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As a potential role model, I advocate it.

Then Christine stumbled upon a controversial homemade herbal remedy that she credits with enormously improving her dog's quality of life. She's grateful that, in his final year, Sampson weighed in at a robust 106 pounds and lived free of the wracking pain that had haunted him. Whereas before Sampson had been too weak to walk, almost overnight he became a born-again youngster. "He was a puppy again, happy and playful," Christine recalls. "He'd trot around the house with his toys in his mouth, wanting to play fetch!" Legalize medical marijuana for dogs! (Don't miss the great picture of Mason the Vizsla looking very relaxed!) [more inside]
posted by grobstein on Feb 27, 2013 - 50 comments

Excuse me while I dust off the treadmill

What will your last ten years look like? A powerful PSA that will get you off your couch. Another health-related PSA that will make you cry.
posted by desjardins on Feb 23, 2013 - 83 comments

"I want to show that you can still be beautiful or sexy with cancer."

A day before her 32nd birthday, Jill Brzezinski-Conley was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy. She's now 35, and her cancer has metastasized to terminal, stage-4. Sue Bryce won Australian Portrait Photographer of the Year in both 2011 and 2012, and last year's prize was a one-person trip to Paris. After hearing her story, Bryce took Brzezinski-Conley with her to the City of Light for a photo shoot and brought along a videographer. The resulting short film: "The Light That Shines." (Also on Vimeo.) Photos. (click the open magazine at the top of the page). The video and photos both show a topless Ms. Brzezinski-Conley, and may be nsfw. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 6, 2013 - 25 comments

This Post Cures and/or Causes Cancer

The (New) Daily Mail Oncological Ontology Project tumblr, (previously) "an ongoing quest to track the Daily Mail's classification of inanimate objects into two types: those that cause cancer, and those that cure it." Inspired by The Daily Mail Oncological Ontology Project, now defunct.
posted by Scientist on Jan 28, 2013 - 7 comments

A London harrier Helps Harry

A London resident named Steven Whyley has just finished running the courses of all of London's Underground routes to raise money for brain cancer research. But because this is MetaFilter, it's interesting to note that he did so in honor of another, younger person who was also raising money for brain cancer -- until he succumbed to the same disease. [more inside]
posted by wenestvedt on Jan 9, 2013 - 4 comments

"When faced with months to live, how do you say goodbye?"

"When faced with months to live, how do you say goodbye?" -- "Zach Sobiech, of Lakeland, Minn., doesn’t go far without his guitar in tow. Facing months to live, Zach is turning to music - writing and performing songs as a way to say goodbye to his friends and family." [more inside]
posted by ericb on Dec 30, 2012 - 8 comments

The brief and beautiful life of Stella Joy

The Toronto Star has recently published a three-part story (1, 2, 3) on the life and death of toddler Stella Joy, who was diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) at age 2. As this disease is considered 100% fatal, Stella's mothers (link to blog) chose not to have Stella undergo radiation treatment in order to preserve as much quality of life as possible. The love of Stella's family and community as they support her and each other through her death is truly inspiring. [more inside]
posted by fiercecupcake on Dec 17, 2012 - 13 comments

291 diseases and injuries + 67 risk factors + 1,160 non-fatal complications = 650 million estimates of how we age, sicken, and die

As humans live longer, what ails us isn't necessarily what kills us: five data visualizations of how we age, sicken, and die. Causes of death by age, sex, region, and year. Heat map of leading causes and risks by region. Changes in leading causes and risks between 1990 and 2010. Healthy years lost to disability vs. life expectancy in 1990 and 2010. Uncertainties of causes and risks. From the team for the massive Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2010. [more inside]
posted by hat on Dec 14, 2012 - 11 comments

Inspiring story of how an online forum brought out the best in people

This youtube video explains VENGEANCE - The Story of Curmudgeon's Revenge: Members of a forum for Jeep JK Wrangler owners came together for one of their own in a quite extraordinary way. When it became clear that one of their original members was losing his battle with cancer several members flew from all around the country to his house, bought his jeep, drove it across the country, and then spent almost a year converting it from a Jeep into something they call VENGEANCE, "A Badass 2-Door Jeep JK Wrangler Worthy of its Name". Now they're auctioning it to raise money so his daughter can go to college.
posted by Blake on Dec 12, 2012 - 8 comments

Dad, are you a superhero yet?

