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.
This cat is presumptuous. Before Sockington, before Simon's Cat, before Maru, the Internet had the Complaint Department. [more inside]
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.
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]
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.
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.
Australian legislation mandating tobacco products are sold in plain packaging today passed the last hurdle today with plain packaging becoming a reality by December 2012. Some had misgivings, some disagree that plain packaging will be an effective deterrent; while some believe it will be counter-productive, while others take a different view.
The Academic Ob/Gyn: Taking Care of the Dying Jehovah’s Witness. The comments are good too.
A Harvard oncologist answers the question (and more): Why did Steve Jobs choose not to effectively treat his cancer?
Patients at Seattle Children’s Hospital are finding messages written to them in huge letters when they look outside their windows. The Ironworkers Local 86 crew assembling the frame of the hospital's new seven-story expansion building next door have been spray-painting greetings to them on the steel beams. "The new building’s skeleton is alive" with more than 50 names: "greetings to Kitty, Colby, Kyle and Istvan. To Violet, Seth, Josh and Austin. To Rachel, Adam, Gillie-Jane and Christofer." Photo Gallery. Local television news segment. (Via)
In 1973, while working as a young post-doc in Zanvil A. Cohn's laboratory in Rockefeller University, Ralph Steinman described a completely new immune cell within the lymphoid organs of mice (original paper can be read here). Based on it's distinctive shape, with it's many branched projections, he named the cell "dendritic cell" (derived from the Greek word for "tree"). Such began a prolific and illustrious career, devoted to the further understanding of these cells, which transformed the way the world understood how the immune system worked. Yesterday, Dr Steinman was awarded the The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2011 "for his discovery of the dendritic cell and its role in adaptive immunity". Tragically, he had died just three days earlier of pancreatic cancer, and never learned that he was to be awarded science’s top honour. [more inside]
A series of emails released through a Freedom of Information Act request shine light on collusion between the United States government and TransCanada, a corporation building a controversial pipeline from the Canadian Athabasca oil sands into its southern neighbor. The controversy extends beyond the currently poor safety record for delivering oil between the two countries, and beyond the environmental and health consequences of the oil extraction process for locals and the cost of climate changes it will contribute to, all the way to legal wrangling between Canadian media and Saudi Arabia over the "death panels"-like term "ethical oil", based upon a conservative group's advertising that argues that the purchase of Canadian-sourced oil is a morally superior act, because of oppression of women and human rights violations by the Saudi kingdom.
Seattle mourns the passing of Electron Boy, otherwise known as Erik Martin. Erik died at home on Friday, from a rare form of cancer called paraganglioma. He was 14. Previously on Metafilter.
Chat History: a story of love, loss, and IM.
At first, nothing happened. But after 10 days, hell broke loose in his hospital room. He began shaking with chills. His temperature shot up. His blood pressure shot down. He became so ill that doctors moved him into intensive care and warned that he might die. His family gathered at the hospital, fearing the worst. A few weeks later, the fevers were gone. And so was the leukemia. - (NYT Link)
Recent research on whether dogs can smell lung cancer supports prior research on the subject, which concluded that dogs can smell both lung cancer and breast cancer. [more inside]
"In each of the patients as much as five pounds of cancerous tissue completely melted away in a few weeks, and a year later it is still gone." [more inside]
Documenting his own cancer treatments with his pinhole camera Gregg Kemp is not only brave but visionary. One of the main pillars in the pinhole photography movement for many years, Gregg is now on a new journey with uncertain results who has decided to take it head-on with setting up a pinhole camera in each surgery which exposes throughout the entire procedure producing a single unique photograph as testament to his hope.
The Summer 2011 issue of Stanford Medicine Magazine is about "Surviving Survival": The Woman Who Fell To Earth / Khmer Rouge on Trial / A Kid Again / Her Stroke of Insight / RxErcise [more inside]
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]