Tag: cancer

Jun 23

MLB Needs to Ban Chewing Tobacco

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

The recent death of retired San Diego Padres baseball player Tony Gwynn from salivary gland cancer has sparked a conversation about the use of chewing tobacco. Gwynn attributed his cancer to dipping tobacco, a habit that he picked up in 1981. Although, there are no studies linking tobacco to salivary gland cancer, as with smoking tobacco, it is considered a risk factor. ESPN sportscaster Keith Olbermann thinks that it’s past time that chewing tobacco use is banned from baseball.

Banning the habit would be a good idea, not just as a way of remembering Tony Gwynn but protecting players health and as an example for the fans of the game.

Sep 02

Going to the Dogs – Stock Analysis not fit for family

You can’t buy this kind of indepth analysis found on a stock message board:

There are many anecdotes about dogs smelling cancer incl. one in the news last week in which the woman had no symptoms and no idea she had cancer, but her dog sniffed it out, she got checked, and now credits the rescued dog for rescuing her back.

Can you imagine? Guided goes away, replaced by dogs sniffing crotches — they do have eons of ancestral experience at that!

Men meet women, wine & dine them, send flowers, dress up, cologne, spend lots of money while the brilliant canines just saunter up, sniff the bitches’ crotches, one whiff, “She’s for ME!”

Reference for completeness only:

http://www.investorvillage.com…

Best,  Terry

Jul 21

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: Capitalism causes cancer by bigjacbigjacbigjac

Capitalism causes cancer,

both the kind you’re thinking of,

and another kind:

cities.

Cities are tumors on the Earth,

our precious home planet.

Jun 15

You Can’t Patent Mother Nature

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

In a rare unanimous decision, the US Supreme Court ruled that human genes cannot be patented:

The case, AMP v. Myriad Genetics, revolved around Utah corporation Myriad Genetics’ exclusive patents on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which, when mutated, lead to a very high risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Because Myriad was the first to identify the BRCA genes, it patented them, charged exorbitant prices for BRCA testing, and then aggressively prevented any other labs from offering the same test. In 2009, a coalition of plaintiffs including the ACLU, Breast Cancer Action and a number of scientific organizations, researchers and patients sued Myriad, claiming that it had no legal right to hold patents on the BRCA genes.

In a majority decision written by Clarence Thomas, the court affirmed the plaintiffs’ claim that because DNA is naturally occurring, it “lie(s) beyond the domain of patent protection.” In so deciding, the court effectively reversed decades worth of policy by the US Patent and Trade Office, which has granted thousands of gene patents, many of which should now be rendered invalid.

The Court refuted Myriad’s claim that because it had put a lot of time and money into locating the gene, that it therefore deserved a patent: “extensive effort alone is insufficient” to make something patent-worthy. Basically, just because you tried really hard doesn’t mean that you deserve a multi-billion dollar legal monopoly.

This is great news for women, men, doctors, scientists and the world in the fight against breast and ovarian cancer. In a New York Times article about the impact of the ruling, other research companies said they would begin offering genetic testing which would bring down the cost and availability of the test, as well as, other tests held by patents:

Some experts say that other genetic tests that are exclusively controlled by a patent holder include the test for spinal muscular atrophy and the test for an inherited form of deafness.

Dr. (Sherri) Bale of GeneDx said the deafness gene also caused a skin disease. Her company is allowed to test for mutations that cause the skin disease, but if it discovers a mutation for hearing loss, it cannot tell the doctor. Instead, a new blood sample has to be drawn and sent to Athena Diagnostics, which controls the testing for the deafness gene. Dr. Bale said the court’s decision should eliminate the need for that arrangement.

It is often said that patents cover 4,000 human genes, or about 20 percent of all human genes, meaning the decision could have a large impact.

Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez of Democracy Now, in a discussion of the ruling, were joined by Judge Robert Sweet, the senior federal judge for the Southern District of New York who originally invalidated Myriad Genetics’ patents; Lisbeth Ceriani, one of the plaintiffs in the ACLU lawsuit. In May 2008, she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer; and Sandra Park, a senior attorney with the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project and a lead counsel on the case.

“With the ruling today, we fully expect much better access and much better options for patients, as well as for scientists who want to look at different parts of the genome,” Park says. “They no longer now need to deal with patents on the thousands of genes on our genome when they’re engaging in their scientific work.”



