I found out that I had a recurrence of breast cancer about two months ago, and subsequently had a mastectomy towards the end of December. Although it is a local recurrence, I was told that I should get chemotherapy. This was a big shock to me - I thought the mastectomy would be the end of it - and I couldn't really think of any questions to ask. I'd like to prepare a list of questions to ask my doctor, and would appreciate some suggestions. Details inside. [more inside]
Tomasetti and Vogelstein recently published an analysis that suggests the variation in the number of stem cell divisions leads to cancer incidence rates that are higher for tissues with relatively greater numbers of divisions. They recently posted a follow-up which attempts to address some of the counterarguments to their results. Acting on the premise that their work is correct or at least "in the right direction", are there labs or drug companies working on gene therapies that attempt to improve DNA polymerase fidelity (even in model organisms), as a means to one day perhaps reduce cancer incidence in higher-risk tissues? While it is easy through mutagenesis to worsen fidelity rates and increase cancer rates (as has been demo'ed in mice, say) can this aspect be engineered to be improved — that is, what biochemical aspects of (human) DNA polymerase have evolved to control its fidelity rate such that it might be possible to improve upon it?
I just finished reading The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer again and it was just as incredible if not more so the second time around. I'm wondering if there are other nonfiction books of similar quality and comprehensiveness for other topics - primarily looking for a diabetes book but also interested in any other comparable books. [more inside]
My dad has cancer. He has not told anyone this -- I found out by accident. How to best deal? [more inside]
So, my wife was in a bad wreck last monday, and during the course of MRI etc, they found a tumor on her brain. In spite of the hopeful, initial thought, it turns out to be a Grade 3 Annoplastic Astro Cytoma. Which pretty well sucks. The good news is, they were able to excise the entire tumor, plus a bit extra since it's location (right temporal lobe) lent itself to that surgery. [more inside]
My uncle (by marriage) has terminal cancer. His doctors have just recommended hospice care. We're medium-close; I see him and his family every couple of years. I live about 300 miles away. What can I do for him? For his wife (my mom's sister) and his grown kids? What can I say? Thank you.
Young couple living out their dream came to an abrupt halt in October. He was diagnosed with a particularly aggressive form of melanoma. They had not signed up for Affordable health care insurance, since they were planning on traveling and working around the country. And hey, they are young and healthy, right?? [more inside]
You are not my vet. However, I have seen a regular vet and a veterinary oncologist and now have some difficult choices to make and I would be very grateful for first hand accounts from people who have tried metronomic chemotherapy with their pet (especially cats) or other people's pets (if you're a vet or if you're close to someone who has gone through this sort of thing before). I am seeking advice and real-life experiences to supplement any advice regular vets or oncologists may give me. [more inside]
How long do I have to be exposed to 'bad UV' to be at risk of negative effects? [more inside]
I'm looking for clinical trial information for a loved one diagnosed with gliobastoma and the options on clinicaltrials. gov are somewhat baffling and numerous (all 907 of them). How do I narrow it down? [more inside]
A dear friend (female, early 30s) is at the end of her battle with cancer. Our circle of close friends is spread out all over the country. We've been sending gifts, visiting, pooling money together for cleaning and dog walking, etc for a year. But we're in the final month or two, she's in pain (just now starting to turn to palliative care) and I'd love some ideas on how we can support her and her husband. [more inside]
Let's say you wanted to find the very best ovarian cancer specialist in the US. How would you go about doing that? [more inside]
I am organizing (and cooking) meals for my boss and his wife. He was just diagnosed with cancer and has started chemo. I need ideas for the kind of meals I and others can prepare for a person with a compromised immune system. [more inside]
My father has suffered an extended series of illnesses and has a terminal disease. He's weak but has shown a capability to physically recover. Left to his own devices he sleeps a lot. How do I keep him engaged? [more inside]
My mother has another recurrence of the triple-negative breast cancer she's been dealing with for the last 5 years. In looking at the PET scans from the latest rounds of biopsying and testing, I have questions and I am not sure where to turn. [more inside]
Does anyone have any recommendations or knowledge of convalescent homes in the UK? My brother has just undergone some seriously brutal radiotherapy and cancer treatment for throat cancer. He's been out of the hospital for a few weeks and is now at my parents, but it looks like it could be a very slow road to recovery. He currently can't eat or drink, is very nauseous, at risk of dehydration all the time. [more inside]
My cousin's kid was born with cancer. A friend of theirs started a website where one can buy a t-shirt to show support for the family. This seems a little odd. Should I buy a t-shirt or do something differently to show love and support for the family? [more inside]
My Mother is likely going to receive a Metastatic Lung Cancer diagnosis on Monday. Due to her health, she probably won't be able to receive treatment. Questions about seeing an oncologist, palliative care, hospice, and my options. [more inside]
I am a 36-year-old woman that was just diagnosed with (endometrial) atypical hyperplasia, which is a precursor to uterine cancer. (I may have cancer already, but I'm trying not to let my mind go there). I will, most likely, need a hysterectomy. The thing is, I'm scheduled to move 300 miles away, and I have several job interviews lined up in my new location - great ones, too. How should I handle this with potential employers, particularly when they ask me when I can start? Or should I forget about my job search for a while?
I am interested in finding forums or blogs about breast cancer treatments in Germany to see the content and sentiment of conversations happening among patients and/or physicians. If they are behind a pay wall I would be interested in purchasing the data if possible. Thanks for input!
Dad's got cancer and the whole family (readers all) are looking for some book recommendations that are light, humorous without being wacky, and immersive. We've got a lot of time to sit around and worry. Thanks!
I've heard that consuming products that have been smoked can increase cancer risk. I've recently started to regularly drink several cups a day of Lapsang Souchong, a smoked tea. I am an ex-smoker so I am concerned that my risk for certain cancers is already elevated. I am having difficulty finding information on if there are any potential cancer risks from drinking this tea and if so, if they are significant enough that I should consider cutting back the amount I am drinking.
I need to get more fit. Part of it has to be done by controlling my intake. I've had success in the distant past with gum. But now I'm worried about the non-sugar sweeteners that most use - sorbitol and xylitol. Should I be? [more inside]
Colon Cancer scare in my family. My health insurance won't cover a colonoscopy because I'm too young and have no symptoms. Should I shell out the $1000 - $3000 this could cost me to get checked? Gratuitous YANMD. [more inside]
How should I quit my job to start another one while I'm on FMLA leave? [more inside]
I'm 49 and my wife is 44. We have two small children 7 and 2 and do not own life insurance. Last Friday, we learned my wife has breast cancer, and the same day found out there is a likelihood I could be diagnosed with bladder cancer in the following weeks. Is there any kind of life insurance which I should quickly try to secure in the short time I have while I am still basically healthy? [more inside]
My girlfriend is at Sloan Kettering in New York for some surgery and i want to send her a shitload of flowers (and for those of you familiar with Sloan Kettering/cancer in general, she is on a ward where flowers are OK) I am willing to spend a little cash to make it special since I am not with her. She has a lot of other friends wanting to do stuff as well, so I will share your recommendations with them. As always, thanks in advance for your help.
Short of raising his paw and saying, "Yo, mom, I'm ready to die," how will my dog let me know that it's time? [more inside]
My dad's cancer has come back and he's lost a lot of energy in the last year. In the next few weeks, we and his doctors will be discussing treatment/chemo options. What can I do for him? [more inside]
I'm exhausted and burned out from a work project that's been going on for the past six months and won't be done for another 2-4 weeks. A week and a half ago, my dad was diagnosed with cancer, and his prognosis is not good. I need some strategies for dealing with all of this when I already feel like I'm close to the breaking point. Details below. [more inside]
Sad times in my family. My six-year-old nephew's DIPG - one of the most devastating forms of childhood brain cancer - appears to be recurring after a "radiation honeymoon" that saw many of his symptoms recede for a while. The prognosisis is poor; the progression of the disease over the coming weeks and months will likely see him lose many basic functions - sight, coordination, ambulation - while retaining, to the very end, most of his intellectual capabilities. We are helping out as much as we can, but since my nephew is on the other side of the country, I was wanting to send him something that he'd find fun, interesting, maybe even useful. What that might be, though, I don't know. Suggestions? [more inside]
In need of an awesome endocrinologist (for post-thyroidectomy medication management) in the Philadelphia area. Difficultly level: most of 'em seem to be either dogmatic curmudgeons OR vitamin-shilling charlatans. Little synthetic-hormone snowflakes within... [more inside]
Some one very close to be has been diagnosed with adenocarcinoma of the lungs. What can I expect over the next five(?) years? [more inside]
In my grandmother's final days battling brain cancer, she became unable to speak and she filled dozens of index cards with random letters of the alphabet. I'm beginning to think that they are the first letters in the words of song lyrics, and would love to know what song this was. This is a crazy long shot, but I've seen Mefites pull off some pretty impressive code-breaking before! [more inside]
After a much testing I found out I have pancreatic cancer at age 47. I am having the wipple procedure Monday. Any advice or suggestions for recovery. Thanks Hive.
