When writer Robin Romm's mother was dying of cancer, she started keeping a journal--writing from the trenches. At the time she had no idea it would become a book. The Mercy Papers (excerpt)
is a gut-wrenching, painfully honest, and deeply moving account of her mother's last three weeks. [more inside]
posted by liketitanic
on Mar 5, 2010 -
Nil by Mouth
is Roger Ebert's article about what life is like now that he doesn't eat or drink anymore, but is nourished by tube. And interesting reflection on what life can be like after thyroid cancer, and not as sad as you might think.
posted by kaszeta
on Jan 7, 2010 -
Cracking the Cancer Code:
We already know that all cancers are caused by DNA mutations acquired during a person's lifetime. But what mutations actually cause cancer? We may be one step closer to finding out. International research teams led by the Cancer Genome Project at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute have now mapped
the entire genetic code
of two of the most common human cancers: lung and skin (malignant melanoma).
Their findings have the potential
to revolutionize preventative and treatment therapies as well as pave the way for new early detection tests. More
. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Dec 17, 2009 -
Yesterday, the little-noticed U.S. Preventive Services Task Force caused a stir by releasing new guidelines
discouraging routine mammography for women under age 50 and breast self-examinations at any age. (Comparison chart of new and old guidelines here
.) The American Cancer Society immediately registered its strong disagreement
; meanwhile, the National Breast Cancer Coalition came out in strong support
of the new guidelines, saying:
The over-emphasis on the importance of screening, despite a lack of strong evidence, has been elevated to such a degree that some even equate screening with prevention of breast cancer. The National Breast Cancer Coalition hopes that today’s release of the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) revised recommendations will put the brakes on this run-away train and will put screening and its limitations into proper perspective. [more inside]
posted by iminurmefi
on Nov 17, 2009 -
Never Mind the Pity: How Killian Mansfield's Dying Dream Turned into the Making of a Miraculous Album.
While still hospitalized, Killian puts together a dream list of musicians he’d like to work with, focusing on those who spend time in the Catskills. E-mails are sent, calls made, favors asked. He wants to make the record a love letter to the idyllic, eclectic swath of America where he’s lived the past few years. As the responses come in, however, the project shapes up to be far more ambitious than anyone first imagined. Among those who sign on are Dr. John, the legendary New Orleans songwriter; Levon Helm, the drummer for the Band; Kate Pierson of the B-52s; the Lovin’ Spoonful’s John Sebastian; and Todd Rundgren. Ralph agrees to put off all other work in the studio. Killian, meanwhile, compiles a list of songs that, in some way or another, are connected in his mind to integrative therapy. He sees “Scratch My Back,” by renowned bluesman Slim Harpo, as a reference to massage; “Express Yourself,” the funk classic, is chosen to give props to the Cancer Dancers, a group that reaches out to sick children through dance. “Kiss” he deems “one of the greatest love songs ever written,” love being perhaps the best integrative therapy around. Topping his “dream list” of collaborators is David Bowie, with whom Killian imagines recording a uke version of “Starman.” [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco
on Oct 19, 2009 -
is a red dye that has been used for decades to identify eye and liver damage. A company
, Provectus Pharmaceuticals, has developed a drug based on this compound, which clinical trials
show may be able to destroy advanced melanoma
with minimal risks. Melanoma is an extremely dangerous form of skin cancer. The company hopes to extend
this drug to other cancers as well as to other skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis, for which poor treatment solutions exist. Claims such as these inspire skepticism, but the melanoma trials have been conducted by some of the most eminent names in the melanoma community.
Does this drug hold potential
, or is the whole thing snake oil
posted by prunes
on Jun 11, 2009 -
I don't know if you like reading stories about construction workers bringing smiles to the faces of kids with cancer. If you like that kind of stuff, here's a story
like that. You might tear up.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders
on Feb 21, 2009 -
"...But once we saw Dr. Kukin's office, complete with a photo of the winning touchdown at the Super Bowl, a photo of Babe Ruth, and various signed balls, we were put at ease. The message? Heart failure is like bank failure: Bailout is possible. Life goes on. Plus, he had a plastic heart that comes apart; I just love playing with those things."
posted by spish
on Oct 16, 2008 -
's co-founder Andrew Baron found out last week that his father had Multiple Myeloma
, and likely less than 48 hours to live. Then a miracle occured. A drug that could save his father's life existed. However the drug was not approved by the FDA to be used this way. They sought and quickly got approval from the FDA. But now, the drug's manufacturer Biogen won't approve usage despite pleas to Biogen's president from Lance Burton, President Clinton, and others. Read this open letter and request for help
from Andrew to learn what you can do to save his father's life.
posted by IndigoSkye
on Oct 14, 2008 -
62 year old emergency physician John Hall and his wife Jane took off on a Bike Ride Around America
to promote cancer awareness. They started on April Fool's Day
, and completed their 12,000 mile journey around the perimeter of the country just today
. Along the way they encountered hundreds of towns and thousands of friendly people
, and a few not so nice
. All in all, a pretty amazing accomplishment in my book.
posted by netbros
on Jul 31, 2008 -
Former White House spokesman Tony Snow
developed colon cancer
in February 2005 thanks to having suffered from ulcerative colitis
for much of his life; he died today from that ailment. Snow was a "Fox News Sunday" anchor, a Fox News Channel political analyst, a guest host for Rush Limbaugh's radio program, the host of Fox News Radio's "The Tony Snow Show", and a NPR commentator. Chief of Staff Josh Bolten told staffers that unless they could commit to staying the full remainder of Bush's term, they should leave by Labor Day 2007, prompting Snow's resignation (due to what he said were financial reasons), where he was succeeded by Dana Perino
. He played the guitar, saxophone and flute
and was in a band called Beats Workin'. "Bush's wavering conservatism has become an active concern among Republicans, who wish he would stop cowering under the bed and start fighting back against the likes of Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Joe Wilson," said Snow in a column. "The newly passive George Bush has become something of an embarrassment."
posted by WCityMike
on Jul 12, 2008 -
American audiences remember Akira Kurosawa
as the genius of the samurai epic, a past master who used the form both to revise and revive Western classics - Shakespeare with Ran
and Throne of Blood,
Dostoevsky with Red Beard
and The Idiot,
Gorky with The Lower Depths
- and to give splendid and ultimately immortal life to new archetypes, as in The Seven Samurai, Rashomon, Yojimbo.
But Kurosawa also made films of his own time. His masterpiece,
in fact, was the quiet story of a gray Japanese bureaucrat dying in post-war Tokyo, and of his attempt to do something of lasting good before he leaves. The film is Ikiru
("To Live"; 1952). [more inside]
posted by Iridic
on Jan 29, 2008 -