The roller coaster ride called cancer
Cancer is a rollercoaster ride, from diagnosis to long-term care. Today we bring you interesting articles from every turn of the ride: diagnosis, genetics and risk, chemo brain, and having your entire life ahead of you after cancer.
Does seeing different doctors affect how quickly cancer is diagnosed?
Did you know that your cancer diagnosis may be delayed if you see the same doctor? According to a Cancer Research UK study, whether you see the same General Practitioner (GP) or not could affect how quickly bowel and lung cancer are diagnosed. In particular, for bowel cancer, seeing the same doctor over the two years before the diagnosis can delay diagnosis by 7 days; however, seeing the same doctor after the worrying symptoms were spotted the diagnosis could be 14 days quicker. For lung cancer, the same situation could take around 18 days. However, researchers found that for breast cancer, seeing the same GP before or after experiencing cancer symptoms has no effect on the diagnosis timing. Find out more here.
Maybe, we have to blame only ourselves for the rise of cancer
Have you ever considered the reason scientists haven’t found the cure for cancer yet? Despite what many people think, the cause of cancer does not lie so much in inherited genes but more on the copied errors in these inherited genes. The truth is that we also have to blame ourselves for the rise of cancer. Smoking, sunbathing, environmental pollutants and overeating are just some of the things causing irreversible damage to our cells. However, new medicines would be able to target exactly the type of cancer and the kind of damage. It may seem strange, but our knowledge about cancer is expanding, day by day. Read more on this article by Memorial Sloan-Kettering CEO Craig Thompson.
A link between baldness and prostate cancer
Researchers found that men’s baldness is linked to risk of prostate cancer. To be more specific, a study found that men with any degree of balding were 56% more likely to die from prostate cancer over a 21-year period, compared with men who were not losing their hair. What's more, those with moderate balding were 83% more likely to die from prostate cancer, compared to those with no balding. However, study author Cindy Zhou said that future studies are needed to validate these findings, but if the study is confirmed, then male pattern baldness might be used as one indicator of a man's risk of developing prostate cancer.
Researchers: “Chemo brain” is a real side effect of chemotherapy
Many cancer fighters describe their experience with chemotherapy as “chemo brain”: they find it hard to concentrate, to perform daily activities and keep forgetting ordinary things. Researchers at the University of British Columbia used advanced brain-imaging technology and other tests to better understand how our brains react to chemotherapy. They found that even when we believe we are focused on a task, our brains behave in the same way as when our minds are wandering. As the lead researcher Kristin Campbell said, “the effects of cancer treatment persist long after it’s over”.
Walking the London Marathon for her two sons
Finally, in this article we learn about Angela, a 40 year-old diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. Her 2015 aspiration was to participate in the London Marathon. The biggest concern was to stay alive for her family and her beloved children, to see them grow, go to college, get married. Whatever is happening to her health, she tries to tackle it like is normal and she tries not to change anything to the extent her condition permits. As we read her inspiring story, we wish her strength and many happy moments with her loved ones.
Being a parent of a young cancer survivor
While fighting cancer is hard, watching your child fight cancer is even harder. Here’s a story of mother whose daughter had been fighting cancer since she was only 10 months old. Little Satya was fine after the surgery but unfortunately she was diagnosed with cancer again. This time the tumor could spread in her body and kill her. Her parents were hopeless as the surgery was very dangerous. However, Satya became a cancer survivor even before her first birthday! Read Satya’s story from her mother’s perspective, where she describes all about the stress, fear and pain - but also the happiness and relief about this little girl’s adventure.