My beloved dog walker has been battling with cancer - and it sounds like she's losing. What can I give her and her partner as a Christmas/New Year's gift in the midst of this? [more inside]
I just started a new job last week and am in a workplace with only one other person. She was crying the other day and it turns out her father was just diagnosed with brain cancer. [more inside]
Asking for a friend: my good friend has just been diagnosed with endometrial cancer. She is in Europe and not returning home for treatment, and I'm trying to help her figure out her funding options and provide emotional support. Tips wanted/needed please. [more inside]
I am grinding my teeth at night and they are breaking. I have no income, benefits, insurance or money. I need help quite quickly. [more inside]
I just bought a little bag of eye bolts that I intend to use to keep a screen door inside my house open. After purchasing them, I glanced at the bag and noticed a cancer warning. Uh, WTF? Is it just saying that if I ever decide to eat some eye bolts, it shouldn't be these eye bolts, or is there an actual cancer risk just from having them screwed into a door and frame in my house? And what chemical or chemicals might be involved? Details inside. [more inside]
My mom and I spent the past two years as full-time caregivers for my dad until he died this summer. We were just getting back on our feet when she was diagnosed with a terminal disease two weeks ago. What now? [more inside]
I have been dating a guy for a couple of months. He told me recently that he's got a genetic mutation that makes it much more likely that he'll get cancer, and that is making me really sad. [more inside]
My father is a terminally ill hospice patient, who has esophageal cancer. I and his wife (my mother) want him hydrated and I want to know, from those who are medically knowledgeable, what a good level of hydration would be for him. [more inside]
Fucking integrative oncology: How does it work? I have questions about integrative oncology and whether it's a valid area of research and treatment or the shiny new woo-woo thing dressed up with medical-sounding words. [more inside]
What are some ways that I can provide support from afar for friends dealing with illness? [more inside]
So this Office Chair I bought has the flame retardant Tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl)phosphate (TDCPP) in the cushion. Which appears to have cancer implications. Should I keep the chair? Wait, wait, hear me out. [more inside]
In this Time magazine interview, Google founder Larry Page talks about the new Calico project. One particular quote jumped out at me: "Are people really focused on the right things? One of the things I thought was amazing is that if you solve cancer, you'd add about three years to people's average life expectancy," Page said. "We think of solving cancer as this huge thing that'll totally change the world [...] but in the aggregate, it's not as big an advance as you might think." Err, really? Can this be true? Or is this one of those statistical tricks - like the one with life expectancy in the middle ages, where we think people died in their mid-thirties, but in reality, once you adjust for infant mortality, people actually typically lived well into their sixties? I tried asking Mr. Google but his answers were confusing.
Having found the lump a year ago this June, it took me until today to find the courage to try doing something. Many of the sites I found said to go through my local health department, so I finally worked up the courage to walk in today. They had no idea what to say, and no longer offer any program that would help. I walked out with a pamphlet for a clinic in another town that they think "might" have a program to help with a sliding payment scale but they weren't even sure about that. [more inside]
My mom found out that she has cancer. Things are looking okay, but she'll need to travel a few hours away for surgery, followed by a week off work. Over the next couple of months, she'll need daily radiation. The twist is, she started a new job within the past month and a half. How should she share this with her boss (or should she share it at all)? [more inside]
I am hoping that someone will be able to point me in the direction of any programs that cover room and board in an inpatient hospice care facility in Michigan. The patient is my boyfriend's mother, who has refused chemo and is ready to call hospice to make her remaining time comfortable. She was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer in May and has just been given the prognosis of ~3 months. [more inside]