Tag Archives | Cancer

Mobile Phones May Increase Skin Cancer Risk

Anyone who’s seen the alarming documentary Mobilize knows that cell phones are associated with cancer risks – but skin cancer is a new one, per Reuters via Yahoo News, and it applies to all kinds of mobile devices including iPads and laptops:

Devices like tablets, smartphones and laptops can reflect ultraviolet light from the sun and may indirectly increase users’ exposure to the cancer-causing wavelengths, according to a new study.

Using mobile phones in Haiti after the earthquake

“These devices are generally used for communication or entertainment, so it can be easy to overlook their reflective properties unless you happen to catch the glare off a screen,” said Mary E. Logue of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, who coauthored the research with Dr. Barrett J. Zlotoff.

They wondered whether, like those old-fashioned tanning reflectors, personal electronics could also pose skin health risks, Logue told Reuters Health by email.

In a small observational study conducted on a grassy field in Albuquerque, the researchers set up a mannequin head wearing a UVA/B light meter and faced it toward a standard musician’s sheet stand.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Cancer Alley: Big Industry, Big Problems

The cancer rates in the industrial coastal portion of Louisiana are off the charts. No prizes for guessing why, but MSNBC‘s report is still kind of shocking:

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana — One by one nearly all of Brunetta Sims’ neighbors have disappeared. Some have died of cancer or other mysterious illnesses. Others packed up and moved when the air got too thick or too nasty for their little ones to handle. Many more relocated after being bought out by the bigwigs over at the oil plant next door.

Cancer alley

“They’re all gone now. Nobody here but me,” Sims said from her kitchen table in Standard Heights, an African American neighborhood along the fence line of Exxon Mobil’s colossal Baton Rouge plant and refinery, the 11th largest oil complex in the world.

For a long time Sims said she paid little mind to the stench that would often waft into her home from across the fence.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

If We Fought Cancer Like The War on Drugs

The war on drugs has been an abysmal failure since it’s half-witted inception.

It is based on many faulty assumptions, not least of which is the ridiculous idea that treating normal people who happen to use drugs like criminals will somehow help them stop using drugs. When we apply this same logic to fighting a ‘War on Cancer’, we see how utterly senseless and vile it really is.

This video is a much needed comedic ‘wake-up call’ to everyone who doesn’t get that attacking drug users (or cancer victims) is a bad way of doing anything.

If you enjoyed that video, please take the time to listen to the full length podcasts SRSLY WRONG 48 – DRUG WARS EPISODE IV: THERE’S NO HOPE and SRSLY WRONG 49 – DRUG WARS V: WHITE SUPREMACY STRIKES BACK.

So, when you’re going out into the world today, we want you to remember just a few things:
– The drug war has been a massive, 40 year failure.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

An Essay on Time From a Dying Neurosurgeon: “Most ambitions are either achieved or abandoned; either way, they belong to the past.”

Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at 11.27.31 AM

Paul Kalanithi, a neurosurgeon, knew he was dying. His time was limited, and after being released from the hospital due to a relapse in lung cancer, his daughter was born. For him, the expectation of death warped time. Now, the hours in a day, the minutes in an hour, meant something different.

Here’s his moving adieu to the world.

He died on March 9, 2015 at the age of 37.

Paul Kalanithi writes at Stanford Medicine:

There are two strategies to cutting the time short, like the tortoise and the hare. The hare moves as fast as possible, hands a blur, instruments clattering, falling to the floor; the skin slips open like a curtain, the skull flap is on the tray before the bone dust settles. But the opening might need to be expanded a centimeter here or there because it’s not optimally placed. The tortoise proceeds deliberately, with no wasted movements, measuring twice, cutting once.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Changing Our DNA through Mind Control?

Marguerite Agniel in a Buddha position with her legs crossed Wellcome V0048585.jpg

Marguerite Agniel, photo from Wellcome Library (CC)

A study finds meditating cancer patients are able to affect the makeup of their DNA, reports Scientific American:

“I think, therefore I am” is perhaps the most familiar one-liner in western philosophy. Even if the stoners, philosophers and quantum mechanically-inclined skeptics who believe we’re living an illusion are right, few existential quips hit with such profound, approachable simplicity.  The only catch is that in Descartes’ opinion, “we” – our thoughts, our personalities, our “minds” – are mostly divorced from our bodies.