You better watch out. My dad's a superhero! A short and sweet story from artist Jon Laing.
posted by jbickers on Dec 11, 2012 - 5 comments

Hope is not a good strategy, in life or in disease research.

An influential US advocacy group has set a deadline to beat breast cancer by 2020. But it puts public trust at risk by promising an objective that science cannot yet deliver. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Nov 29, 2012 - 64 comments

Munchausen by Internet

Why would someone want to fake a serious illness on the Internet? Valerie, a cancer survivor, decided to blog about her experience with cancer. While blogging, she interacted with three women who faked illnesses to get attention or had what is referred to as "Munchausen by Internet." As a result, Valerie lost money and friendships, gained a troll, and shut down her blog. Here is a list of clues for the detection of false Internet illness claims.
posted by Four-Eyed Girl on Nov 23, 2012 - 135 comments

It turns out it was just advertising.

So was it worth it? Well of course not. It turns out it was just advertising. There was no higher calling. No ultimate prize. Just a lot of faded, yellowing newsprint, and old video cassettes in an obsolete format I can’t even play any more even if I was interested. Oh yes, and a lot of framed certificates and little gold statuettes. A shit-load of empty Prozac boxes, wine bottles, a lot of grey hair and a tumor of indeterminate dimensions.
[more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus on Nov 9, 2012 - 46 comments

Pregnant man rage, cancer man chill

Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is a hormone produced during pregnancy and a marker in many pregnancy tests. After one man tested himself for pregnancy "for shits and giggles", his friend posted the surprising result in Rage Face form on Reddit... only to find out that elevated hCG levels in men are actually not lulzy (Reddit thread), resulting in an emergency visit to the doctor and a more thoughtful follow-up Rage Face comic.
posted by elgilito on Nov 9, 2012 - 22 comments

"Things that were once completely normal now seem totally surreal."

Innovative and extraordinarily talented British animator Run Wrake is perhaps best known for the short films Rabbit (previously, details) and The Control Master (previously). Run passed away suddenly just a few weeks ago, less than a year after having been diagnosed with cancer. He was 47. Here is an interview with Run from APEngine. [more inside]
posted by oulipian on Nov 8, 2012 - 11 comments

Breast cancer rules rewritten in 'landmark' study

What we currently call breast cancer should be thought of as 10 completely separate diseases, according to an international study which has been described as a "landmark". The categories could improve treatment by tailoring drugs for a patient's exact type of breast cancer and help predict survival more accurately. The study in Nature analysed breast cancers from 2,000 women [Abstract] . It will take at least three years for the findings to be used in hospitals. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Nov 5, 2012 - 37 comments

Sodium memorial

Return to the Sea: Saltworks by Motoi Yamamoto
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Oct 10, 2012 - 15 comments

No Evidence

Maciej (previously: 1, 2) tells the story of his girlfriend's struggle with disease and her friend Stephanie, before the entire story goes sideways.
posted by mathowie on Sep 17, 2012 - 77 comments

"!@#$% Happens"

Children's author Judy Blume writes about her struggle with breast cancer: "As I've told my friends who've also been treated for breast cancer, I've joined The Club - not one I wanted to join or even thought I would ever be joining - but here I am."
posted by Fizz on Sep 15, 2012 - 16 comments

There is no minimum safe exposure level for any form of asbestos fibres, according to the World Health Organization.

More Australians have died from asbestos poisoning than died during the First World War so the Australian Government has just announced the creation of the Office of Asbestos Safety following the receipt of the Asbestos Management Review (pdf). Its aim to to complete the removal of all asbestos from Australian buildings by 2030. Asbestos is a global issue, and while Australia is keen to eliminate its use Canada is still mining and exporting the toxic substance which keeps turning up everywhere. [more inside]
posted by Mezentian on Sep 6, 2012 - 28 comments

Modern Times: The Way of All Flesh (1997)

A documentary by Adam Curtis on Henrietta Lacks and HeLa cell line created from her cells. Previously. Previously.
posted by hat_eater on Sep 4, 2012 - 7 comments

"The latest victim of the tumor has been my facial nerve."

