Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
While I don’t think the show covers any of that subject, it did make me realize that this isn’t just a problem for Alaska schools. When I think back to my elementary days, I remember the school buildings seeming old even then. They were probably filled with PCBs and other contaminants. It’s a wonder really, that there aren’t more of us suffering like my sister.
Monday, November 8, 2010
Whatever you call it, it sucks. Chemo fog refers to the memory problems cancer survivors experience after chemotherapy treatments. Approximately 20-30% of chemo patients end up with chemo fog. According to Mayo Clinic, very little is understood about this bizarre condition. According to chemofog.net, scientists have attributed the following cognitive changes to chemo treatments:
- Word finding. You might find yourself reaching for the right word in conversation.
- Memory. You might experience short-term memory lapses, such as not remembering where you put your keys or what you were supposed to buy at the store.
- Multitasking. Many jobs require you to manage multiple tasks during the day. Multitasking is important at work as well as at home — for example, talking with your kids and making dinner at the same time. Chemotherapy may affect how well you’re able to perform multiple tasks at once.
- Learning. It might take longer to learn new things. For example, you might find you need to read paragraphs over a few times before you get the meaning.
- Processing speed. It might take you longer to do tasks that were once quick and easy for you.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
It seems that people have always intuitively understood the therapeutic effects of laughter, and more recently science has been able to explain some of these benefits. The act of laughing increases oxygen flow and circulation while lowering blood pressure. Laughter also balances our emotions. The Mayo Clinic suggests that daily laughter can go a long way in helping cancer patients cope with their illness. Here are a few tips they recommend:
- Watch a funny movie and laugh out loud.
- Laugh with friends — go for coffee together, talk a walk, go window shopping.
- Take time to read the comic section of the paper every day.
- Play games such as Pictionary, Bingo, Charades, Bowling ... anything that puts you in a situation of humor and fun.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Carol Woods is no stranger to the horrors of cancer. She lost her uncle and brother to the disease. Her 53-year-old brother-in-law is currently battling non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Frustrated by the devastation brought on by cancer, Carol decided to begin a fund-raising operation for the The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Instead of organizing a marathon or a bake sale, Carol decided to go for something a little bit spookier: a haunted costume party. On October 23, she held the 5th annual haunted costume ball for cancer research, complete with a costume contest, raffles and live music. Now that's celebrating the Halloween season with a healthy dose of activism! To view photos of this event, click here.
Friday, November 5, 2010
Chemo Babe is not your ordinary cancer patient. She's bold. She's bald. She'll don a corset and whip to fulfull her identity as a malignancy-fighting super heroine! This larger than life persona belongs to a breast cancer patient who considers herself a social scientist, intrigued by the complex relationships cancer victims develop with their environments as they battle their disease. According to Chemo Babe's website,
I needed a symbol for my fight, and pink ribbons evoke images of playing dress up or wrapping gifts to me. They do not rev me up for another round of mortal combat.Chemo Babe is a regular blogger, sharing her fiery insights as she progresses on her journey. To learn more about her, click here.
So I created ChemoBabe, a persona who keeps me fighting. She has enough spunk and edge to get smacked down by surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and stand back up ready to fight some more. A persona who the cancer could not touch. Somebody who could say that cancer is horrible and talk back bluntly to the euphemistic ways people skirt that horror in everyday conversations.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
I can remember these words coming from my Mother's mouth as if it were yesterday. At the time, I found her insistence on eating my greens infuriating. Today, I'm more thankful than ever.
Research from the University of Illinois shows that broccoli contains "sulforaphane, the powerful cancer-fighting agent" (EurekAlert). This compound is released by beneficial bacteria in the digestive track, and our bodies then absorb it, helping us to stay cancer-free. Other veggies high in sulforaphane include carrots, collard greens and cabbage.
It isn't just a form of cruel and unusual torture; insisting on veggies is an important thing for every parent to do!
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
The Non-Hodgkin's Project is all about exposing this link, as well as forcing Monsanto to acknowledge responsibility for this issue. According to The Non-Hodgkin's site, Monsanto "the controversial biotechnology company, manufactured 99 percent of all the PCBs produced in the United States." If you would like to sign a petition telling Monsanto just this, click here.