Transcript can be read here

Jun 12

Harnessing the Devil so Lazarus Lives.

Adam Smith’s capitalism is as different from Mitt Romney’s as a robin is from a buzzard.

Understand please that humans throw around terminology that has dubious relation to reality but how might one not be able to distinguish a small greedy street peddler struggling for survival with a giant corporation raiding other giants for all their cash and readily salable assets, loading it up with debt to further enrich the plunderers and then shipping the pitiful remains to China or other poor countries where they may survive only through the use of even child or slave labor?

The latter tend to represent socialism (in its true sense) more than anything remotely resembling the theories of Adam Smith.  Europe’s prosperous northern tier of “socialist” countries are not socialist at all in any meaningful sense such as the kibbutzim of early Israel that produced wealth but weighed too heavily on the people to continue long.

It is hardly unknown for poisons to be utilized as medicine with beneficial effect.

As children we got into an old visiting doctor’s bag in a day when doctors made house calls.  I was startled even at a very tender age to find a container of strychnine used to poison coyotes by whipping up the heart beyond the limits of its ability.

The doctor explained that he was able to use the strychnine in what could be fatal doses for healthy people to sometimes revive a dying heart patient.

Vampire bat saliva has been used for strokes, proteins from the rabies virus may be more efficacious in smuggling drugs across the blood-brain barrier than Vitamin C.

Most all vaccines utilize a poison, an adjuvant, to alert and direct the immune system to vigorously attack a pathogen or even an internal enemy like cancer.

Prof. Yvonne Paterson spent decades experimenting with the often lethal Listeria bacterium as a vaccine adjuvant but Big Pharma shuddered in fright at the thought of giving deathly ill cancer patients (the primary target) with blasted immune systems a shot of Listeria, even in a weakened form.  Today they are far more interested in pushing conventional and junk branded medicine than in ultra-expensive risky research, let alone what Yvonne Patersonm had to offer.

Much smaller fry were not tempted either.

Then one courageous, daffy sort raised money from the most notorious of all financial predators with death spiral convertibles to run a Phase I trial and had blazing success IMO.  Of 13 patients, 2 had their widely metastasized cancers disappear without a trace.  

This was not the diabolical melanoma that seems capable of doing a disappearing act with most anything and then rapidly mutates and returns with a vengeance, meaner and more hurtful than ever.  It was cervical cancer that is easily cured in early stages but very aggressive and mostly impervious to any attack in later stages.

Then the company and the vaccine were dead again – a bled out corpse done in by the financial predator.

Then it was resuscitated with a ton of money and a mighty struggle by a tainted promoter and now it may well die again.  Angry shareholders who dreamed of a cornucopia of wealth quickly are mad, mad, mad and want to sue and want Big Pharma to buy what they didn’t want before and lawyers may be preparing for their favorite chase: ambulances.

This puny capitalist has pitched some pennies in the pot (literally pennies – I may be stupid but that doesn’t necessarily mean I am a fool).  I do love inventors and people doggedly pursuing their dreams and hate cancer.  

Maybe then after all, I am a fool as well.  I have seen Lazarus walk [not a dead Lazarus but a doomed Lazarus].  Probably would have been better had I not.

The very bad guys will probably win again Friday and Lazarus can remain safely in his grave.

Best,  Terry

May 05

Nuking Cancer With A Nuclear Armed Bacteria

Con artists arrive in all manner of disguises.  The iconic P. T. Barnum was a harmless street peddler compared to T. Boone Pickens, who sold the second most powerful person in the the most powerful nation on earth his fossil fuel poison that T. Boone called [heh heh] Clean Energy.  

The con continues to spread and broaden and deepen though some have produced evidence that natural gas (it is not a fossil fuel decreed Nancy Pelosi when she invested a bundle in T. Boone Pickens’ Clean Energy) is dirtier than even coal.  It gives a whole new meaning to making firewater that Indians are now participating in selling to the forked tongues.  

Even then the crooks like P. T. Barnum and T. Boone Pickens play second fiddle to earnest advocates selling cancer cures.  

Radium Water was sold as a tonic after Madame Curie’s discovery of radioactivity that created a sensation.  One fellow was said to keep plugging the stuff on the radio until his jaw fell off.  The skeletons are still hot.