Kathi Goertzen, a TV news anchor on KOMO in Seattle, has died after battling brain tumors for 14 years. In 2011, she candidly discussed how it felt to be in the public eye after a tumor caused one side of her face to become paralyzed. [more inside]
posted by skycrashesdown on Aug 14, 2012 - 18 comments

RIP Jason Noble

Diagnosed in 2009 with synovial sarcoma, Jason Noble of Rodan, Rachel's, and Shipping News passed away August 4th. Video: Rodan, Rachel's, Shipping News.
posted by safetyfork on Aug 10, 2012 - 24 comments

Thank you, thank you, I have cancer, thank you, I have cancer, really, thank you.

Comedian Tig Notaro has had extreme highs and extreme lows. She is moving to New York to work on Amy Schumer’s new television show, and she was recently on This American Life. But then she had a debilitating bacterial infection in her digestive tract for which she was hospitalized. Days after being released from the hospital, her young mother died suddenly and tragically, then she and her girlfriend broke up. Now she has cancer, in both breasts. Last Friday, Tig performed a stand-up set at LA's Largo at the Coronet where she talked all of this. Everyone laughed and wept. Louis CK said, "In 27 years doing this, I've seen a handful of truly great, masterful standup sets. One was Tig Notaro last night at Largo."
posted by alzi on Aug 6, 2012 - 45 comments

UC-Davis doctors banned from research.

2 UC Davis neurosurgeons accused of experimental surgery are banned from human research. Bacterial infection after surgery to remove glioblastoma is thought (anectodally by neurosurgeons) to confer survival advantage to patients, despite limited and contradicting information from previous studies (abstract 1, abstract 2). Drs. J. Paul Muizelaar and Rudolph J. Schrot, with patient consent, introduced Enterobacter aerogenes into open wounds of 3 terminally ill patients in an effort to prolong life. Two patients later died due to sepsis. Upon learning that Muizelaar and Schrot had given patients the bacteria, UC-Davis notified (pdf) the Food and Drug Administration of the serious non-compliance issue. Currently, both Muizelaar and Schrot remain employed at UC-Davis, and Muizelaar remains chairman of the Nuerological surgery department.
posted by nasayre on Jul 24, 2012 - 49 comments

If you want to live forever, then don't stop breathing, like I did.

To Disneyland - you can now throw away that "Banned for Life" file you have on me, I'm not a problem anymore - and SeaWorld San Diego, too, if you read this. Val Patterson, 1953 - 2012, wrote his own obituary as he was dying of throat cancer. He made a few confessions.
posted by gaspode on Jul 17, 2012 - 53 comments

His name is Jack Andraka, and he loves science and engineering with every inch of his 15-year-old soul.

15 year old reinvents cancer detection, wins Intel International Science and Engineering Fair [more inside]
posted by heyho on Jun 21, 2012 - 57 comments

Is innumeracy harming the quality of medical care?

Since the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended against screening for prostate cancer, the debate has been furious. In fact, screening rates are likely to remain high, because most urologists disagree with the recommendations. One argued, "If you don’t do it, it’s negligent." (The debate is not new. Previously on Metafilter.) [more inside]
posted by Mr.Know-it-some on Jun 12, 2012 - 38 comments

Two-faced photoaged

Undoctored photograph of a Chicago milk-truck driver's face. What we're seeing is called photoaging.
posted by stbalbach on Jun 5, 2012 - 72 comments

On Dec. 21, 1988, Pan Am Flight 103, a Boeing 747 jumbo jet carrying 243 passengers and 16 crew members, took off from Heathrow Airport in Britain, bound for New York.

Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, Convicted in 1988 Lockerbie Bombing, Dies at 60. [NYTimes.com] Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, the only person convicted in the 1988 bombing of an American jetliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, has died in Libya, family members told news agencies on Sunday, nearly three years after Scotland released him on humanitarian grounds, citing evidence that he was near death with metastatic prostate cancer. He was 60.
posted by Fizz on May 20, 2012 - 44 comments

My breast has fallen off. Can you reattach it?

Since she is not truly an emergency patient, she is triaged to the back of the line, and other folks, those in immediate distress, get in for treatment ahead of her. She waits on a gurney in a cavernous green hallway. The “chief complaint” on her chart at Grady Memorial Hospital, in Downtown Atlanta, might have set off a wave of nausea in a hospital at a white suburb or almost any place in the civilized world. It reads, “My breast has fallen off. Can you reattach it?” (via Boing Boing) [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia on Apr 24, 2012 - 103 comments

one of the greats will be leaving the stage

The Band singer and drummer Levon Helm is in the final stages of cancer, according to a note posted on his website Tuesday by his wife, Sandy, and daughter, Amy. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Apr 17, 2012 - 137 comments

What is the meaning of malady?

"As a career patient, I’ve learned one thing at least: the importance of clinging to the rag-end of your sense of self, however you define it—intellect, sense of humor, generosity of spirit, a stoicism worthy of Seneca or Mr. Spock, or, in a writer’s case, the mind that makes sense of itself as a reflection in the mirror of language. In the M.A.S.H.-unit chaos of the E.R.; in the nowhere, notime of the hospital room; in the O.R., where the euphoria of oncoming anesthesia and the doting attentions of apparitions in scrubs make you understand, in an instant, the perverse seductions of Munchausen’s Syndrome as you ride into the stage-light radiance on your gurney like the Son of Heaven in his sedan chair, feeling for all the world like a pathological celebrity—in these moments of inescapable embodiment, I’ve learned to float free in my head, a thought balloon untethered from the body on the sickbed or the operating table."
-A Season in Hell by (Mefite) Mark Dery [Previously]
posted by lemuring on Apr 13, 2012 - 10 comments

2, 12, 1, 9, 4: Big Money. No Whammies.

On May 19, 1984, an unemployed ice cream truck driver named Michael Larson went on Press Your Luck and over the course of two episodes, took home more money than had ever been won in the history of television: $110,237 -- to the shock of the show’s producers and host, the late Peter Tomarken. How did he do it? The show’s game board had only 5 patterns of 18 squares, and Mr. Larson had memorized them all. After the show, CBS tried to disqualify him but couldn’t, because Larson hadn’t done anything illegal. But they did refuse to allow those episodes to be aired in syndication. So, they didn’t re-air until 2003, when the Game Show Network produced a Tomarken-hosted documentary about Mr. Larson’s incredible win: Big Bucks: The Press Your Luck Scandal. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 3, 2012 - 42 comments

Eulogy for a pretty swell guy

Young Edd Gould always enjoyed drawing comics of himself and his friends. Growing up in the internet age, his doodles evolved into Flash animations of increasing complexity, and in time Edd and pals Tom Ridgewell and Matt Hargreaves teamed up to produce an "Eddsworld" series of online webtoons and comics. At first crude and halting, the group's "eddisodes" progressed from surreal shorts and one-shots into full-fledged productions that pushed the boundaries of amateur web animation, with expressive characters, full soundtracks, complex effects, and a fast-paced, off-kilter sense of humor: MovieMakers - Spares - WTFuture - Rock Bottom - Hammer & Fail (2). At its height, the college co-op was producing shorts for Mitchell & Webb and the UN Climate Change Conference, fielding offers from Paramount and Cartoon Network, and racking up millions of hits on YouTube. Work slowed, however, when Gould was diagnosed with leukemia -- a relatively survivable form, though, and Gould carried on working gamely through his hospital stays. So it came as a shock last week when Matt and Tom announced that Edd had passed away, prompting an outpouring of grief and gratitude from all the fans he'd entertained and inspired in his short 23 years.
posted by Rhaomi on Apr 2, 2012 - 5 comments

Blogger: 1, TSA: -1,000,000,000

Body scanners attacked again as US blogger Jon Corbett who blogs for TSA Out of Our Pants! exposes how to beat the body scanners, carrying a metal box in a secret shirt pocket through security at two airports. [more inside]
posted by nickrussell on Mar 7, 2012 - 130 comments

Make It Stop!

Shit Cancer Patients Say is a video filmed by five-time cancer survivor Woody Roseland at Presbyterian St Luke's Hospital.
posted by gman on Feb 22, 2012 - 19 comments

Breast Cancer Is Not A Pink Ribbon

The SCAR Project is a series of large-scale portraits of young breast cancer survivors shot by fashion photographer David Jay. (NSFW)
posted by gman on Feb 10, 2012 - 20 comments

Women's Healthcare?

