Investigation of the human microbiome has grown exponentially in the last five years. A recent study regarding its potential impact on certain cancer treatment outcomes stopped me in my tracks. The human body contains about 40 trillion microbes, which is now thought to equal the total volume of human cells each body possesses. These bugs […]
The Right-to-Try movement—advocates for faster access to potentially life-saving experimental drugs for terminal patients—has gained strong momentum, with the act recently winning easy passage in congress, and, at the time of this article, it is on its way for a senate vote. The legislation is widely anticipated to become law later this year. As of […]
Treatment or quality of life; are they mutually exclusive? For select patients, and not just the elderly, when it comes to cancer treatment and potential outcomes, it is important to consider the quality of life in the months or years of treatment over the potential months or years of extended life.
I frequently read or hear this declaration issued by survivors who have moved on with their lives, at their own pace and purpose, even in the face of uncertainty: “I am not defined by cancer.” Of course, I understand and respect this… I just wonder if it is truly possible.
I don’t fit neatly into a one-size-fits-all medical dogma camp. This means that folks who only sample what I share are left wondering where I pitch my tent. My unique personal experience, and purview of cancer, places me in an odd spot of exclusively advocating neither alternative, nor integrative, nor conventional medicine.
We are hearing a lot about cancer immunotherapy these days. Modern approaches and technology are now helping to revolutionize cancer care. What decision-making power do we hold to influence an immune-therapeutic response to help avoid, manage, or treat a cancer diagnosis? And how might this affect long-term survival?
When I first laid eyes on the Dalai Lama’s insightful, powerful words, I read the quote back-to-back three times, slowly. Though just a few sentences, there is so much to unpack and contemplate.
I am a poster child for lifestyle change. However, lifestyle and behavior change alone is not always enough. Not always enough to prevent cancer. Not always enough to assist in managing a conventional treatment program. Not always enough to ensure durable remission or increase overall survival.
The global business of cancer is enormous and complex. It’s a machine well positioned to capitalize on the environment of disease run amok—managed by clinicians supported by an arsenal of interventions and agents—some effective and some not so much. In this environment, it’s imperative to be an educated consumer.
When I was originally diagnosed with incurable cancer 27 years ago, it was my primary care doc who—before HIPAA privacy was a thing in the U.S.—told my father that I, a newly married twenty-eight year old at that time, had six months to live. Six. Months. To. Live.