The polymathic Frenchman and other dualist philosophers proposed that while the mind exerts control over our physical interaction with the world, there is a clear delineation between body and mind; that our material forms are simply temporary housing for our immaterial souls. But centuries of science argue against a corporeal crash pad. The body and mind appear inextricably linked. And findings from a new study published in Cancer by a Canadian group suggest that our mental state has measurable physical influence on us – more specifically on our DNA.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Tool Used By Gynecologists Potentially Linked to Cancer

 Phalinn Ooi (CC BY 2.0)

Phalinn Ooi (CC BY 2.0)

via New Scientist:

A health scare linking a common surgical device with the spread of cancer has sparked furious debate over safety standards

Gynaecologists have used power morcellators on hundreds of thousands of women for years. These devices are used to grind up tissue internally and suck it out through tiny incisions during keyhole surgery. Morcellators make it possible for a woman with a uterus the size of a basketball to have minimal scarring after its removal.

These are mechanical devices not drugs. What could go wrong? Quite a bit apparently. Many candidates for hysterectomies have uterine growths called fibroids, and there are now suspicions that in as many as 1 case in 350 these growths are cancerous. And when you grind up a cancerous tumour inside the abdominal cavity, you risk seeding the disease elsewhere. That’s what happened last year to 40-year-old Amy Reed, at the time an anaesthetist at a Harvard-affiliated hospital.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

How cannabis was used to shrink one of the most aggressive brain cancers

This article was originally published on The Conversation.
Read the original article.

By Wai Liu, St George’s, University of London

Widely proscribed around the world for its recreational uses, cannabis is being used in a number of different therapeutic ways to bring relief for severe medical conditions. Products using cannabinoids, the active components of the cannabis plant, have been licensed for medical use. Sativex, for example, which contains an equal mixture of the cannabinoids tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), is already licenced as a mouth spray for multiple sclerosis and in the US, dronabinol and nabilone are commercially available for treating cancer-related side effects.

Now, in a study published in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, we’ve also shown that cannabinoids could play a role in treating one of the most aggressive cancers in adults.

There are more than 85 cannabinoids, which are known to bind to unique receptors in cells and which receive outside chemical signals.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

XMED: Paul Stamets Unravels the Link Between Mushrooms and Cancer Treatment

Arp (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Arp (CC BY-SA 3.0)

via Singularity Hub:

The largest living organism on the planet is a mushroom. You can make a hat out of a boiled mushroom called Amadou, or as our ancestors once did, you can use it as tinder to start a fire. With that fire, you might cook up one of the many delicious edible mushroom varieties. But choose the wrong one and you’ll get sick or die.

Mushrooms may also be powerful medicine.

In a talk yesterday at Exponential Medicine, Paul Stamets held forth on the way of the mushroom, amply demonstrating why he’s one of the world’s top mycologists.

Read More: http://singularityhub.com/2014/11/12/xmed-paul-stamets-unravels-the-link-between-mushrooms-and-cancer-treatment/

Read the rest

Continue Reading

752 people have exercised their right to die in Oregon—why you’ve only heard about Brittany Maynard

brittany-maynard-600

via Quartz:

She was a truly beautiful woman: Slender, button-nosed, with a wide and vivacious smile and dancing, sea-green eyes.

That’s the image we’ll remember of Brittany Maynard, the 29-year-old who became the face of the “Death With Dignity” movement last month after writing an op-ed for CNN detailing her choice to end her life after being diagnosed with a Stage 4 glioblastoma tumor—a malignant blob with a corona of invasive tentacles digging ever deeper into the healthy parts of her brain. On Saturday, Nov. 1, Maynard followed through with the decision she’d made, leaving behind a grieving husband, her loving family and friends and a slew of headlines and broadcast segments that brought voluntary euthanasia to the forefront of the news for the first time since the 1990s.

The pictures running alongside the features are the ones of Maynard in her prime, not as Maynard was just before her death, her face and body swollen by water retention due to the impact of steroids, her features drawn, her eyes heavy-lidded and her hair dull.

Read the rest
Continue Reading