Cancer Treatment, Coping, and Support

Source of lots of resources on fighting cancer.

Merck has an excellent Web site called MerckEngage that deals with cancer.

Here are some helpful links:

Click the image to read a lot more from MerckEngage.

 

Inflammation Can Affect Overall Health

Seek medical support for any persistent inflammation.

Yes, we know that inflammation in our knees, shoulders, ankles, etc. can be painful. And chronic inflammation may be quite annoying. But do you know how inflammation can affect one’s overall health? Not just the affected body part.

The best advice? Do not let a substantial inflammation be under-treated or improperly monitored. Consult with your medical professionals. And listen to their suggestions.

According to observations for Elemental by Markham Heid, a health and science writer:

“Doctors today have a better understanding of inflammation and its role in illness. But their best attempts to define inflammation still lack the precision Ziegler found elusive more than a century ago.”

“The authors of a 2015 British Journal of Nutrition (BJN) study found inflammation is the immune system’s primary weapon in the ‘elimination of toxic agents and the repair of damaged tissues.’ But when inflammation persists or switches on inappropriately, they write, it can act as a foe rather than a friend. Hardly a week goes by in which researchers fail to discover new links between inappropriate inflammation and a common disease or disorder.”

“From Alzheimer’s and heart disease to arthritis, cancer, and gastrointestinal disorders, elevated or out-of-whack inflammation is a common thread that ties together these seemingly unrelated ailments. For now scientists are still exploring the ways it changes the body, for better and for worse.”

To learn more, click the image.

Inflammation Can Affect Overall Health
Illustration: Kieran Blakey  

 
 

Walking for Cancer Cures

Read about my journey with the Lustgarten annual pancreatic cancer research walk. With photos and videos.

October is a big month for cancer research walks, especially since it is breast cancer awareness month. It’s also a big month for me, as my family and friends participated with me in the Lustgarten Pancreatic Research Foundation Walk on this past Sunday (October 6).

WE CAN EACH MAKE A DIFFERENCE. It is up to us to support more cancer research.

The October walk is Lustgarten’s largest fundraiser of the year. With thousands of walkers and nearly $1 million raised. 100% of funds raised go to research because all of Lustgarten’s administrative costs are paid by a private donor.

Before sharing a few photos and video clips, let me describe my feelings about the walk.

    • Although my Whipple surgery was in February 2015, this was my first walk. So I was both excited and nervous.
    • My fundraising efforts were through Team Joel. Our team was supported by more than 70 donors. And we raised $5,400.
    • Team Joel  had 14 walkers.
    • Somehow or other, the cameras found me. I appeared in a News 12 Long Island TV  clip. And because I was asked to do the ribbon cutting, I got featured online by Newsday.
    • I was disappointed that I was only able to walk the 1 mile course rather than the 3 mile course.  Once again I am reminded of a Clint Eastwood quote: “A man has to know his limitations.” And I have to always accept my “new normal.” I gave myself a 15 minute pity party; and then I returned to my usual “live life every day” and “live as long as you as well as you can.”
    • Last, but not least, I want to thank all of the donors to Team Joel and those who walked with me.

The original Evans Four

Walking for Cancer Cures

THE EXTENDED FAMILY

Walking for Cancer Cures

TEAM JOEL

WHY I WALK

RIBBON CUTTING

 

Walk for Pancreatic Cancer Research

Hello

I am a VERY blessed four-year survivor of pancreatic cancer. After this amount of time, I am among the only 5-7% of those with PC who is still alive.

This year, I will be walking on October 6, 2019 in the annual Lustgarten Pancreatic Cancer Research Foundation walk on Long Island.

Please make a donation. 100% goes directly to research. No administrative expenses. A donation of any amount would be greatly appreciated. 😊

Here is the link for Team Joel: https://events.lustgarten.org/team/232854

Thank you. You have my full gratitude.

#cancertreatment  #cancerresearch #pancreaticcancer

 

An Exciting New AI Application

Better diagnosing lung cancer and other illnesses early.