Who can forget Dr. Jude – ah, er, umm – it’s on the tip of my tongue – with his rats cured of cancer by starving the cancer cells?

But why go through long drawn out starvation when you can simply nuke the cancer cells?

a new study introduces an unlikely microbial helper, specifically the Listeria bacteria, which was shown to effectively deliver radiation to even the most severe forms of metastatic pancreatic tumors without harming the healthy tissue.

http://www.medicaldaily.com/ar…

Of course, of course.  New wonder drugs are always harmless.  I was there at a meeting hearing about the first therapeutic Listeria vaccine when people were dying from the bacteria hiding in cantelopes.  I told people that the bacteria was weakened to a harmless state by having Chicago cops beat it up.

Quite truthfully, I have a lot of hope for this Listeria vaccine though arming the Listeria bacterium with a nuclear weapon seems kinda worrisome.  There’s a story behind that too.  A non-nuclear armed competitor has first dibs on pancreatic cancer with the old fashioned kind of vaccine using the beaten-up Listeria.

“We’re encouraged that we’ve been able to achieve a 90 percent reduction in metastases in our first round of experiments,” said Claudia Gravekamp, co-author and associate professor of microbiology and immunology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Does not the college have a most appropriate name to go with bringing a nuclear-armed bacteria to light?

More to come.  I promise you that.  

The promoter’s name is a most famous one: Thomas Moore. I bet you thought he was dead centuries ago.

Best,  Terry

Apr 06

Syracuse Coach Abuse – not what you think

Syracuse is in big trouble.

Maybe not from Michigan.  The game could be a barn burner or one of Jim Boeheim’s patented defensive awfuls.

That is not what this is about.

Syracuse is reportedly being investigated for abuse of children by an assistant coach but at least some of the accusers are dubious and one has confessed to lying already.  Boeheim has escaped from a defamation lawsuit for having offered only a “personal opinion.”

But that is not what this is about either.

This is about the barrage of advertising locally that Boeheim has survived prostate cancer because he got a worthless PSA screening test.  The inventor himself says men chosen for biopsies on their prostates by the PSA test might as well be selected by the color of their eyes.  But it makes lots of money for the doctors and hospitals and medical labs so under they knife they go.  Most survive but they risk death (rarely), incontinence, impotence, heart disease, diabetes and more. So the doctors and hospitals and medical suppliers can make lots of money.

But since Jim Boeheim has been saved from prostate cancer he may, or may not, have had and may, or may not, have killed him if he had it, Coach Boeheim is now onto supporting a new way of saving people from cancer:

Coach Jim Boeheim Putting Up His Best Defense Against Michigan… and Cancer

Research by Cellceutix has shown Kevetrin to re-activate p53, a protein that has earned the nickname, the “Guardian Angel of the Human Genome” because of its ability to command other proteins in the body to destroy cancer cells. In nearly all cancers, p53 is muted from its normal function, but Cellceutix believes that Kevetrin has the potential of correcting the damage, returning the protein to its role as head coach of the cell cycle.

“I put 100 percent into everything that I do, whether it is preparation for a game or working to find a cure for cancer,” said Boeheim.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/…

Well that can’t be bad can it?

It has been very bad news for Harlan Waksal and his efforts to cure [cure, not just treat] multiple myeloma – a rare and horrible blood cancer.  In 18 months, after years of testing and filling out forms to get approval to test his novel genetic drug on multiple myeloma, Harlan and his company managed to get one patient for trials.  The others have gone to Jim Boeheim’s pumped pill mill that has about the same chance of all those that went before and failed to squeeze out a few extra hours of life.

Maybe it will work.  Sure hope it does.  Multiple myeloma is a horrible disease as mentioned.

But I would rather bet on Boeheim’s success against Michigan.

Best,  Terry

Feb 02

A cancer patient with true grit

Sasha could surprise you.  She probably spent time in a hospital only for amputation of a leg from bone cancer:

http://lilisnotes.com/sashas-t…

In case you have trouble with the link, Sasha is claimed to be a twelve and a half-year-old American bulldog but she sure doesn’t look like any bulldog I am familiar with.

