Friday, June 22, 2012

This is an interesting feature. Just when you thought that you had heard or seen it all...

Breast cancer survivor Jodi Jaecks doesn't want to be exception to Seattle's swim rules

(CBS/AP) - Jodi Jaecks, a Seattle breast cancer survivor whose breasts were surgically removed, has gained the permission to swim topless at a city pool.

Now she wants to make sure her privilege is also extended to other breast cancer survivors who want to swim comfortably.

"Initially when I heard about the reversal, I was elated. Then it came that it wasn't a policy change, it was just an exception for me. Then I was quite deflated. It seemed like it was a reaction that it was just meant to appease me," the 47-year-old said Thursday.

Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent Christopher Williams announced Wednesday that he was giving Jaecks an exception to the department's clothing policy.

"Our original concern stems from our responsibility to accommodate the needs of all our patrons. In this case, I see nothing that might alarm the public," Williams said in a statement. He was reacting to an article about Jaecks that was published in The Stranger weekly newspaper, which also ran a picture of her topless.
Parks spokeswoman Dewey Potter said Thursday that Williams has decided to create a committee made up of cancer survivors, parks staff, King County health representatives and others to come up with a new policy.

Until a new policy is written, Williams will review on a case-by-case basis requests from people who have had surgery and want to swim.

After enduring two surgeries, rounds of chemotherapy and the surgical removal of both her breasts in March 2011, Jaecks wanted to turn to swimming to regain her strength. But swimsuit tops proved too uncomfortable, and nerves on her chest remained tender, Jaecks said.

So she asked the manager at her city pool if she could swim topless this past March. Eventually, she heard from the head of the aquatics department, who told her she couldn't.

"And that's when they said it was a policy that they required gender-appropriate clothing ... regardless if I had nipples or whatever," Jaecks said.

Potter said pool staff was following city policy. But she said it was "unfortunate" the issue didn't get to Williams' attention until now.

Jaecks hasn't swum topless yet. She is planning a swim Monday. Her exception extends only to adult lap hours.

She plans to meet with Williams next week and ask that her exception be extended to anyone who survived breast cancer.

Jaecks said cancer patients shouldn't be made to feel self-conscious by asking for special permission.


Can't we just reimburse our brave first responders without quibbling about how and where they got their cancer?

Cancer scientists question gov's decision to link 50 kinds of cancers to 9/11 health fund

(AP) JUNE 20, 2012 - Call it compassionate, even political. But ... scientific? Several experts say there's no hard evidence to support the federal government's declaration this month that 50 kinds of cancer could be caused by exposure to World Trade Center dust.

The decision could help hundreds of people get payouts from a multibillion-dollar World Trade Center health fund to repay those ailing after they breathed in toxic dust created by the collapsing twin towers on Sept. 11, 2001.

But scientists say there is little research to prove that exposure to the toxic dust plume caused even one kind of cancer. And many acknowledge the payouts to cancer patients could take money away from those suffering from illnesses more definitively linked to Sept. 11, like asthma and laryngitis.

"To imagine that there is strong evidence about any cancer resulting from 9/11 is naive in the extreme," said Donald Berry, a biostatistics professor at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
Yet this month, Dr. John Howard, who heads the federal agency that researches workplace illnesses, added scores of common and rare cancers to a list that had previously included just 12 ailments caused by dust exposure.

Lung, skin, breast and thyroid cancer were among those added; of the most common types of cancer, only prostate cancer was excluded.

"We recognize how personal the issue of cancer and all of the health conditions related to the World Trade Center tragedy are to 9/11 responders, survivors and their loved ones," Howard said in a June 8 statement...

There is a lot more to read.  CLICK HERE to access the entire transcript.

Feel good and keep smiling!  Pat

Monday, June 11, 2012

Cheech and Chong's Tommy Chong reveals long battle with prostate cancer

More celebrity cancer news.  Famous or not, cancer doesn't care!

