Based on a lack of evidence for efficacy, "an FDA panel unanimously voted to revoke its approval of Avastin (bevacizumab) for breast cancer. The decision evoked cheers from some groups and jeers from others. At least one group derided the decision as the work of a 'death panel'". An interesting article on the withdrawal of a "miracle" drug from a section of the market, explaining the reasoning behind the decision and discussing the reaction from patients, many of whom believe -- despite the evidence -- that the drug was actually helping them. [more inside]
Burzynski, the Movie is the story of a medical doctor and Ph.D biochemist named Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski who won the largest, and possibly the most convoluted and intriguing legal battle against the Food & Drug Administration in American history.
A documentary by Eric Merola.
A documentary by Eric Merola.
Alice Pyne, a UK teenager with cancer, recently started her blog, Alice's Bucket List, with a personal wish-list. Top of the list is 'To make everyone sign up to be a bone marrow donor'. Her request has been brought up in parliament and helped by likes of Charlie Brooker (NSFW) has since become a top trend on twitter.
The Internet Is My Religion. Jim Gilliam gives a moving ten-minute speech at the Personal Democracy Forum on surviving cancer, faith, activism, interconnectedness and the internet. [more inside]
In a shift from its earlier position, the World Health Organization has stated that cellphones "possibly carcinogenic." Full report (PDF).
"In 2006, Mr. Snow had Stage 3 melanoma, a disease usually found in people three decades older." A short New York Times piece on a young couple going through the end of a cancer diagnosis. Make sure you watch the video in the multimedia column.
"Dr. Evangelos Michelakis, a professor at the U of A Department of Medicine, has shown that dichloroacetate (DCA) causes regression in several cancers, including lung, breast, and brain tumors. " Between rumors that pharmaceutical companies have no interest in this discovery because it can't be patented and quacks jumping on the bandwagon to sell home made DCA to hopeful cancer patients for self medication, things are not exactly going the way Dr. Michelakis would have probably hoped.
"I'm dead, and this is my last post to my blog." Writer, editor, musician and marine biologist Derek Miller, author of Penmachine, wrote this blog post to be published after his death from colorectal cancer. He died on May 3rd.
Korg founder Tsutomu Katoh has died of cancer. Korg has been an enormously influential maker of electronic musical instruments as well as tools like tuners and metronomes. There has rarely been a time when I've been involved in making music without some sort of Korg gear around. Tsutomu will be missed by many. [more inside]
According to new data released by the CDC yesterday, more Americans are surviving cancer thanks to advances in increased early detection and treatment. CDC analysis shows an unprecedented 20% increase in survival rates between 2001 and 2007, which is nearly a quadruple increase since 1971. [more inside]
Etsuko Uno and metafilter's own Drew Berry have released three new animations illustrating breast stem cell differentiation, a control mechanism for the process, and how this relates to carcinogenesis. [more inside]
Steve Dorner (old Times coverage), creator of E-mail software Eudora, has cancer. Treatment is going reasonably well. (Via)
Elizabeth Edwards has died of breast cancer. She was an attorney, author, and advocate for same-sex marriage rights. [more inside]
Ever wanted to start smoking a tobacco pipe? Begin by selecting from the many types of pipes available. Next, choose a tobacco type and flavor. Pipe smoking has a long and storied history- many a famous man, woman, or fictional character would not be parted from his or her pipe (link slightly NSFW). Pipes in art. Books about pipes. And of course, there is widely varying opinion on just how healthy pipe smoking isn't.
A memoir of living with a brain tumour: "For art critic Tom Lubbock, language has been his life and his livelihood. But in 2008, he developed a lethal brain tumour and was told he would slowly lose control over speech and writing. This is his account of what happens when words slip away." [more inside]
The FDA has unveiled new graphic warnings for cigarette packages, including for the first time images that might depict dead bodies, cancer patients and diseased lungs. You can see all 36 new images here. (13MB PDF). [more inside]
Masturbation cuts cancer risk! That is all.