Three-legged Sasha runs, jumps, swims and catches frisbees which beats our two younger lunkheads who just watch a frisbie sail off, go to inspect it, chew it a bit and then wander off to fight and fool around.

Our 4-year-old, 106 lb. black German Shepherd only scares the wits out of people like the vet’s helpers [I would be frightened too BTW if I didn’t know him].   My wife promised to hold Coal tight while he was given a shot in the rump so he wouldn’t be muzzled.  She said the aide still seemed to be afraid Coal might kick or something.  Sure hope Coal doesn’t get none of that osteosarcoma.  Might be tough getting Coal into a study in an egghead university.

Truth be told Sasha’s prospects aren’t excellent.  One of four dogs in the clinical trial was sent off to dog heaven when the cancer metastasized to the lungs and other bones.  All got a low dose and aren’t eligible for Phase II [mean old investigators want the study to continue with the low dose] or Phase III or any Phase IV.  But inferior humans have done pretty well with low dose.

Be years yet before we will know if any such drug is good enough to be injected in cancer and other patients on an outpatient basis but it sure is pleasant to contemplate compared to the cutting, burning and poisoning of patients.

Obama has talked of shortening the gawdawfully long, expensive and torturous trial process and his appointees seem to be making some small progress in that. The primary enemies are mostly journalists and Nader-type liberals who sensationalize with reason to patients than help to afflicted rather than the usual suspects, Big Pharma.  

Coal, being the same breed as the top war dogs of all time – German Shepherds – should be used to the front lines but others are just collateral.  Veterinary medicine has a skeleton clinical trial system that tends to be much swifter to market than human trials.

Vast fortunes can be made with new and better drugs and for some that is all that matters.

But not for all.

In the hospital where I met my wife long ago, there were trials of a treatment for juvenile leukemia.  Diagnosis of juvenile leukemia was a certain death sentence for which there was no reprieve at the time.  “We are going to cure that sucker,”  a doctor told a callow youth.  Yeah, right, I thought.  

By golly, the doctor [and lots of other doctors and hospitals and researchers and scientists] dunnit.  At least for most little kids.

Sometimes life can be grand.  Even for dogs.

Best,  Terry

Jun 19

Can marijuana be an effective treatment for glaucoma?

 Medical marijuana has also been used to reduce acute and chronic pain associated with cancer patients terminally ill with remarkable efficiency. It also has a rich history of providing relief from such things as nausea, headaches, menstrual cramps and painful muscle spasms.

After cataract, glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness worldwide. He reached over 60 million people worldwide. Glaucoma is caused by a progressive accumulation of excess fluid in the body of the eye. When excess fluid causes increased pressure in the eye, the optic nerve can become seriously compromised leading to blindness. Research results from as far back as 1970 found that marijuana contains active ingredients that can both reduce intraocular pressure in the eye and the pain caused by the actual state.

The medical benefits of marijuana are not a new phenomenon in this country. In contrast, before 1937, there were about 27 different types of prescription drugs that contain THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. A pharmaceutical company like Eli Lilly and Squibb has developed several of these drugs based on THC with relatively high degrees of success. However, the federal government, by adopting the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, caused the general prohibition of marijuana to be used as a medicine legally.

Works exactly how medical marijuana in glaucoma is not completely understood, but it is thought that marijuana produces certain chemicals that can effectively reduce intraocular pressure in the eye.

Conventional treatment for glaucoma has focused on the preservation of vision by slowing the deterioration of the optic nerve caused by a dangerous increase in intraocular pressure. Treatment options involve drugs that lower the pressure inside the eye. This is why medical marijuana has received much attention in patients with glaucoma. However, a new generation of glaucoma is now released promising to be more efficient, while medical marijuana because of the ability of these drugs actually reverse the disease progression.

A major disadvantage of having to use medical marijuana to relieve symptoms of glaucoma is that marijuana has a fairly short-lived duration of its effectiveness is usually limited to only two or three hours. This requires that glaucoma patients use cannabis to eight times a day to get the same kind of relief other glaucoma medications currently provide.

Like most of the marijuana taken to treat glaucoma is consumed by smoking, a patient must consider the risks associated with smoke inhalation. Street marijuana is not organically grown and therefore often contains impurities that can irritate and cause damage to both the lungs and trachea of the patient. This is less true with medical marijuana, which is one reason why patients with glaucoma have urged lawmakers to legislate the use of medicinal marijuana.

