Archives For Cancer

8114920_s

As many of you know I have a genetic defect called Li-Fraumeni Syndrome.

Per ‘’Medscape” Li-Fraumeni syndrome (LFS) is a rare autosomal dominant syndrome in which patients are predisposed to cancer. Li-Fraumeni syndrome is characterized by the wide variety of cancer types seen in affected individuals, a young age at onset of malignancies, and the potential for multiple primary sites of cancer during the lifetime of affected individuals.

(see http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/987356-overview)

This past year a group of friends that also are affected by LFS started a non-profit called LivingLFS.org. All of us ‘met’ in a ‘closed’ Facebook support group and then in person last year. It Continue Reading…

03-14-1969-Life

This week is the annual meeting of the American Association of Cancer Researchers (AACR). My twitter news is all abuzz about what is going on at this meeting. For example, a new ‘Dream Team’ was announced for Pancreatic Cancer and HPV (Human Papilloma Virus – a causal factor in cervical cancer and now overtaking other causes as the most prevalent cause of head and neck cancer).

This is TED for cancer. Understanding and curing cancer is one of the greatest challenges in our lifetimes AND we are on a real-time cusp of understanding this complex puzzle.

I tell you this is where it is happening! This is the place to be! I want to go next year! Yeah, I know ‘what a ‘wonk’’. This is what it must have been like to work for NASA when we landed on the moon. My father worked on the lunar module when he worked at Grumman in the 1960’s and early 70s. He was part of that big thing – the moon shot. I must have inherited his ‘wonk’ gene. I’m fine with that. It is GREAT! Continue Reading…

survivor not just

 

I was diagnosed with my first cancer in 1993. At that time the term ‘cancer survivor’ was in its youth. Prior to that, I was widowed in my mid-twenties. I remember that in the newspaper, my husband’s obituary stated, “…he is survived by his parents, his wife and daughter.” Somehow I got lost in the wording there as well. But I was a survivor before I was a survivor, if you know what I mean.

What is a Survivor?

According to Dictionary.com the term survivor is defined:

sur·vi·vor [ser-vahy-ver]

noun

1. a person or thing that survives.

2. Law. the one of two or more designated persons, as joint tenants or others having a joint interest, who outlives the other or others.

3. a person who continues to function or prosper in spite of opposition, hardship, or setbacks. 

The origin of the word from the Etymology online dictionary:

c.1500, in the legal sense of “one who outlives another,” agent noun from survive. Meaning “one who has a knack for pulling through adversity” is attested from 1971. Survivor syndrome is first recorded 1968.

(Source:http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=survivor&allowed_in_frame=0)

My favorite is from the ‘Urban Dictionary’ where survivor is defined as:

The greatest TV Show… since… well… ever. I play Survivor online… does that make me a loser?

(Source: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=survivor)

The History of the term Cancer Survivor

In 1985, The New England Journal of Medicine published Dr. Fitzhugh Mullan’s poignant account of his own diagnosis and treatment for cancer. In that article, Dr. Mullan defined three primary seasons of cancer survivorship, which he termed “acute survivorship,” “extended survivorship,” and “permanent survivorship” Continue Reading…

I am a 56-year-old woman living in California, and I have had multiple cancers. My daughter has had cancer. Many family members and friends have died of cancer and even more have been treated for it.

Everywhere I turn I know someone who knows a child just diagnosed, a sister, a father. You get the point!

The point is – is that CANCER is an epidemic!

THE INCIDENCE OF CANCER

Below is a map of global cancer incidence.

Cancer Incidence worldmap

(Source: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-info/cancerstats/world/the-global-picture/cancer-overall-world). To download PDF see http://publications.cancerresearchuk.org/cancerstats/statsincidence/worldmap.html

I find it interesting that this website and chart present data from 2008. Where is the current data? It is now five years later. If I look at the World Health Organization’s website or the National Cancer Institute’s website, the information is from 2008 as well. I don’t want to allude to any conspiracy – but now living in the digital and information age, I have to wonder – isn’t this information important? Hopefully, there will be an update this year.

According to the Cancer Research Institute report:

“The incidence and mortality statistics presented here for cancers worldwide were taken from the International Agency for Research on Cancer GLOBOCAN database (version 1.2), which presents estimates for 2008 and also the World Health Organization Global Health Observatory and the United Nations World Population Prospects report.” Continue Reading…