Monday, November 1, 2010
The first map displays data from 1950-1969:
The second shows data from 1970-1994:
The first thing you probably notice is that there's a whole lot more red on the second map. This means that more people are suffering from NHL. Several sources have noted a dramatic increase in NHL over the past few decades:
- "Research has documented a steady increase in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma over the past several decades." (ScienceDaily)
- "Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL) is one of the fastest rising cancers in the developing countries. In many countries, including the US and Canada, the number of new cases diagnosed each year have almost doubled in the past 30 years." (lymphoma.about.com)
- "Between 1973 and 1991, the 73 percent increase in the incidence of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma was one of the largest among the major cancer sites in the United States." (rex.nci.hih.gov)
*Note that these two maps compare NHL mortality rates for white women. To see the maps for other demographics, click here.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
If you saw the headlines about the recent Diamond Pet Food scandal, you know that pet food toxins can be deadly. Nearly 100 dogs died from eating contaminated dog food before the company recalled 34 million pounds of poisonous kibble. That story made headlines around the world, but the real story on pet food remains untold: That common pet food ingredients -- even those found in expensive, brand-name foods -- may be harming your pet right now. (NaturalNews Insider Alert)
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Microchip implants were introduced in the 1980s and have become increasingly popular for pet tracking over the past few years. A recent report reviewed the research conducted on these microchips from 1990 to 2006, and the researchers found "in nearly all cases, researchers concluded that the microchips had induced the cancers."
In light of this upsetting research, animal rights attorney Steven Wise is suing Merck & Co. over claims that its HomeAgain® pet microchip caused malignant tumors in pets. To read more about this case, click here.
Friday, October 29, 2010
- Generalized lymph node enlargement (swollen glands)
- Weight loss & loss of appetite
- Increased drinking/urination
- Vomiting and/or diarrhoea
- Difficulty breathing
Once the dog's cancer is identified, it is "staged," meaning the progression of the disease is determined. Then a treatment plan can be decided upon. Canines have many of the same treatment options as humans do, including chemotherapy.
Who knew that our furry friends risk the same battles with NHL as we do?
Thursday, October 28, 2010
The dangers of cleaning products are becoming increasingly understood, and research has established a link between these chemicals and cancer. As much as I would like to use this as an excuse to not clean my room anymore, I realize that safer, alternative cleaning solutions are the real answer. For example, baking soda is a natural abrasive and deodorizer. Vinegar is acidic and therefore great at fending off bacteria and mold. I've scoured the internet (pun intended) and selected several of my favorite environmentally-safe, creative cleaning tips:
- Clean the microwave by mixing 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar and 1/2 cup water in a microwave-safe bowl. Bring it to a rolling boil inside the microwave. Baked-on food will be loosened, and odors will disappear. Wipe clean. (Vinegar Tips)
- Baking soda will keep away garbage odors; sprinkle the bottom of the pail, and then sprinkle again after you put a new bag in. (The New Home Maker)
- For stubborn marks in your toilet, sprinkle your toilet bowl with baking soda and then pour vinegar on top of it. It will bubble (think volcano science projects). Use your toilet brush to brush down the sides of your toilet bowl. (Natural News)
- Adding 1/2 cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle of your washing machine saves you from buying a separate laundry softener. Vinegar works naturally to soften your laundry and has the added benefit of breaking down laundry detergent very effectively. (House Keeping)
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
The calendar took off and the women quickly became known as the Calendar Girls. "By December of 1999, just nine months after its launch, the calendar had sold 88,000 copies, and raised some $550,000 for leukemia research. That number has grown significantly since then, especially after Workman Publishing released an American version of the calendar" (www.chasingthefrog.com). The story of these unsuspecting models caught on, and in 2003, a highly acclaimed film adaptation was released. In 2008, a theatrical version also debuted in the form of a stage play.
Angela lost her husband to NHL just five months after his diagnosis, but she has gone on to be a tremendously passionate spokesperson and activist for NHL funding. According to the official Calendar Girls website,
Angela sums up the extraordinary story of the Calendar Girls: “I think that we’ve all coped really well with what has happened. We’ve done the most amazing things but we’ve kept our feet on the ground and we’ve never forgotten why we did what we did. We didn’t do the calendar because we wanted to be famous but because we wanted to raise money in John’s memory. It has been the most marvellous experience.”
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
And studies now show that acrylamide is a probable carcinogen, particularly for women. Specifically, a direct link has been established between acrylamide consumption and ovarian and womb cancer. With this lovely scientific revelation, what's a girl to do?
The European Union has released number of dietary suggestions to reduce the intake of acrylamide. For example,
The EU has now advised people to avoid burnt toast or golden brown chips because they contain higher levels of the substance acrylamide.
The EU called on people not to overcook their food.
They have also recommended eating home-cooked meals which contain much lower amounts of the chemical than processed products, fast food and restaurant meals.
Monday, October 25, 2010
"I'm really excited to be able to sing about the dangers of GMOs and help alert people to what's really in their foods," Adams said. "This is an issue that touches the lives of virtually everyone. Genetically engineered foods have invaded our food supply, and people have a right to know what that means to their health."
Now, I appreciate when passionate advocates embrace alternative means of reaching the public with their message. Sometimes, they can take it to far. I'll let you decide where this viral video falls on the spectrum:
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Remember that maintaining a strong support network is extremely beneficial for those battling any form of cancer. This is yet another way to get connected and stay positive!
You can access the chat by going to the login page. Select Enter as a Guest, type your name (as you want it to appear in the chat) and click Enter Room . The chat application will launch in a new window.
You will need to wait for the moderator to arrive in the room before you can send messages, as this is a moderated chat.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
In New York, the Gowanus Canal is often refered to as the "loveliest toxic waterway" (The Earth Institute, Columbia University), polluted heavily with PCBs, pesticides and metals, among other contaminants. Disappointed with the EPA's tardy response to the situation, a local group of environmentalists decided to take action for themselves. Their efforts resulted in Jerko, "a refurbished houseboat, renovated with salvaged materials and fitted with a floating wetland" (The Earth Institute, Columbia University). The boat travels along the polluted canal, showing "how water can be cleaned through relatively inexpensive but surprisingly effective techniques of biological filtration through artificial wetlands. More importantly, it shows how citizens can take the health of their environment into their own hands without waiting for large-scale institutional action" (The Earth Institute, Columbia University).
Click here to read more about this awesome project.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Breast cancer awareness has received a great deal attention over the past several years (much more than NHL), and the color pink has become virtually synonymous with breast cancer awareness. Marketers have done an excellent job promoting awareness campaigns and countless companies now sell pink products, with a portion of the proceeds going towards breast cancer research. While I have to admit that the level of attention this community receives is impressive, there seems to be a lot of hypocrisy and hype going on. Here are a few examples to demonstrate my point:
- Earlier this year, KFC launched a 'Buckets for the Cure' campaign that promised to donate 50 cents from every bucket of fried chicken sold to 'end breast cancer forever.' Too bad KFC's chicken is loaded with cancer-causing chemicals like monosodium glutamate (MSG) and fried in trans-fat oils.
- Back in 2002, both Yoplait and Dannon painted their yogurt products pink, even though the milk used in their production came from cows treated with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH). Despite reassurances from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that rBGH is safe, the artificial hormone chemical actually contributes to causing cancer.
- A Canadian gas station chain covers their stations in pink ribbons every year, even though the pollution caused by burned gasoline is linked cancer as well.
I think that the amount of attention and funding that breast cancer receives is tremendous, and I hope that NHL will reach that level of support someday. However, we need to be cautious of companies simply looking to bolster their PR. Instead of buying a bracelet that proudly claims that you support cancer awareness, why not donate the same amount of money straight to the cause?
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
What can we do to protect our youngest loved ones? NaturalNews.com has a few suggestions. First, they suggest breastfeeding. The amount of nutrition obtained through breastfeeding simply cannot be matched by formulas or synthetic food substitutes. When children are ready for food, shopping organic is the surest way to avoid pesticides and other harmful environmental contaminants. Several all-natural companies also produce hygiene care for infants.
It's really scary to think that my sister Lucy's cancer could have been caused by these invisible dangers all around us. Even once we're educated about the dangers of various chemicals, avoiding them seems impossible in modern society. What's a big sis to do?
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
McDonald's recently promoted the animated children's film Shrek with a line of kid-sized glasses featuring characters from the movie. When cadmium was found on the glasses, 12 million of them were recalled. While McDonald's claims that the glasses were not necessarily hazardous, and simply recalled out of caution, "government scientists concluded a 6-year-old could be exposed to hazardous levels of the carcinogen after touching one of the glasses eight times in a day" (The Chicago Tribune).
Bad move McDonald's. They are still refusing to admit the exact levels of cadmium found in their product, which leads me to be even more leery of this corporate food chain that I was before. How can we trust any of their products if they're refusing to responsibly respond to this mess?
-Photo Source: AP photo by Paul Sakuma, The Chicago Tribue
Monday, October 18, 2010
The court noted that scientists have found at least three significant differences that make rBGH milk inferior to natural milk:
- Milk from cows injected with rBGH has higher somatic cell counts; in other words, there’s more pus in the milk. The court notes that this can lead to milk that sours more quickly (not to mention that most people would prefer to avoid pus-filled milk).
- The use of rBGH “induces an unnatural period of milk production,” during which injected cows produce inferior milk that has lower protein and higher fat content.
- Milk from injected cows contains higher levels of a hormone called IGF-1; several studies have linked high levels of IGF-1 in blood with breast and prostate cancer, among other health hazards.
This marks a significant change in direction for US food policy. Up until now, regulatory agencies showed a willingness to accept Monsanto's false claims. In fact, there is evidence that the FDA knew about the inferiority of GMO milk, yet they never acted on it.
It took one Midwestern court to stand up to the FDA and expose the truth about GMO milk. Hopefully they're going to set the trend!
Sunday, October 17, 2010
My journey with cancer started in 1987. At 20 years old I was diagnosed with stage II Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. All my doctors told me that it was “very curable” and that treatments would last about 10 months total. What else could I do but put my life on hold for a year? Despite responding extremely well to the treatments, my cancer recurred again in 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, and again in 2004. Every time it recurred, the cancer responded well to treatment … but it kept coming back.
When my cancer recurred the last time, it was my wife Theresa’s first experience with cancer since we had only met two years prior. Not being one to idly sit by, she quickly did research on proper nutrition, vitamins and supplements, relaxation methods, exercises – you name it! Then, one day while reading a book, it hit me like a bus. I finally realized something that all the chemotherapy, radiation, surgeries and bone marrow transplants never taught me — In order for someone to be completely well, one needs to be healed on all three levels: body, mind and spirit.
When one of these components suffers, our entire being suffers. I soon took an even deeper interest in completely transforming my life. Theresa and I started running, completely overhauled our diet and began incorporating ways of keeping our mind and spirit healthy. Very quickly, I felt better than ever before. I wondered why I hadn’t already thought of this. Why had it taken me six kicks in the pants for me to realize this? I can only surmise that God sends us angels to guide us in the right direction. My wife is just such an angel, and because of her guidance, I am where I am today. (CrazySexyLife.com)
Dallaire pooled the knowledge gained from his six recoveries into a book, titled Many Shades of Green: Running Toward the Finish Line, One Cancer at a Time. He is alive and well, residing in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada with his wife Theresa. Dallaire continues to spread his inspirational message to others and lead the healthy, balanced life that saved him from his final round of cancer.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Remember when your dentist would x-ray your teeth to check out your wisdom teeth? Perhaps you've broken a bone in the past, and a doctor had to take a better look with an x-ray. New research suggests that those x-rays may have caused more harm than good.
A recent study from the University of California-Berkley shows that diagnostic x-rays may increase the risk of childhood leukemia. X-rays expose patients to radiation, but in low levels. While high doses of radiation are known to cause cancer, there is still much debate surrounding the dangers of low-level radiation, such as x-rays. However, this study is part of a growing body of literature that suggests x-rays may in fact be deadly.
The bottom line is we have to be very cautious about the use of any medical imaging techniques," said Dr. Smith-Bindman. "They can be enormously helpful for making accurate diagnoses, but tests that deliver ionizing radiation are associated with small – but real – risks of future complications related to the radiation exposure, and thus they should be used judiciously. (UC Study)
In other words, avoid them if possible! But that may not be as easy as it sounds. According to Natural News, Americans receive more medical radiation than residents in any other country. This article also states that, "A recent Columbia University study estimated that 20 million adults and 1 million children are being exposed to unnecessary cancer risk from medical scans."
To safeguard against unnecessary radiation exposure, Natural News suggests that:
Patients concerned about their radiation exposure should always ask doctors if a radiation scan is necessary, whether radiation-free alternatives are available, if the scan has ever been performed on them before, how the dose will be adjusted for their sex and age, and if the doctor has a financial stake in the machines to be used. Radiologist Fred Mettler of the New Mexico Veterans Administration suggests asking for a copy of all tests performed.
Friday, October 15, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
In 2003, 31-year-old actress/photographer Kris Carr was diagnosed with a rare and incurable cancer. Weeks later she began filming her story. Taking a seemingly tragic situation and turning it into a creative expression, Kris shared her inspirational story of survival with courage, strength, and lots of humor.
With experimental treatment as her only option, Kris became determined to find answers where there were none. She traveled throughout the country interviewing experts in alternative medicine as she tenaciously dove head first into a fascinating and often hilarious holistic world. Along the way, she met other vivacious young women determined to become survivors. Their stories are as poignant and exciting as the women who tell them. As Kris's amazing journey unfolds, she realizes that healing is about truly living rather than fighting.
This woman is my new hero. Her story is a testimony to the power of positive attitude and healthy living. Click here to buy her DVD and click here to check out the blog.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
“I realized I could be bitter and negative or be positive, optimistic and hopeful,” Naylor said in an interview. “I have an enormous support system of family and friends, who have made it easier to remember why I was fighting for my life.”
Now she's out to help others and has organized the Team Elizabeth 4-Mile Run, which will benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The event is set for October 24th, but Naylor is still looking for business sponsors. Click here to learn more about registering for the event.
If you cannot participate in the race, but would like to donate, make checks payable to "The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society" and mailing it to: Susannah Hamblin, 30B Pearson Avenue, Somerville, MA 02144
Monday, October 11, 2010
Yesterday, we heard some of the dangers of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). According to Yahoo News, "Americans' consumption of corn syrup has fallen to a 20-year low on consumer concerns that it is more harmful" and the Corn Refiners Association is trying to revamp their image. Last week they applied with the Food and Drug Administration to officially use the phrase corn sugar, instead of high fructose corn syrup, on food labels.
While the federal government decides on the case, the HFCS industry has moved forward with an online marketing campaign promoting the safety of corn sugar.
An effective name change has worked well for other food products in the past. For example, "low eurcic acid rapeseed oil became much more popular after becoming 'canola oil' in 1988. Prunes tried to shed a stodgy image by becoming 'dried plums' in 2000" (Yahoo News).
There's a great deal of controversy over HFCS and their impending publicity makeover. Some, such as the Corn Refiners Association, insist that "sugar is sugar" and there's nothing dangerous about HFCS. Others claim that these renaming efforts are a sly attempt to hoodwink the public and HFCS is truly dangerous. I will let you make your own decision on the matter, but in general, it is the natural food enthusiasts who warn against HFCS and the corn industry that supports its consumption. Regardless of which camp you trust, everyone can agree that we need to consume less sugars, and that includes corn sugar.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
According to NaturalNews.com, fructose is an "inexpensive sweetener used in many processed foods and drinks and is most frequently found in its super-charged form, high fructose corn syrup." Fructose has also been linked to many types of cancer.
Fructose is widely thought to be responsible for the dramatic rise in obesity over the past several decades. Aside from preventing cancer, cutting fructose out of your diet will help you maintain a healthy weight, as well as reduce your risk of diabetes.
The real challenge lies in avoiding fructose. It is added to nearly all soft drinks and processed foods. Label checking never hurts, but in general, the surest way to avoid fructose is to eat organic produce and other non-processed foods.
Saturday, October 9, 2010
According to a study published in Genome Research, Vitamin D regulates genes which provide protection against many forms of cancer and autoimmune diseases. Vitamin D specifically binds with these genes to provide a protective shield which dramatically reduces our risk of disease. Vitamin D also acts as a master blueprint for cellular replication, guiding the DNA strands with instructions to accurately divide during mitosis and provides critical guidance to prevent cellular proliferation, a hallmark of cancer metastasis. (NaturalNews.com)
However, approximately 85% of the population is Vitamin D deficient.
Simple blood tests can easily reveal your Vitamin D levels. If you are
Vitamin D deficient, sunlight and multivitamins are minor sources of
Vitamin D, but NaturalNews.com suggests an oil-based gelcap form
of Vitamin D instead.
Friday, October 8, 2010
According to a recent article in NaturalNews,
The USDA in Maryland has reported cinnamon`s ability to stop or minimize the proliferation of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells.
Make sure you're using organic cinnamon, and not irradiated. If so, cinnamon also has the following healing properties:
- stops medication resistant yeast infections
- inhibits food spoilage with its anti-bacterial properties
- anti clotting properties
- regulates glucose
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Trevor became a champion for the protection of children and small towns from industrial contamination. He met with politicians while battling cancer, and he soon befriended California Senator Barabara Boxer. According to a recent article in PRNewswire,
Senator Boxer said: "Whenever there is an unusual increase in disease within in a community, those families deserve to know that the federal government's top scientists and experts are accessible and available to help, especially when the health and safety of children are at risk. I am pleased to be introducing this
legislation today that will enable communities to get the answers they need as quickly as possible."
Senator Boxer recently filed legislation that will establish a "streamlined process to investigate and address disease clusters across the U.S." To honor Trevor Schaefer, the Strengthening Protection For Children and Communities From Disease Clusters Act is now known as "Trevor's Law" for short. To read more about this story,
Trevor has also gone on to found the Trevor's Trek Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to raising awareness about disease clusters and environmental toxins.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
major lifestyle change for cancer patients. This week, Mayo Clinic
posted a podcast interview with experts in the field on the topic of
fatigue management. Click here to listen to the entire six-minute podcast.
Otherwise, I've outlined the important points for you below:
The following can reduce fatigue:
- Decrease stress
- Maintain balanced diet
- Follow up with regular appointments
- Exercise routinely
Regarding the exercise: don't push your body with extreme workouts,
but gently keep your body in shape. They recommend low-impact,
repetitive activities. Walking or casual bicycling are good examples.
Some studies show that relapse is much less likely if regular exercise
regimens are continued, both throughout the treatments and after.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Eastern's lacrosse match on October 10 is about more than just the game. This event, the 44th annual Nick Colleuori Classic, will honor the Ridley High School student who was passed away from NHL. All of the proceeds of the tournament go to the HEADstrong Foundation.
According the HEADstrong Foundation's mission statement, HEADstrong is dedicated to raising money for cancer research, to give grants and help to cancer survivors and to financially assist those looking to enter the medical field.
The HEADstrong Foundation was envisioned by the late Colleuori. He drew the HEADstrong logo - a lacrosse stick on the inside and a cancer ribbon around the head - while waiting to enter the operating room. On November 28, 2006, Colleuori lost his life at the age of 21. (The Waltonian)
Monday, October 4, 2010
The House of Representatives has heard the pleas of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's advocates and on the evening of Wednesday, September 22, passed a Congressional resolution (H. Res. 1433) naming September 2010 as Blood Cancer Awareness Month! (Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Alert)
Spread the good word!
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Paul Allen is a pretty incredible man. In case you haven't heard of him, he co-founded Microsoft in the 80s and then founded the Allen Institute for Brain Science in 2003. This research center focuses on mapping genes, and Paul has "pledged $100 million to support the institute," according to seattlebizjournals.com.
Paul recently struggled with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. As of this past week, however, his cancer appears to have gone into remission. According to the Associated Press, he feels better than he has in a long time, which is great timing on Paul's part. He will be making one of his first public appearances since announcing his victory over NHL at the first annual summit for brain sciences, sponsored by Allen's very own institute.
Friday, October 1, 2010
For all you meat lovers out there (myself included), I have some unfortunate news. As we all know, PCBs and other industrial chemicals are stored in fat tissue, resulting in bioaccumulation up the food chain. Vegetarian diets avoid this pitfall altogether by staying away from meat in the first place. A recent study showed that "just five days on a vegetarian diet can significantly reduce the levels of antibiotics and toxic chemicals in the human body."
