Linda and a grand nephew, Heron Island, Maine
As you probably know already, I have arranged for Google to alert me whenever an article concerning ovarian cancer appears in the world media. Well, appears in English, I guess – nothing in Lithuanian so far. . Many of the articles they cough up are inconsequential, and a few are downright stupid. However, some useful references also emerge. As an example of the former, the Mirror (a U.K. tabloid – possibly the one that prints a full-page nude female on page three of every issue) reports that fizzy drinks cause cancer. What they mean is that: (1) drinking an improbable amount of fizzy, sugary fluid causes puberty in girls to come a month or two early, and (2) early puberty increases the chances of developing certain kinds of cancer, especially breast and ovarian. So, I guess our lesson here is to avoid fizzy drinks – mainly because they are disgusting in taste, make you fat, and rot your teeth. Fear of cancer would appear to be fairly low on the list of reasons.
As an example of a useful article, the American Society of Clinical Oncology refers you to the following report:
This is something like an annual report of what ASCO regards as important advances in cancer research. I can’t pretend that this is “I just couldn’t put it down” literature, but it has some interesting sections. As you probably could have guessed, it contains an anguished plea for more Federal funding – the claim is made that the purchasing power of the cancer research community has decreased by 29% in the past decade. No word about rearranging the way the available funds are distributed, of course – ASCO is cancer establishment, bigtime. I, too, am unhappy when cancer funding is cut, but I continue to argue that the funds could be put to far more effective use: see the following fascinating little essay
which you should re-read. I’m sure my email buddy Clifton Leaf would agree.
In passing: a large percentage of “serious” articles that Google dredges up for me concern research that demonstrates that certain genetic mutations are related to certain kinds of cancer. I guess such discoveries are cause for jubilation – or at least, a fleeting, grim little smile. Clearly, simply knowing what aids and abets cancer-acquisition is of little value so long as we don’t know what to do about it. So, your genomic investigation tells me that my daughter is carrying a mutation that may cause ovarian cancer. So, what then? Can we fix the mutation? Can we reverse its malign effect? That’s what I really want to know. What am I paying your salary for, anyway? Come on guys – get cracking
**I should warn you that opening this site may result in an obnoxious add – on my machine it does about half the time. However, just close the add and the meat of the article will appears.