As the post title indicates an exciting new AI application now exists. It involves better screening for lung cancer and other diseases!

Previously, we offered these posts on artificial intelligence:

Diagnosing Lung Cancer: An Exciting New AI Application

As reported by Denise Grady for the NY Times:

“Computers were as good or better than doctors at detecting tiny lung cancers on CT scans, in a study by researchers from Google and several medical centers. The technology is a work in progress, not ready for widespread use, but the new report, published in the journal Nature Medicine, offers a glimpse of the future of artificial intelligence in medicine.”

“One of the most promising areas is recognizing patterns and interpreting images — the same skills that humans use to read microscope slides, X-rays, MRIs,  and other medical scans. By feeding huge amounts of data from medical imaging into systems called artificial neural networks, researchers can train computers to recognize patterns linked to a specific condition. Such as pneumonia, cancer,  or a wrist fracture that would be hard for a person to see. The system follows an algorithm, or set of instructions, and learns as it goes. The more data it receives, the better it becomes at interpretation.”

Click the image to read more.

An Exciting New AI Application
“A colored CT scan showing a tumor in the lung. Artificial intelligence was just as good, and sometimes better, than doctors in diagnosing lung tumors in CT scans, a new study indicates.” Credit: CreditVoisin/Science Source

 

Profits and Cancer Drugs

Drug prices expected to keep rising.

How do YOU feel about this: profits and cancer drugs? We know that many related drugs are quite expensive — and often required by us!! And in many cases, the situation is getting worse. 😦

As Katharina Buchholz reports for Statista:

Worldwide cancer drug sales are way ahead of those of other drugs. And the revenue generated by them will grow even larger by 2024. This is according to a report recently released by consultancy Evaluate, which analyses trends in the pharmaceutical sector. As per Evaluate’s calculations, oncology drugs reached US$123.8 billion in sales in 2018, more than double that of the next item on the list, drugs treating diabetes with US$48.5 billion dollars in sales. By 2024, cancer drug sales are expected to almost double to US$236.6 billion dollars.”

“Cancer drugs are extremely pricey. Therefore, they generate high revenues, with costs of a cancer treatment at above US$100,000 per patient. Cancer rates themselves are also rising with humans increasing their lifespans. Money funneled into cancer research means new medications coming out, which improves cancer treatment but might also increase its price as pharmaceutical companies charge a premium for the newly researched and released drugs.”

Take a look at the following chart.

Profits and Cancer Drugs
 

The Value of Vitamin D in Cancer Care

Fresh research to help us live longer.

Earlier this month, we posted about Be Careful with Supplements. Nonetheless, some supplements may be valuable in cancer care. One of them seems to be Vitamin D.

A recent study by researchers at Michigan State found that:

“Vitamin D, if taken for at least three years, could help cancer patients live longer, say researchers. New findings suggest that the vitamin carries significant benefits other than just contributing to healthy bones. A paper on the work was presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting.”

“‘Vitamin D had a significant effect on lowering the risk of death among those with cancer, but unfortunately it didn’t show any proof that it could protect against getting cancer,’ says Tarek Haykal, a lead author of the study and an internal medicine resident physician at Michigan State University and Hurley Medical Center in Flint, Michigan.”

“Researchers looked at data related to disease prevention from more than 79,000 patients in multiple studies that randomly compared the use of vitamin D to a placebo over at least a three-year period. Haykal and his team zeroed in on any information that involved cancer incidence and mortality. ‘The difference in the mortality rate between the vitamin D and placebo groups was statistically significant enough that it showed just how important it might be among the cancer population,’ Haykal says. While these findings show promise, Haykal cautions that the exact amount of the vitamin to take and what levels are needed in the blood are still unknown. He also says that it’s unclear how much longer vitamin D extends lifespan and why it has this result.”

Click on the image to read the full paper.

The Value of Vitamin D in Cancer Care