Linda and Carolyn in Borrego Springs
Heading out for dinner.
I guess I was along.
The Fred Hutch Newsletter hit the stands today, figuratively – you actually get it through email. It contains two articles highly relevant to ovarian cancer. The featured article concerns Jeff Bezos – he invented Amazon.Com, as you very likely know – and profited hugely thereby. His family has donated $20 million to Fred Hutch to support research on the use of the body’s immune system to attack certain kinds of cancer. As we have discussed before, cancer has a diabolical ability to trick the immune system into thinking that all is well or, failing that, warding off its atacks. There has been a lot of work done lately on ways to counteract these tricks. If I understand correctly, some real progress has been made but – as always – more work needs to be done. Bezos is paying for some of it. I may even forgive Amazon its past transgressions and start ordering again.
Sometime in the past I wrote a blog about how, sometimes, great wealth can be a social good. This is surely another example. Thanks, Jeff. In light of the problems with NIH/NCI-supported research hinted at in an earlier blog (The Truth in Small Doses), maybe we are going to need a lot more private support.
The second article (of many – I’m just reporting the ovarian ones) is a discussion of the desirability of having an oophorectomy at about age 35 – for women who are BRCA1 positive. The advantages here are a much reduced likelihood of contracting ovarian and/or breast cancer. The disadvantages include problems with menopause (because certain hormones are not being supplied) and, of course, the inability to have any more babies. It is, as the article discusses, an intensely personal decision. Know all the facts, mull them over, and then decide. Note that this is meant for women with the BRCA mutations, and thus does not apply to the vast majority of women.
Here are the links: