375 posts tagged with cancer.
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My Periodic Table

Bismuth is element 83.
I do not think I will see my 83rd birthday, but I feel there is something hopeful, something encouraging, about having “83” around. Moreover, I have a soft spot for bismuth, a modest gray metal, often unregarded, ignored, even by metal lovers. My feeling as a doctor for the mistreated or marginalized extends into the inorganic world and finds a parallel in my feeling for bismuth.
Oliver Sacks on dying. (SLNYT)
posted by gaspode on Jul 24, 2015 - 20 comments

Time for your annual checkup

Dr. Farid Fata, a prominent cancer doctor in Michigan, admitted in court to intentionally and wrongfully diagnosing healthy people with cancer. Fata also admitted to giving them chemotherapy drugs for the purpose of making a profit. The cancer doctor’s guilty plea shocked many in the courtroom, according to The Detroit Free Press. Fata owned Michigan Hematology Oncology, which had multiple offices throughout Detroit’s suburbs.
One of the more horrifying crimes I've heard of. You're welcome. [more inside]
posted by grobstein on Jul 10, 2015 - 86 comments

The first time I coughed up blood, I shook it off.

Medical Fat Shaming Could Have Killed Me Sex educator Rebecca Hiles (Frisky Fairy) details the years of being told to lose weight to deal with her persistent cough before doctors finally diagnosed her with lung cancer. Part I of her cancer story.
posted by emjaybee on Jun 27, 2015 - 184 comments

"I have been given this role. . . . "

Jenny Diski's End Notes A profile of (formerly) Mefi's own, Jenny Diski, and her diagnosis of inoperable lung cancer. [more inside]
posted by jayder on Jun 12, 2015 - 18 comments

"How many Michaels are there in this world? Nobody told me!"

Michael struggles with this sudden loss of privacy. It's too much for him, and he wants to discuss it at the next meeting.

"I don't have time to myself, either, you know," the Replacement says bitterly.

Michael starts to interrupt, but Dr. Kenston reminds him that the Replacement has the talking stick right now. "You've lived a whole life on your own, Michael," it says. "I've never had that. I've never been by myself. Never even existed completely outside of your abdomen."
The New Middle Class, a short story by Dolan Morgan. [cw: body horror]
posted by divined by radio on Jun 9, 2015 - 14 comments

Born from a bruise

Myfanwy Collins writes about her fear of dying, cancer scares and a history of cancer in the family. (SLButter)
posted by Hactar on May 20, 2015 - 5 comments

Cuba has more than sugar and tourism: biotech and lung cancer vaccine

In 1989, Cuba conducted over 80% of its trade with Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CEMA, or Comecon), but with the relatively abrupt dissolution of the Soviet Union, Cuba was suddenly in a very tough economic position. Over the next years, the country focused on three key economies: sugar, tourism and biotechnology (Google books preview). While the first two seem logical enough, the story of biotech in Cuba, especially Havana at the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB), is getting more attention recently with Cuba's possible therapeutic vaccine against lung cancer. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on May 17, 2015 - 4 comments

The Friend

"His wife was just thirty-four. They had two little girls. The cancer was everywhere, and the parts of dying that nobody talks about were about to start. His best friend came to help out for a couple weeks. And he never left." (SL Esquire)
posted by roomthreeseventeen on May 11, 2015 - 99 comments

What to send when you don't know what to say

Empathy Cards for Serious Illness
posted by sleepy psychonaut on May 4, 2015 - 42 comments

The struggle is real

UBC research shows that chemotherapy can lead to excessive mind wandering and an inability to concentrate. Dubbed ‘chemo-brain,’ the negative cognitive effects of the cancer treatment have long been suspected, but the UBC study is the first to explain why patients have difficulty paying attention. Previously on AskMe [more inside]
posted by nevercalm on May 3, 2015 - 12 comments

Selfish shellfish cells cause contagious clam cancer

The clam leukaemia is a contagious cancer—an immortal line of selfish shellfish cells that originated in a single individual and somehow gained the ability to survive and multiply in fresh hosts. Until Metzger’s discovery, there were just two exceptions to this rule. The first is a facial tumour that afflicts Tasmanian devils. It spreads through bites, and poses a serious threat to the survival of these animals. The second is a venereal tumour that affects dogs. It arose around 11,000 years ago and has since spread around the world. That was it: two transmissible tumours. Now, there’s a third—and perhaps more on the way.
posted by sciatrix on Apr 10, 2015 - 27 comments

The Dose Makes The Poison

Ellie Lobel was 27 when she was bitten by a tick and contracted Lyme disease. And she was not yet 45 when she decided to give up fighting for survival. ... “Nothing was working any more, and nobody had any answers for me,” she says. “Doctors couldn’t help me. I was spending all this cash and was going broke, and when I got my last test results back and all my counts were just horrible, I knew right then and there that this was the end.” ... So she packed up everything and moved to California to die. And she almost did. Less than a week after moving, Ellie was attacked by a swarm of Africanised bees.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 8, 2015 - 73 comments

Our bodies, our lives

In the coverage and discussions, our voices are unheard, our lived experience silenced from a discussion that impacts our lives in a way that journalists and think-piece writers and even doctors cannot understand. I struggle sometimes when I hear stories of people with cancer that most likely would be cured if only they followed the treatment regime suggested by their doctors who make the decision to follow a [complementary and alternative medicine] remedy. Not even your doctor will judge you though.
Elizabeth Caplice writes about of living with (likely terminal) cancer, the temptation to believe in miracle cures when the reality of having to undergo cancer treatments are so dire and how little cancer patients themselves are heard in the ongoing debates about treatment and alternative medicine.
posted by MartinWisse on Apr 8, 2015 - 13 comments

Diary of a Surgery

Angelina Jolie Pitt writes about her decision to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes at the age of 39 -- 10 years younger than her mother was when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. This comes two years after her decision to have a double mastectomy.
posted by Ragini on Mar 24, 2015 - 55 comments

Traded to Chicago Cubs for a washing machine.

Not everyone was delighted when Will Ferrell played 10 positions for 10 different teams (all field positions and base coach) in five games in one day last week in the Cactus League--in order to raise awareness and money for Stand Up to Cancer and Cancer for College--but honestly, most people were. [more inside]
posted by jessamyn on Mar 16, 2015 - 45 comments

The days are long, the years are short

Paul Kalanithi, writer and neurosurgeon, has died. A non-smoker, Kalanithi was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2013 but still managed to raise money for lung cancer awareness, worked to provide resources for doctors to educate them about palliative care. He and his wife, Lucy, also had a daughter who "filled a dying man’s days with a sated joy, a joy unknown to me in all my prior years, a joy that does not hunger for more and more, but rests, satisfied". He also wrote moving articles (and previously) that have resonated with many, patients and doctors alike.
posted by Athanassiel on Mar 11, 2015 - 14 comments

short documentary: NYU psilocybin cancer anxiety research

Eddie Marritz, a cinematographer and photographer in remission from small-cell carcinoma, was a participant in one of NYU's Psilocybin Cancer Anxiety research studies. Marritz, and the researchers, take us through the experience. Magic Mushrooms and the Healing Trip. (7 min) [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Feb 27, 2015 - 7 comments

"I sat in the middle of a catastrophe."

In 1963 novelist Doris Lessing took in a fifteen year old former schoolmate of her son she had never met who couldn't live at home anymore. This teenage girl later grew up to be a writer herself, Jenny Diski (formerly of this parish), and has written a couple of essays in the London Review of Books about her relationship with Lessing. The first, What to Call Her?, was an obituary published shortly after Lessing's death. The second, Doris and Me, is a part of Diski's longer reckoning with her own life following her diagnosis with terminal cancer. [The last essay has been linked previously as part of a megapost.]
posted by Kattullus on Feb 22, 2015 - 19 comments

My Own Life

Oliver Sacks, on learning he has terminal cancer.
posted by HuronBob on Feb 19, 2015 - 41 comments

Remove the Testicle!

Nut Up! Performer, DJ, Producer, and all-around dance music maven Chuck Love shares his personal view of losing a testicle in the most humorous and heart felt way. (SLYT)
posted by djdrue on Feb 12, 2015 - 4 comments

It also means "unboil" is now a word.

Scientists unboil an egg, and it may be a big deal. "This method … could transform industrial and research production of proteins," Such as new, and much faster ways of producing anti-bodies to fight cancer and cheese-makers who could use recombinant-proteins to improve their products.
posted by quin on Jan 26, 2015 - 29 comments

Real Valor

"Today is the best day I've had, probably, in my entire life." [more inside]
posted by CincyBlues on Dec 4, 2014 - 9 comments

On Kindness

Cord Jefferson writes about the struggle to be kind, and the woman who taught him the value of that struggle. [more inside]
posted by Diablevert on Nov 4, 2014 - 19 comments

Bye Bye Mrs. Kot-ter

Marcia Strassman most famous as Mrs. Kotter, but also known for roles on M*A*S*H, Honey I Shrunk The Kids, and her brief foray into music recording has died of breast cancer at 66. [more inside]
posted by jonmc on Oct 27, 2014 - 44 comments

How The Simpsons Co-Creator Sam Simon Is Facing His Own Tragedy

Diagnosed with terminal cancer two years ago, and given only months to live, Sam Simon is still alive and still racing to spend the fortune he made as co-creator of The Simpsons on causes he loves, whether he is rescuing grizzly bears (and chinchillas and elephants) or funding vegan food banks. Sam Simon and philanthropy previously on Metafilter
posted by ellieBOA on Sep 29, 2014 - 7 comments

The staples are punk as hell.

I haven't been blogging for a while. Now I'm ready to tell you the story. Just so you're prepared, the story ends with "in two weeks I'm having brain surgery." Or maybe that's how the story should begin.
posted by Phire on Sep 4, 2014 - 6 comments

"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

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