Aidan is a 5 year old boy who was recently diagnosed with leukemia. Aiden really loves monsters, both dressing up as them, and drawing them. His family has is selling his artwork to help with medical expenses. [more inside]
Science meets the news cycle, part n: Researchers look at cancer rates in the ancient world and conclude that cancer is "a modern, man-made disease." The story makes headlines in the UK (and pops up on the political fringe). Meanwhile, New Scientist and others debunk the claim. Will that critical perspective get as much coverage as the original story? [more inside]
Old anatomical illustrations that provide a unique perspective on the evolution of medical knowledge in Japan during the Edo period (1603-1868) [more inside]
One week after his diagnosis, Wallshaker label founder and Detroit DJ/Producer Aaron-Carl Ragland has died
Aaron-Carl Ragland, known simply as "Aaron-Carl" to most, was a songwriter, remixer, producer, radio show host, record label founder and all-around character. The news of Ragland's death was first posted on his friend and fellow Detroit musician Piranha Head's Facebook page in a status update, saying simply: Just lost one of his best friends, Aaron-Carl, and my arms are far too short to box with GOD. One of the best Human beings in the WORLD is gone. I have no words. Music is Silence. Aaron-Carl himself posted this video just five days ago on his blog discussing his diagnosis and upcoming surgery after canceling his upcoming European tour. Factmag reports that Aaron-Carl is believed to have died shortly after or during essential lymph node surgery; it appears that he died overnight after beginning his first chemotherapy session. [more inside]
Using a 3-D petri dish, Researchers at Brown University and Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island have built a completely functional artificial human ovary that will allow doctors to harvest immature human egg cells (oocytes) and grow them into mature, ready-to-be-fertilized human eggs outside the body. (In vitro) The advance could eventually help preserve fertility for women facing chemotherapy or other medical treatments that may be destructive to ovarian folliculogenesis. Press Release. Article link. (paywall) [more inside]
Oliver Sacks is surviving cancer of the eye, ocular melanoma. In his latest book, The Mind’s Eye, he "tells the stories of people who are able to navigate the world and communicate with others despite losing what many of us consider indispensable senses and abilities." In the interview, Sacks talks about his diagnosis, the after-effects of his radiation treatment (which include hallucinations that resolve themselves into words if he "smokes a little pot"), his apprenticeships with poets W.H. Auden and Thom Gunn, and the importance of science writing in an age when the authority of science is being undermined by religious zealots. Via MeFi's own, Steve Silberman, digaman. [more inside]
Laurent Fignon, French cycling champion, two-time winner (1983-84) of the Tour de France, has died of cancer at 50. [more inside]
Topic of Cancer. "One fine June day, the author is launching his best-selling memoir, Hitch-22. The next, he’s throwing up backstage at The Daily Show, in a brief bout of denial, before entering the unfamiliar country—with its egalitarian spirit, martial metaphors, and hard bargains of people who have cancer." Christopher Hitchens writes about his cancer. [Via]
I find your lack of faith disturbing (previously) is billed as 'another screenwriting blog,' which author Josh Friedman admits we need 'like the world needs another Michael Bay.' Nevertheless, Josh has been blogging off and on for five years now, on topics ranging from his cancer surgery to the ups and downs of free lunches in Hollywood. This week Josh relays a story of finding out a stranger has been using your office for meeting prostitutes.
Having a barbecue this summer? There are any number of safety initiatives to alert you to the dangers inherent in lighting one, but a lot less gets said about how to avoid exposing yourself to carcinogenic compounds. Help is at hand from the American Cancer Society, Younger Clearer Skin, David A. Fein MD from the Princeton Longevity Center and Boris Johnson [YouTube]. Kinda.