NPR is reporting that the Susan G. Komen foundation is severing it's ties and halting grants to Planned Parenthood, cutting off "hundreds of thousands of dollars", mainly earmarked for breast exams. Komen says the key reason is that Planned Parenthood is under investigation in Congress — a probe launched by a conservative Republican who was urged to act by anti-abortion groups. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jan 31, 2012 - 313 comments

Caroline Knapp's "Drinking: A Love Story"

Drinking: A Love Story, Chapter Six: Sex - by Caroline Knapp
posted by Trurl on Jan 26, 2012 - 36 comments

On mammograms

"I believe the time has come to realise that breast cancer screening programmes can no longer be justified ... I recommend women to do nothing apart from attending a doctor if they notice anything themselves." [more inside]
posted by latkes on Jan 24, 2012 - 52 comments

May no act of ours bring shame...

Paterno, Joseph Vincent (Joe Pa)
Born: December 21, 1926, in Brooklyn, New York.
Died: January, 22, 2012 in State College, Pennsylvania.
Vocation: Football Coach
Employer: Penn State, Retired.*
posted by Toekneesan on Jan 22, 2012 - 172 comments

My Father, Always Fond of a Long Shot, Chose to Have His Cancerous Tounge Removed

Diagnosed with cancer, my father decided to have his tongue removed. It’s an extreme treatment, but he’s always known how to make things work out.
posted by Blasdelb on Jan 14, 2012 - 20 comments

Outside Magazine on Livestrong - Valid criticism or concern trolling?

Outside Magazine on Livestrong - Valid criticism or concern trolling? [more inside]
posted by Argyle on Jan 9, 2012 - 78 comments

The Complaint Department: an appreciation

This cat is presumptuous. Before Sockington, before Simon's Cat, before Maru, the Internet had the Complaint Department. [more inside]
posted by rdc on Dec 19, 2011 - 6 comments

RIP Christopher Hitchens

In Memoriam: Christopher Hitchens, 1949–2011
posted by naju on Dec 15, 2011 - 491 comments

BoingBoing's Xeni Jardin on her breast cancer diagnosis

I live online as much as I live offline. Often, I move around in the world staring into a device as I walk, sharing bits of one realm with the other. The morning I went in for my first mammogram, I felt nervous. I would tweet this new thing, like I do with lots of new things, and make the unknown and new feel less so. Maybe by doing so, I thought while I was driving, other women like me who'd never done this would also feel like it was less weird, less scary, more normal and worth doing without hesitation. I'd crack some 140-character jokes. I'd make fun of myself and others. I would Instagram my mammogram.
posted by cgc373 on Dec 10, 2011 - 18 comments

Trial of the Will

Trial of the Will. "Reviewing familiar principles and maxims in the face of mortal illness, Christopher Hitchens has found one of them increasingly ridiculous: 'Whatever doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.' Oh, really? Take the case of the philosopher to whom that line is usually attributed, Friedrich Nietzsche, who lost his mind to what was probably syphilis. Or America’s homegrown philosopher Sidney Hook, who survived a stroke and wished he hadn’t. Or, indeed, the author, viciously weakened by the very medicine that is keeping him alive." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Dec 8, 2011 - 27 comments

Don’t Give Up . . . Don’t Ever Give Up!

Jim Valvano and 6th seeded North Carolina State completed one of the all time greatest Cinderella upsets in basketball history, winning the 1983 NCAA tournament title over the top ranked "Phi Slamma Jamma" out of Houston, featuring two future Hall of Fame and Top 50 all time NBA superstars Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon. On March 3, 1993, shortly before his death from bone cancer diagnosed the previous year, Jimmy V delivered an iconic speech at the inaugural ESPY awards announcing the creation of The Jimmy V Foundation, an organization dedicated to finding a cure for cancer. Jimmy V week is celebrated each year on ESPN and has since raised over $100 million for cancer research.
posted by T.D. Strange on Dec 2, 2011 - 14 comments

The Burzynski Clinic threatens bloggers

The Burzynski Clinic (selling an unproven cure for cancer) has started to threaten those who talk about them with legal action. Even going as far as trying to intimidate young blogger Rhys Morgan by sending him pictures of his own house (very, 'I know where you live...') and threatening another blogger's family.
posted by Nufkin on Nov 28, 2011 - 88 comments

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