Posts tagged cancer
Camp Lejeune and the U.S. Military’s Polluted Legacy

Camp Lejeune, in Jacksonville, North Carolina, is a toxic paradox, a place where young men and women were poisoned while in the service of their nation. They swore to defend this land, and the land made them sick. 

And there are hundreds of Camp Lejeunes across the country, military sites contaminated with all manner of pollutants, from chemical weapon graveyards to vast groundwater deposits of gasoline. 

Soldiers know they might be felled by a sniper’s bullet in Baghdad or a roadside bomb in the gullies of Afghanistan. They might even expect it. 

But waterborne carcinogens are not an enemy whose ambush they prepare for.

That toxic enemy is far more prevalent than most American suspect, not to mention far more intractable. 

That the Department of Defense is the world’s worst polluter is a refrain one often hears from environmentalists, who have long-standing, unsurprising gripes with the military-industrial complex. 

But politics aside, the greenies have a convincing point. 

Dive into the numbers, as I did, and the Pentagon starts to make Koch Industries look like an organic farm.

Camp Lejeune and the U.S. Military’s Polluted Legacy

Camp Lejeune, in Jacksonville, North Carolina, is a toxic paradox, a place where young men and women were poisoned while in the service of their nation. They swore to defend this land, and the land made them sick.

And there are hundreds of Camp Lejeunes across the country, military sites contaminated with all manner of pollutants, from chemical weapon graveyards to vast groundwater deposits of gasoline.

Soldiers know they might be felled by a sniper’s bullet in Baghdad or a roadside bomb in the gullies of Afghanistan. They might even expect it.

But waterborne carcinogens are not an enemy whose ambush they prepare for.

That toxic enemy is far more prevalent than most American suspect, not to mention far more intractable.

That the Department of Defense is the world’s worst polluter is a refrain one often hears from environmentalists, who have long-standing, unsurprising gripes with the military-industrial complex.

But politics aside, the greenies have a convincing point.

Dive into the numbers, as I did, and the Pentagon starts to make Koch Industries look like an organic farm.

When scientists test drugs on cancer cells, they do so in the two-dimensional confines of the Petri dish. If the drug being tested works well, the next stage is to shift to the 3-D environment and see how the drug tackles 3-D tumors in animals. If that goes well, then, finally, researchers start clinical trials on humans. 

But what if testing and treatment could start in 3-D? Tumors, after all, exist in 3-D. And to come up with new ways of testing and treating cancer, scientists need to be able to work with tumors not just on the X- and Y-axis, but on the Z-axis, too. 

The answer may lie in 3-D printing. Thanks to a team led by Dr. Wei Sun of Philadelphia’s Drexel University, 3-D tumors can now be biofabricated using 3-D printers that squirt out a mixture of cancerous and healthy biomaterial, dollop by dollop, in an infinitely higher resolution than your average. 

And it could revolutionize the way we attempt to cure cancer. 

How 3-D Printing Can Help To Cure Cancer

When scientists test drugs on cancer cells, they do so in the two-dimensional confines of the Petri dish. If the drug being tested works well, the next stage is to shift to the 3-D environment and see how the drug tackles 3-D tumors in animals. If that goes well, then, finally, researchers start clinical trials on humans.

But what if testing and treatment could start in 3-D? Tumors, after all, exist in 3-D. And to come up with new ways of testing and treating cancer, scientists need to be able to work with tumors not just on the X- and Y-axis, but on the Z-axis, too.

The answer may lie in 3-D printing. Thanks to a team led by Dr. Wei Sun of Philadelphia’s Drexel University, 3-D tumors can now be biofabricated using 3-D printers that squirt out a mixture of cancerous and healthy biomaterial, dollop by dollop, in an infinitely higher resolution than your average.

And it could revolutionize the way we attempt to cure cancer.

How 3-D Printing Can Help To Cure Cancer

This is little Mykayla Comstock. 
Mykayla is 7.
Mykayla’s been battling leukemia since June, when doctors discovered a basketball-size tumor in her chest.
To cope with the debilitating symptoms associated with her traditional cancer treatments, Mykayla consumes a gram of cannabis oil every day.
She also likes the way cannabis makes her laugh. “It’s like everything’s funny to me,” she tells us. Her mom, facing critics, wants you to know she isn’t drugging her child.
"I use this for her medicine," she says. "It’s amazing, and I think people should know that."

This is little Mykayla Comstock. 

Mykayla is 7.

Mykayla’s been battling leukemia since June, when doctors discovered a basketball-size tumor in her chest.

To cope with the debilitating symptoms associated with her traditional cancer treatments, Mykayla consumes a gram of cannabis oil every day.

She also likes the way cannabis makes her laugh. “It’s like everything’s funny to me,” she tells us. Her mom, facing critics, wants you to know she isn’t drugging her child.

"I use this for her medicine," she says. "It’s amazing, and I think people should know that."

thedailywhat:

Early Bird Special: The staff at Seattle Children’s Hospital is back with another heartwarming tearjerker – and darn if isn’t tailor-made for us softies:

Maga is a cat-loving teen patient with cancer at Seattle Children’s Hospital. She’s had to be in the hospital many times, and during her stays what she misses most is her own cat Merry. We asked our Facebook fans to share their favorite cat photos with us, and got an awesome response — 3,000+ photos! We used these pictures to create this “cat immersion” for Maga — an audio/visual experience to bring thousands of “virtual” cats to Maga’s room.

[seattlechildrens]

This is THE BEST. Way to go, Seattle Children’s Hospital.

(Source: thedailywhat)

I understand the emotional pull of getting together for a race to raise money. I understand the need to raise awareness. Many of our members wear pink ribbons; I respect that. The question is, what are we raising awareness of? Where is the money going? What is it accomplishing?
Fran Visco, president of the National Breast Cancer Coalition (which has hundreds of organizations and thousands of individual activists focused on fighting cancer), says money raised for breast cancer should be given to science—specifically, through studying how the cancer develops and metastasizes—and not to give every woman a mammogram. We could screen every woman in the world and we would not have stopped breast cancer,” she adds. “I am not saying to stop funding for screening; however, we cannot afford to make it a main focus.”

Statement from Susan G. Komen Board of Directors and Founder and CEO Nancy G. Brinker

Susan G. Komen for the Cure has apologized for its decision to stop funding Planned Parenthood. CEO Nancy G. Brinker writes:

We want to apologize to the American public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women’s lives.

The events of this week have been deeply unsettling for our supporters, partners and friends and all of us at Susan G. Komen.  We have been distressed at the presumption that the changes made to our funding criteria were done for political reasons or to specifically penalize Planned Parenthood.  They were not.

Our original desire was to fulfill our fiduciary duty to our donors by not funding grant applications made by organizations under investigation.  We will amend the criteria to make clear that disqualifying investigations must be criminal and conclusive in nature and not political. That is what is right and fair.

Our only goal for our granting process is to support women and families in the fight against breast cancer.  Amending our criteria will ensure that politics has no place in our grant process.  We will continue to fund existing grants, including those of Planned Parenthood, and preserve their eligibility to apply for future grants, while maintaining the ability of our affiliates to make funding decisions that meet the needs of their communities.

It is our hope and we believe it is time for everyone involved to pause, slow down and reflect on how grants can most effectively and directly be administered without controversies that hurt the cause of women.  We urge everyone who has participated in this conversation across the country over the last few days to help us move past this issue.  We do not want our mission marred or affected by politics – anyone’s politics.

Starting this afternoon, we will have calls with our network and key supporters to refocus our attention on our mission and get back to doing our work.  We ask for the public’s understanding and patience as we gather our Komen affiliates from around the country to determine how to move forward in the best interests of the women and people we serve.

We extend our deepest thanks for the outpouring of support we have received from so many in the past few days and we sincerely hope that these changes will be welcomed by those who have expressed their concern.

Around 4 p.m., I saw a weird Facebook status update from a friend, a journalist turned lawyer whose writing is usually smart, grammatical, and comprehensible. The update read, “rose and lavender paisley.” Huh? Over the next seven hours, more than half the status updates in my feed turned out to be colors, mostly pink, beige, and black. I figured out that these were colors of bras. Then I chuckled a little at my friends who had written “nothing” and “pink” (that friend was a man) and “harvest gold” (him, too).

You know what I didn’t do? Think about breast cancer. That, however, was supposedly the point of the exercise. No one yet knows who started the meme, but apparently, someone kicked it off a few days ago with a chain-letter-style Facebook message to a bunch of women, asking them to virtually flash the world in the name of supporting medical research, and to forward the note only to other female friends, and to be aware of breasts. Sorry, breast cancer. Right.

In which Mary Carmichael is at once racy and reproachful.