Currently there are 17 states that allow medicinal use of marijuana for certain types of diseases. Glaucoma is one of them. Currently, in states like California, medical marijuana is legal as long as the patient can produce identification medical marijuana card and the recommendation of 420 doctor use, which identifies the patient as a person who received a recommendation for physicians to treat disease medical subject.

Upon obtaining these documents, a patient may consult a medical marijuana dispensary in local or clinic and get their medicine themselves.  

Feb 07

Perspectives On Hedge’s “Cancer in Occupy”

There’s one thing they tell you when you start a cancer treatment schedule, sitting there in wide-eyed horror and shock. “I know this all seems unthinkable right now, but believe it or not, it will soon just become your routine.  Your new normal.”  Anyone who has lived through childhood abuse, or been in an abusive relationship will tell you the same. “Well, most of the time he was nice,” they will say, “its just sometimes it got really scary or bad.”  There has been reams written about co-dependent behaviours already, both personal and societal.  Me?  I think mostly its a matter of acclimation. Its the conversation you have about TV on your way to chemo, and the new meals that become routine; creating food the cancer-stricken might possibly eat.  It kids playing soccer among the rubble where the bombs just fell. It learning your new wheel chair. Or learning to read in Braille.  I say it a lot.  “It is what it is.

Photobucket There’s a flip side to this too. As my husbands 6’1″ frame dwindled to 130 or less pounds, as his hair fell out?  He avoided mirrors like the plague.  Its like the restaurant you no longer frequent because its where your ex-girlfriend and her new man hang out.  Its like changing the channel every time that commercial comes on, with Sara McLoughlin singing and all the abused animals cover your screen.  Its refusing to look at the reality of what homelessness, starvation, or what the ravages of War truly are.  Its the pictures of children struck by depleted uranium you never really look at for long. Put even more basically?  Its blocking someone on Facebook who has been cruel to you. You compartmentalize the bad away, and let normalcy be created by routine – and you  just avoid the damned mirrors.

You see?  Mirrors tell the truth.  Mirrors belie the little boxes in our psyche that say everything is normal. So we veil them.

I like Chris Hedges.  He is what he is. I’m not even remotely insulted he used the cancer analogy as a fresh cancer widow.  

What I find particularly offensive after giving it a night of thought?  Is Hedged opining how a few kids in black pajamas breaking a window has become an unthinkable Cancer to bringing the Public Sway on board to the “treatment” that Occupy is trying to apply to the REAL CANCERS of our Society.  The Cancers that have become both our “normal” and our “mirror avoidance.”

Dec 29

On Starving In Prison, Or, Who Gets Pardons In Florida?

If you were with us on Christmas Day you heard the story of Betsie Gallardo, who, unless something changes quickly, is going to be intentionally starved to death in a Florida prison after being convicted of spitting on a cop.

In fairness, the State did not decide simply to starve her; instead, the Department of Corrections (DOC) first chose to withhold any further treatment for her inoperable cancer…and then they decided to starve her to death.

Her adopted mother is trying to get her released on humanitarian grounds; the DOC recommended in October that she be allowed to go home and die, the Florida Parole Commission refused.

Governor Charlie Crist chairs the Executive Clemency Board, who could also agree to let her go…and so far, they’ve also refused to take action.

Funny thing is, the Governor and his Board have been more than willing to step in when other Floridians requested pardons and commutations, even in situations that seemed a lot less dire.

Today, we’re going to look at that history-and to be honest, as with many things in the Sunshine State, from the outside…it all looks a bit bizarre.

Dec 25

On Death And Clemency, Or, Here’s A Real Christmas Story

There are many gifts to be given and received this holiday season; some that you can wrap and put under a tree, and some so intangible and ethereal that they cannot be held within the boundaries of paper and ribbon.

Instead, they exist within the boundaries of our hearts.

Among those intangible presents, few matter more than the chance to be with those we love-and at the time of our death, it’s the most important thing of all.

We have a chance to bring all of this to a dying woman and her family-but the only way it can happen is if we convince the Florida Department of Corrections not to kill her first.

It’s not a tale of light and joy-but if we get lucky, there could still be a happy ending.

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