists.
posted by rcraniac on Nov 26, 2013 - 63 comments

HPV: Sex, cancer and a virus

"On a sunny day in 1998, Maura Gillison was walking across the campus of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, thinking about a virus. The young oncologist bumped into the director of the university's cancer centre, who asked politely about her work. Gillison described her discovery of early evidence that human papillomavirus (HPV) — a ubiquitous pathogen that infects nearly every human at some point in their lives — could be causing tens of thousands of cases of throat cancer each year in the United States. The senior doctor stared down at Gillison, not saying a word. “That was the first clue that what I was doing was interesting to others and had potential significance,” recalls Gillison."
Human papillomavirus is causing a new form of head and neck cancer— leaving researchers scrambling to understand risk factors, tests and treatments.
[more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Nov 22, 2013 - 37 comments

Cheb i Sabbah Has Left the Planet

Cheb i Sabbah's family has announced his passing at the age of 66. His unique world music creations have been cherished by dancers, trancers, and thinkers alike for decades. [more inside]
posted by batmonkey on Nov 7, 2013 - 26 comments

As Paracelsus put it, "the dose makes the poison."

Dr Bruce Ames, a toxicologist and one of the world's most cited scientists, discusses the impact of his Ames test, "toxic chemicals," and scaremongering [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Nov 6, 2013 - 22 comments

PLUTONIUM MOUNTAIN

From 1949 onwards, the closed city of Semipalatinsk (now Semey, Kazakhstan) was the test site for 456 nuclear devices. The test site was known as "The Polygon." Testing was stopped in 1989, but the long term effects remained. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Nov 6, 2013 - 11 comments

The Pills of Last Resort

How Dying Patients Get Access to Experimental Drugs
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Nov 1, 2013 - 16 comments

The Cost of Living

The Rising Cost of Cancer Drugs: "New drugs could extend cancer patients’ lives—by days. At a cost of thousands and thousands of dollars. Prompting some doctors to refuse to use them."
posted by lalex on Oct 27, 2013 - 50 comments

"This moustache is a Movember moustache."

To kick off the men's health awareness project Movember, Nick Offerman presents, How to Grow a Moustache and Great Moments in Moustache History.
posted by quin on Oct 24, 2013 - 58 comments

X Inactivation and Epigenetics

X inactivation is a type of gene dosage compensation. In humans, the sex chromosomes X and Y determine the sex of an individual - females have two X chromosomes (XX), males have one X and one Y chromosome (XY). All of the genes on the Y chromosome are required in male development, while the genes on the X chromosome are needed for both male and female development. Because females receive two X chromosomes, they inherit two copies of many of the genes that are needed for normal function. Extra copies of genes or chromosomes can affect normal development. An example is Down's syndrome, which is caused by an extra copy of part or all of chromosome 21. In female mammals, a process called X inactivation has evolved to compensate for the extra X chromosome. In X inactivation, each cell 'switches off' one of its X chromosomes, chosen at random, to ensure the correct number of genes are expressed, and to prevent abnormal development.
Here is a helpful eleven minute description of what it is and why it's important by Etsuko Uno and metafilter's own Drew Berry in a fucking gorgeous Goodsell-esque 3D animation.
[more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Sep 14, 2013 - 34 comments

The Kommandant's Daughter

"Brigitte Höss lives quietly on a leafy side street in Northern Virginia. She is retired now, having worked in a Washington fashion salon for more than 30 years. She recently was diagnosed with cancer and spends much of her days dealing with the medical consequences. Brigitte also has a secret that not even her grandchildren know. Her father was Rudolf Höss, the Kommandant of Auschwitz." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 10, 2013 - 81 comments

Rocky's Road

"Life is so difficult," reads one reply. "It breaks us down, challenges us, pushes us to the very depths of desperation and darkness. These are the times when we need each other the most." Via. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 26, 2013 - 5 comments

"Beautiful Day, Happy to Have Been Here."

As 60 year old Seattle native Jane Lotter fought endometrial cancer, she decided to write her own obituary. On July 18 Lotter "took advantage of Washington state's compassionate Death with Dignity Act and died peacefully at home" with her family. Her obituary closed with the line "Beautiful day, happy to have been here," which her husband had inscribed on buttons that were handed out at her August 4 funeral.
posted by apricot on Aug 6, 2013 - 46 comments

Check yourself before you wreck yourself

The time I saw my balls on a giant television
posted by mippy on Jul 30, 2013 - 43 comments

"Coffins are hot and dark on the inside"

Science fiction and fantasy writer/editor Jay Lake has been living with cancer for years, but in early May received notice that unfortunately he wouldn't do so for much longer (diagnostic details), with the most optimistic forecast giving him just a year left to live. If nothing else, this has given him time to wind up his affairs, as well as do something few people get the chance to: attend his own wake.
posted by MartinWisse on Jul 29, 2013 - 12 comments

The Vitamin Myth: Why We Think We Need Supplements

Nutrition experts contend that all we need is what's typically found in a routine diet. Industry representatives, backed by a fascinating history, argue that foods don't contain enough, and we need supplements. Fortunately, many excellent studies have now resolved the issue.
(SLAtlantic)
posted by anazgnos on Jul 28, 2013 - 110 comments

Paddling 1,500 Miles for Science and Adventure

Starting on September 22 last year, Professor Robert Fuller of the University of North Georgia spent four months paddling down the Chattahoochee River system, from the Chattahoochee's headwaters in northern Georgia down through the Apalachicola into the Gulf of Mexico, studying water quality along the way. Then he paddled 200 miles through the Gulf, turned at the mouth of the Mobile River, and paddled another 750 miles upstream on the Mobile, Alabama, Coosa, and Etowah Rivers all the way back to northern Georgia—a total of just over 1,500 miles of solo paddling in his Kruger Sea Wind. Along the way, he kept a blog, "ate a lot of Beanie Weenies", and faced difficulties including cold, hunger, injuries, and river obstructions. Incidentally, he did all this while living with leukemia. [more inside]
posted by Orinda on Jul 27, 2013 - 10 comments