Comedian Tommy Chong fighting prostate cancer

By the CNN Wire Staff
Video is also available at the link above.
Feel good and keep smiling!  Pat

BREAKING NEWS: ABC News anchor, Robin Roberts, diagnosed with secondary cancer...

Breast cancer survivor and ABC News Good Morning America anchor, Robin Roberts, is reported to have been diagnosed with MDS (myelodysplastic syndrome) recently.  

Details are sketchy.  But MDS, formerly known as preleukemia, is a hematological disorder which is not uncommon among those who have undergone chemotherapy.  But it is more often seen in patients who already have a hematological disorder like multiple myeloma (bone marrow cancer) or amyloidosis.

It usually is be treatable.  Not sure if it is curable, however.  Maybe by undergoing a stem cell transplant?

I will pass-along details as they become available.  

Feel good and keep smiling!  Pat

Friday, June 8, 2012

New treatment options for metastasized skin cancer leads to therapy debate among experts in the field

Melanoma is the most common form of cancer in the United States.  Over one million cases are diagnosed each year. 

Most of those cases are resolved and cured up-front.  But a significant number are not caught early enough and they metastasize, usually in the bone.

This is an excellent debate on CancerNetwork about what to do, and how to treat them:

ASCO: Expert Panel Explores Questions Regarding Drug Selection, Drug Sequencing in Advanced Melanoma

Thursday, June 7, 2012

California proposal, Prop 29, tries to cut smoking and raise money for cancer research all at the same time...

I understand that government at all levels needs to cut and control spending.  But I have always felt prioritizing the money is the best way to go.

Keeping that in mind, I am rooting for this investment by California in cancer research:

Californians vote down cancer-research fund — or do they?

By a margin of less than 1%, California voters yesterday seem to have nixed a ballot measure that would make the state one of the world’s largest supporters of cancer research. But with hundreds of thousands of mail-in ballots yet to be counted — many more than the 63,000-vote difference now separating the yes and no sides — the contest may not be over...

Read more by CLICKING HERE.

Go Prop 29!  Feel good and keep smiling!  Pat

Monday, June 4, 2012

Komen foundation continues to support important breast cancer research

With all of the bad press Susan G. Komen has been getting lately, it's good to know that they are still doling out research cash.  

Here's the first part of an article about grants that are going to St. Louis' Washington University for breast cancer research:

Komen gives $5.4 million to Siteman for breast cancer research

Susan G. Komen for the Cure has awarded more than $5 million in new grants to Washington University scientists at the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center to develop new breast cancer treatments, university officials said.

The largest portion – $4 million – will be used to better identify which women with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer, the most common form of the disease, are at the greatest risk for recurrence, and to determine better treatments for them.

“There are so many new drugs out there for breast cancer patients that we need a way to establish which ones are most likely to be the home run,” said Matthew Ellis, professor of medicine and chief of the breast oncology section at Washington University School of Medicine. “Our goal is to screen drugs to find the one that will produce the best outcome for the patient with the least toxicity.”

This Reuters/Chicago Tribune article is two stories in one--and both are big news. Simply click-on the headline link below to read all about it:

FDA to let women try new breast drugs earlier

 (Reuters) - Regulators are moving the goal posts in testing new drugs for breast cancer in the hopes of giving more women with aggressive, early-stage cancers the chance to try breakthrough drugs while they have the best shot at a cure.


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Olympic swimmer wins battle with cancer

This ESPN feature about Olympian Eric Shanteau is very inspiring.  Click on the headline link below and see what you think:

Cancer-free Shanteau eager to focus on swimming


Saturday, June 2, 2012

The psychological side of cancer screening...

Read this great Time Healthland article and see what you think:

Why People Stick with Cancer Screening, Even When It Causes Harm

When it comes to complex medical decisions, cold hard statistics may hold little sway over patients in the face of a single, compelling anecdote.

Human nature is a complicated thing.  How we hold on to things that make us feel safe and familiar, even when facing rock solid evidence that we should do the contrary.

Complicated?  Try crazy!

Feel good and keep smiling!  Pat