According to NaturalNews.com,
Scientists recruited 25 people to stay at a Buddhist temple for five days, living the same lifestyle as the monks residing there. This lifestyle included adhering to a strictly meat-free diet... Researchers took urine samples from all participants both 48 hours before and immediately after the five-day Temple Stay. This urine was tested for antibiotics and their metabolites, as well as six chemicals produced by the body upon the breakdown of phthalates. Phthalates are industrial chemicals used in the manufacture of pesticides and soft plastics.
Researchers found that the levels of five of the six phthalate metabolites tested for significantly dropped after going meat free for five days. To read more about this depressing discovery, click here.
Steak, I am going to miss you dearly.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
When Sheryl was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2007, her boyfriend Martin Laver was there to stand by her side. He cared for her into recovery, and a few months later she her cancer went into remission. Then they got married, but Martin didn't stop there.
He organized a 900-mile bicycle ride with three of his friends. The trip took ten days to complete and they covered the entire stretch of the British Isles. Cumulatively, they "helped raise £14,000 for Cancer Research and the Lymphoma Trust Fund at City Hospital," the hospital where Sheryl received care.
To find out more about the group Martin founded, or to donate to the cause, click here.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Paul Baits has been diagnosed with NHL not once, not twice, but three times. The 52-year-old engineering manager lives an otherwise healthy life, filling his free time with volleyball and hiking. During his first battle with NHL in 2003, Paul turned to chemo. When he relapsed in 2004, he tried radiation. When the third round of NHL set in, Paul decided to try something new.
Paul received a stem cell transplant. "Now, Baits’ own bone marrow produces blood cells to keep the disease in check." Stem cell treatments are still relatively new compared to the more traditional methods of chemotherapy and radiation, and Paul's success story is giving others hope for this new approach. To read the full story, click here.
Monday, September 27, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
- 287 toxins and chemical pollutants, 200 on average per sample.
- 28 waste products, such as dioxins and furans, chemicals that come out of smoke stacks.
- 47 consumer product ingredients, such as flame retardants from furniture and clothing, teflon chemicals and pesticides.
- 212 industrial chemicals and breakdown products from pesticides that have been banned for 30 years or longer.
Source: click here
The identified contaminants included PCBs, DDT and Mercury! This means that "the placenta doesn’t filter out industrial toxins and environmental pollutants" and humans are being exposed to harmful chemicals during the most critical developmental stage. Watch this video below, where Ken Cook, co-founder and president of the Environmental Working Group, explains this study in greater detail:
Stay tuned for Part 2, which will post tomorrow...
Saturday, September 25, 2010
I find it pretty crazy that PCBs have been found great distances from their original source. Although they haven't been manufactured for over 30 years, they've contaminated the entire globe. Some damage is impossible to reverse, which is all the more reason for strict safety regulation to prevent such destruction before it's too late.
Friday, September 24, 2010
Star of the television series Spartacus: Blood and Sand, Andy Whitfield has just announced that he's been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, according to LA Late News. He will be leaving the show to attend to treatments. According to this article, Whitfield recently released a statement saying:
"It’s with a deep sense of disappointment that I must step aside from such an exceptional project as Spartacus and all the wonderful people involved. It seems that it is time for myself and my family to embark on another extraordinary journey. Thank you sincerely for the support so far."
Our hearts are with you Andy! You can do it!
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Below is a list of the five-year recovery rates for various cancers, from 1992-94 and then 2004-06. You can see the dramatic headway medicine is making in the battle against cancer
|Cancer||1992-1994 Five-Year Recovery Rate||2004-2006 Five-Year Recovery Rate|
Exciting stuff! To read the rest of this article, click here.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Thanks to everyone who signed the petition. Good work!
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
The Mayo Clinic just published a short guide for cancer patients dealing with the cancer stigma. Here it is:
- As you choose to share information with others; give them the facts and then let them know what might help you at the moment. For example, you might say: "I was just diagnosed with stage II breast cancer and will be having surgery next week. What would really help me is if you could do my grocery shopping for me for a few weeks while I recover."
- Keep doing the things you love to do. For example, an exercise routine (modified if needed), relaxing hobbies and time with friends. The more you are open to others, the more support you will find.