Gravelly-voiced character actor James Gammon has passed away of cancer at the age of 70. His career spanned more than 50 years in television, (with roles from "Gunsmoke" to "Grays Anatomy",) film and theater, but most will probably remember him as either the cantankerous manager of the Cleveland Indians in the 1989 comedy "Major League" or as Don Johnson's crotchety, retired longshoreman father on the television show Nash Bridges. [more inside]
In 1984 Philip Morris created the Marlboro Adventure team to promote their flagship cigarette. DOC (Doctors Ought to Car), an international organization of health professionals, was founded to counteract the promotion of tobacco advertising. In 1993 as an effort to undermine the Marlboro Adventure Team US debut the DOC repainted a VW van as the Barfmobile, hired a handsome comedian [pdf] as Barf Man, printed thousands of Barfboro Barf Bags (imprinted with the words "DOES CIGARETTE ADVERTISING MAKE YOU SICK? US TOO!"), and created the Barfboro Barfing Team. [more inside]
After the actress Lynn Redgrave learned she had breast cancer in December 2002, she chose to undergo surgery, followed by a half-year regimen of chemotherapy and radiation. She also asked her daughter Annabel Clark, then a photography student at Parsons School of Design, if she would photograph the course of treatment and recovery.[One photo maybe NSFW] Sadly, after battling the disease for more than seven years, the Oscar and Tony-nominated actress passed away yesterday at the age of 67. Her official site. Some Slideshow Galleries. BBC Report. [more inside]
Followup to this post: A US District Court has ruled that Myriad Genetic's patents on breast cancer genes BRCA1 and BRCA2, which allow them to hold exclusive rights to a widely used genetic test for inherited breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility, are invalid. Genomics Law Report analyzes the ruling in two posts. The decision is likely to be challenged in a legal appeal — but if upheld, it could have huge implications for the biotechnology industry. [more inside]
Is your breakfast giving you cancer? "Chances are, you started your day with a generous helping of folic acid. For more than a decade, the government has required enriched grains — most notably white flour and white rice — to be fortified with folic acid, the synthetic form of the B vitamin folate. Many food manufacturers take it further, giving breakfast cereals, nutrition bars, and beverages a folic acid boost, too. Yet, historic reviews have linked too much folic acid to an increased cancer rate. [more inside]
Are we looking at end of Cancer? Human trials of nanobot treatment for cancer have proven the concept: [more inside]
Joseph Casias recently decided, after 10 years, to alleviate the pain of his sinus cancer with medical marijuana--which is legal with a doctor's recommendation in Michigan. A commended Wal-Mart employee for five years, Casias was promptly fired by the company after failing a drug test. Now, Wal-Mart is working to deny Casias unemployment benefits.
Merlin Olsen, NFL legend and TV star (Little House on the Prairie; Father Murphy), has passed away at 69 from mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer. As I knew him more from TV than from football, to me he will always be the gentle giant. [more inside]
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]
When I am writing my problems become invisible and I am the same person I always was. All is well. I am as I should be.
Roger Ebert, his writing, and his battle with cancer are hardly foreign topics here, but this in-depth interview/profile from Esquire about Ebert's illness, loss of speech, and late career burst of creativity is worth a read.
Deep Grief: Creating Meaning From Mourning (Article from NPR.) How some parents have channeled their grief over the loss of their children into memorial efforts that provide for others. [more inside]
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.
The Things - The Thing from the point of view of the thing, by Peter Watts (previously, previously, previously)
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]
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]
Stem Cell Awareness and The Black Community "Due to genetic variance, 1 in 500 Europeans need to be on the registry, but 1 in 10 Africans should be on the registry worldwide..." 5 Fast Facts on Bone Marrow Registration and Donation. If you want to find out more about whether you can save a life, visit Be The Match (US), OneMatch (Canada), or the Anthony Nolan Trust (UK).
“I thought I was on a kind of playdate, right? Then Killian starts playing, and I was like, Oh, really? The kid was totally schooling me.”
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]
October's focus on breast cancer is a curvy pink double-edged sword and those in the fight agree. [more inside]