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12 Jan 2012 23:58


Culture: A Beautiful, Bald Barbie? One four-year-old’s doll could inspire line

  • A new inspiring look for Barbie? Genesis Reyes, a four-year-old who lost her hair after receiving treatment for cancer, is getting a one-of-a-kind Barbie: a bald Barbie. “We would like to see a Beautiful and Bald Barbie made to help young girls who suffer from hair loss due to cancer treatments, alopecia or trichotillomania,” said Jane Bingham and Beckie Sypin, who, after they were inspired by Genesis, built a Facebook page. This kind of Barbie could do quite a bit of emotional therapy for girls going through similar situations. Mattel, however, “doesn’t accept ideas from outside sources,” so we’re not sure yet if this movement will come to fruition. source

05 Jan 2012 14:39


U.S.: U.S. cancer death rates on the decline

  • 1.8% decline in cancer deaths for men in the U.S. from 2004 through 2008
  • 1.6% decline in cancer deaths for women in the U.S. over the same period source
  • » The march of medical advancement: That’s what’s being touted as the cause for this heartening reversal of trend, as reported by the American Cancer Society’s annual report. The news isn’t entirely as rosy as it might be — some less pervasive types of cancer, such as pancreas, kidney, liver and esophageal have seen their incidences rise. The most common types — lung, breast, colon, and prostate — all saw declines, however, with black and Hispanic men demographically showing the most improvement in avoiding the lethal diseases.

23 Dec 2011 08:55


World: French breast implants scrutinized for low quality, high rupture rate

  • 300k breast implant recipients in danger of rupturing source
  • » The implants were made by French company Poly Implant Prothese. Before the company was shut down in 2010, they sold cheaply made breast implants to over 300,000 customers. They have a high rupture rate — roughly around 10 percent — and are currently being investigated for any links to cancer. “It’s sick that they could even think about putting this stuff into a human.” said Amanda Harrison, a British woman looking for compensation in the case. “You wouldn’t even put it in an animal.”

18 Nov 2011 13:04


U.S.: FDA decides against blockbuster breast-cancer drug Avastin

  • what A blockbuster drug for breast cancer, Avastin, lost its FDA approval to be used for that particular purpose. (It will remain on the market as a cancer drug for other uses — including colon cancer — and Medicare will still cover it for breast cancer usage.)
  • why Multiple studies have shown that the drug only helps shrink tumors a little bit, and the side effects don’t make up for that benefit, the FDA decided. The decision means that many insurance providers will likely no longer cover the drug, which is very expensive. source

13 Nov 2011 11:44


Culture: RIP Evelyn Lauder: Cosmetics executive, cancer awareness hero

  • 1992 Estee Lauder cosmetics company executive Evelyn Lauder worked on a project to raise awareness of breast cancer among women. It started small — with little pink ribbons handed out at department store makeup conters — before eventually moving into fundraising.
  • 2011 Lauder died Saturday at age 75, but not before that little project grew into something massive. With October designated as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the campaign has raised $330 million in less than 20 years. Lauder’s little idea made a huge mark. source

31 Oct 2011 14:16


U.S.: Obama puts the kibosh on marijuana legalization

  • Simply put, [marijuana] is not a benign drug.
  • Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy • In the official White House response to a number of petitions calling for weed legalization. This is part of the Obama administration’s “We The People” program: Anybody can submit a petition on a topic of their choosing, and if it gathers enough signatures, the White House will issue an official response. It’s cool that they’re actually following up on the promise to address the petitions, though we imagine proponents of medical marijuana won’t be pleased at the response.  source

04 Jul 2011 15:36


World: Hugo Chavez returns to Venezuela

  • An unexpected homecoming: On the heels of revealing his medical plight to the Venezuelan public (he recently revealed he had cancer surgery), Hugo Chavez has returned to his homeland. “Here I am then, in my house and very happy!! Good day to my lovely Venezuela! Good day to the lovely people! Thanks to my God! This is the beginning of the return,” the leader wrote on Twitter. This comes as a surprise — he was expected to stay in Cuba for further treatment for some time, but it makes sense that he’d see a return as the only way to quell speculation he’s physically unable to remain President. source

05 Jun 2011 13:16


U.S.: Breast cancer trial: At-risk patients helped by new drug

  • 65% decreased risk after taking hormone-blocking pill source
  • » A huge step forward: The study, which involved 4,500 people, represents progress towards a safe-to-take drug that prevents breast cancer in at-risk patients. While anti-estrogen drugs already exist on the market, they’ve had pretty horrific side effects that discourage their use. So far, aromatase inhibitors don’t have any of these side effects — but it’s important to note that there haven’t been long-term studies with this, either. (This is the first time researchers tested an aromatase inhibitor tested clinically.) However, it’s still encouraging and worth keeping an eye on.

31 May 2011 17:23


World: Smokers of the world, quit! Today is “World No Tobacco Day”

  • Never a bad time: The new, concerning report on cell phone use isn’t the only place you’ll hear the word “carcinogenic” being used today; May 31st is World No Tobacco Day, a cause that could probably benefit from a slightly less clunky title. The World Health Organization estimates that some 6 million people die each year from tobacco-related illness. Anti-smoking measures within the U.S. have blossomed over the last decade, with smoking bans in public places, restaurants, and bars becoming more and more prevalent across the states — check here for a list of smoking bans applicable in your area. source

31 May 2011 13:55


Tech: Yeah, that’s scary: WHO calls cell phones “carcinogenic hazard”

  • The World Health Organization has a new study out that says cell phones are possibly carcinogenic to humans — they’re in the same class as lead, engine exhaust and chloroform. They based their findings on a number of peer-reviewed studies on cell-phone safety. Long-term effects from cell phone radiation remain unknown, but research suggests that cell phone radiation is non-ionizing — similar to a very low-powered microwave. “What microwave radiation does in most simplistic terms is similar to what happens to food in microwaves, essentially cooking the brain,” notes Dr. Keith Black, who leads the neurology department at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He notes that beyond brain cancer, this could also cause memory problems because we hold cell phones close to the memory temporal lobes. Looks like it’s time to break out the earbuds. (photo via ElvertBarnes‘ Flickr page) source