- Seek out support and resources for your cancer type. This could be through a support group, online blog or other resource. Surround yourself with positive people.
- Be well informed. Ask questions about your treatment, side effects, long term effects and prognosis. Be honest with those around you if they have questions. It is usually a good idea to give information to those who love you. In this manner, they can know what to expect and how to give you support along the way.
To see the entire article, click here.
Monday, September 20, 2010
There seems to be some controversy over the role of natural sunlight in the development of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Traditionally, doctors have advised patients to avoid direct sunlight. This logic stems from the fact that UV radiation from the sun can be harmful. However, some medical experts now say that exposure to natural sunlight may actually prevent NHL.
Natural sunlight enables Vitamin D production in the body. Vitamin D protects against bone loss, osteoporosis, schizophrenia and cancer. With regards to NHL, Australian researchers recently found that the benefits of sunlight outweighed the risk. Read more here.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
I never knew grilling food could be so dangerous, but the effects of charring, grilling or blackening food can produce cancerous chemicals. Here are 5 simple things you can do at the next grill out to cut down on the production of harmful chemicals:
- Cook at Lower Temperatures
- Avoid Char-Grilling or Blackening Your Meat
- Prevent Flaring
- Use Grass-Fed Meat Sources
- Marinate the Meat in Anti-Oxidant Rich sources: lemon/lime, red wine, apple cider vinegar & herbs
To read about this in more detail, click here.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
A new study suggests that PCB exposure hinders kids' responses to tetanus and diphtheria vaccines. The study sample consisted of "587 children born between 1999 and 2001 on the Faroe Islands, located in the North Atlantic between Norway and Iceland." This area has been noted for high PCB concentrations in the environment. The study revealed,
"higher PCB concentrations, particularly in children at 18 months, were associated with lower concentrations of diphtheria and tetanus antibodies at ages 5 and 7."
This is some pretty scary stuff! Essentially, PCBs could be unraveling the benefits of decades of medicine. Even scarier, these effects are being noticed in children. This means that we will have to observe PCB impacts for years before we fully understand the effects of early-age exposure.
Friday, September 17, 2010
- Hematology: the field of medicine that studies blood and blood diseases
- Hematological Malignancies: cancers of the blood, bone marrow and lymph nodes (This include non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.)
- Lymphocyte: a type of white blood cell
- Lymphatic System: the system of tubes and glands in the body which filters body fluid and fights infection. Made up of the lymph glands, lymphatic vessels and the spleen.
- Remission: the state of absence of disease activity in patients with known chronic illness that cannot be cured. For cancer, you are never really "cured" because it could always come back; instead, you say that the cancer "went into remission."
There! Now you can sound a little bit more informed when discussing these issues!
Thursday, September 16, 2010
When you think of 9-11, a lot of terrible memories may come to mind, including the death and destruction resulting from the plane crashes. However, you may not have considered the toxic dust cloud that resulted from the collapse of the Twin Towers.
8,500 recovery workers have experienced various illnesses resulting from exposure to the dust clouds, including respiratory diseases and cancers. Of the 8,500 suffering citizen, 75 have been diagnosed with various blood cancers, such as as NHL. All of these individuals are now involved in a joint-action lawsuit filed against New York City.
When the plastic, cement, insulation, glass and computers within the World Trade Center were pulverized, the resulting dust plume contained a number of carcinogenic chemicals, including asbestos, dioxin and PCBs. Read more here.
It's scary to think about, but there will likely be PCBs floating around NYC for years to come as a result of 9-11.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Eating seafood can be dangerous because all too often they swim, eat and breed in water that's been contaminated. Recently, dangerously high levels of PCBs have been found in certain seafood. Obviously, avoiding these species is a good idea, as PCBs can lead to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and other deadly diseases.
Below is a list of seafood contaminated with PCBs according to villagevoice.com:
- American eel
- Atlantic and farmed salmon
- Atlantic bluefin tuna
Man, this is going to make going out for sushi difficult!
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Mr. T, the actor made famous by such hits as The A-Team and Rocky III, was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma in 1995. He is presently in remission. He was never very public about his battle with cancer but I managed to find a video interview with the famous mohawked actor. Click here to check it out.
No need to pity that fool! Congrats Mr. T.