Santa's Little Helper

Sam Simon, an original developer for The Simpsons, is still listed on the opening credits despite leaving the show in 1993. He once told a magazine that he continues to make "tens of millions" of dollars a year from his contributions. In 2012 he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He has recently announced that he will give away his entire fortune to charity. The Sam Simon Foundation.
posted by girlmightlive on Jul 25, 2013 - 17 comments

We'd love to play the Rocky music for you but we couldn't afford it

The Mighty T is a super cute animated short film describing the work going on at the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research. It's purely PR, but it's a well done short animation for a great cause. Directed by Colin Hesterly, who also directed the adorable When I Grow Up [more inside]
posted by DigDoug on Jul 17, 2013 - 2 comments

A Beautiful Angel

Talia Castellano, the 13-year-old terminal cancer patient whose makeup tips made her a YouTube star, an honorary Cover Girl and a guest on Ellen DeGeneres's talk show, has died at age 13. [more inside]
posted by DRoll on Jul 16, 2013 - 57 comments

RIP Chase, a famous baseball dog

It is with great sadness that the Trenton Thunder pass along news that 13-year-old team bat dog, Chase That Golden Thunder, passed away on Monday. [more inside]
posted by josher71 on Jul 9, 2013 - 12 comments

Godspeed Human Metronome

Alan Myers, drummer for Devo during their seminal '76-'85 period, has died. [more inside]
posted by item on Jun 26, 2013 - 74 comments

Meet Mr Balls

Mr Balls is a happy mascot, and he's spreading the word in Brazil regarding testicular cancer. Outside of Brazil, there are songs, and another by Tom Green. Will Mr Balls be a greater spokesman than even Lance Armstrong? Long Live Senhor Testiculo!!!!!
posted by Eekacat on Jun 21, 2013 - 43 comments

HIV vs. Cancer: Altered Immune Cells Beat Leukemia

"Emma Whitehead was near death from acute lymphoblastic leukemia but is now in remission after an experimental treatment at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia."

The New York Times has a feature from December 2012 and this incredible story was the subject of a short film as part of a GE/cinelan-sponored Vimeo series of 3 minute documentaries on "big ideas"
posted by 3rdparty on Jun 20, 2013 - 10 comments

Brown Bird

Dave Lamb and MorganEve Swain are Brown Bird, a band from Rhode Island with a dark, rootsy, foot-stomping sound. Although Brown Bird has been around since 2003, they have enjoyed a recent increase of popularity, culminating in the April 2013 release of a new album, Fits of Reason, and a national tour to promote it. Just weeks into the tour, though, Lamb was diagnosed with leukemia, and the tour (and the band) were put on hiatus while Lamb undergoes chemotherapy. [more inside]
posted by quiet coyote on Jun 17, 2013 - 6 comments

Crow Road

RIP Iain Banks. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jun 9, 2013 - 372 comments

Disclosure

Has Michael Douglas struck a blow for oral sex?
posted by Artw on Jun 6, 2013 - 144 comments

It won't be long now.

"Every teenager out there feels invincible. And they'll never admit it. It's not the kind of invincible like Superman. It's the kind of invincible like - I'll see you in five months." [20-minute YouTube documentary by SoulPancake.]

At age 14, Zach Sobiech (previously) was diagnosed with bone cancer. Given months to live, he turned to music to say goodbye. Zach's song "Clouds" received 3 million hits, and inspired a celebrity cover video featuring dozens of actors and musicians. Zach died today at his home in Minnesota. He was 18.
posted by Sfving on May 20, 2013 - 13 comments

Bikes, Cancer, Blogs, Photos.

"That was sort of a triumphant, 'fuck you,' to build a bike with no seat and keep riding." The experience of custom bike-builder Ezra Caldwell is chronicled in a 12 minute documentary by the folks at This Is Made By Hand, and also on Ezra's own blog, teaching cancer to cry. This Is Made By Hand, previously. [more inside]
posted by MoonOrb on May 19, 2013 - 15 comments

"I hope it helps you to know you have options"

Angelina Jolie describes having a preventive double mastectomy in a NY Times op-ed. Her mother, actress Marcheline Bertrand, died of ovarian cancer at age 56, and Jolie inherited the BRCA1 gene, which carries a vastly higher risk of breast and ovarian cancers. [more inside]
posted by restless_nomad on May 13, 2013 - 129 comments

An investigative reporter investigates

Did my wife's cosmetics give her breast cancer? During her first round of chemo in 2009, some volunteers at the hospital came calling with a little red bag [from the Look Good Feel Better program] that contained products from Clinique, Estée Lauder, and Del Laboratories. Upon reviewing the contents of her bag, she realized that several of the products contained parabens — chemicals that mimic estrogen and that according to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics are linked to cancer. (previously, previouslier, previousliest in AskMe)
posted by spamandkimchi on May 11, 2013 - 38 comments

Gene genie, let yourself go

After a decade or so of legal back-and-forth between Utah-based Myriad Genetics and medical researchers, the ACLU, and the Public Patent Forum, the US Supreme Court will hear a case next week which attempts to address whether genes — isolated (derivative) or original — can be patented. The stakes are high on both sides: opponents use Myriad's actions to argue that giving short-term monopoly control over humanity's genetic constituency is not in the public interest, while proponents defend the use of patents to spur private research in biotech, alternative energy and other nascent industries.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Apr 12, 2013 - 58 comments

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