Drug derived from sea creature may help ovarian cancer patients

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"Sifting through puddles from the firehose of last week’s American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting brought to my attention some promising news from the world of ovarian cancer," writes David Kroll.

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Lab mistakes are wasting millions in research funding

Medicine starts with cells in a petri dish. But, increasingly, scientists are realizing they’ve been studying the wrong cells, writes Maggie Koerth-Baker.

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The difference between cancersploitation and art, according to a cancer survivor

From "The Fault in our Stars." Hazel (Shailene Woodley) and Gus (Ansel Elgort) are two extraordinary teenagers who share an acerbic wit, a disdain for the conventional, and love.

Writing at TIME, my friend and fellow breast cancer survivor Lani Horn (aka Chemobabe) says whether we view cancer films like "The Fault in our Stars" as outsiders or insiders, the best movies in the genre provide catharsis.

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Movies: 'The Fault in Our Stars' reviewed by young woman, 14, whose mom survived cancer

Naomi Horn, 14, reviews the film adaptation of John Green’s best-selling book about young adults with cancer who find love. Naomi is no stranger to cancer: her mom is a survivor, and others in her family have died of the disease.

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Number of cancer survivors in US expected to grow 30% over next decade

A new report from the American Cancer Society and National Cancer Institute says the population of cancer survivors in the US will expand by 30% in the next ten years. LA Times:
As of Jan. 1, there were nearly 14.5 million people alive in the United States who had been diagnosed with some type of cancer. By 2024, that figure is projected to reach 18.9 million, according to a report released Sunday by the American Cancer Society. The authors of the report – from the ACS and the National Cancer Institute – define a cancer “survivor” as anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer and is still alive.
Here's the full report from the ACS.

A scarf woven from Jay Lake's genome


Here's a scarf woven from data representing the genome of talented sf writer and good guy Jay Lake, who died of cancer this week. Last summer, Jay's friends raised funds to sequence his genome in the hopes of finding a targeted cure. Astrid Bear used the data to weave the scarf, focusing on the 143 pairs of chromosome 18, which was the identified culprit in Jay's cancer. The scarf itself is a thing of beauty, and Jay loved it.

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Family of 5 year old cancer patient dress as superheroes for his funeral

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When five-year-old brain cancer patient Brayden Denton died, his family decided to honor him by appearing at his funeral dressed as the superheroes he loved: Spider-Man, Batman, Superman, Thor, The Hulk, and Iron Man.

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Working women in US who survive breast cancer and chemo 30% more likely to lose their jobs within 4 years

A new study shows that working women with breast cancer who receive chemotherapy and live for four or more years after treatment are 30% more likely to lose their jobs within those first four years of survival.

The focus of the study is on women who receive chemotherapy, and researchers say their findings should be considered when patients decide whether to receive adjuvant chemotherapy (that's chemo after surgery, as opposed to before surgery), "particularly when the expected benefit is low."

Meaning, for some patients, it's very clear that chemo will likely improve survival and recurrence odds, but for some, it's not. In those not-so-clear patient decision scenarios, the likelihood you'll lose your job is one of many factors to be considered. How messed up is that?

From a CBS News summary:

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Humana screws Brandon Boyer for $100K worth of cancer bills - help him pay them


Our good pal Brandon "Offworld" Boyer has cancer. Lucky for Brandon, he signed up for medical insurance with Humana not long before he was diagnosed. Unlucky for him, Humana has decided unilaterally not to cover his cancer treatments and has stuck him with with a $100,000 bill. He's raising money from the Internet to help pay for his life-saving treatments. I'm in for $100. If you're thinking of getting insured, be warned: Humana will screw you and screw you and screw you.

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A woman on Twitter dies of cancer. But did she ever really exist?

Jennifer Mendelsohn recently reported a piece for Medium about @TrappedAtMyDesk, a presumed online cancer hoax which received a great deal of attention at Buzzfeed, Jezebel, and other viral-hypey websites as a real story--but no attention as an almost-certain hoax, once that became more clear.

"A video recently went viral claiming to be based on the tweets of a woman dying of a brain tumor," Jennifer tells Boing Boing. "My reporting shows there is almost no possibility it's real."

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'Boobies Rock' cancer-scamming scumbag jailed for two weeks after launching new scholarship scam


Here's some of the branding used by Boobies Rock. Seems legit.


Adam Cole Shyrock, noted douchebag.

In Colorado, a scamming sonofabitch charged with collecting about $2 million through sales of breast-cancer-awareness merchandise, none of which helped breast cancer charities, has been sentenced to 14 days in jail. We wrote about this dirtbag back in 2012, when the Illinois state attorney general began investigating his cancer-scam activities.

The Denver Post today reports that Adam Cole Shyrock was jailed for running a new scam in violation of a court order. He wrote a $36,000 check on a frozen Wells Fargo bank account to a T-shirt manufacturer to make t-shirts for "I Heart This Bar," a new scheme purporting to raise money for college scholarships. Man, some people never learn. Snip:

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Watch this 13yo girl’s video response to 'The Fault in our Stars' trailer

Naomi Horn, 13, can’t wait for the movie adaptation of John Green’s young adult cancer novel to hit theaters. When the trailer for The Fault in our Stars hit the internet this week, Naomi felt compelled to share a response video. Her mom and uncle had cancer.

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Stanislaw Burzynski’s counteroffensive against FDA, Texas Medical Board continues


Photo courtesy USA Today

Science blogger Orac has a detailed update on the latest in the story of a man accused of being a cancer quack Stanislaw Burzynski, whom the FDA and Texas Medical Board have recently slapped.

If you're unfamiliar with Burzynski, start with Liz Szabo's USA TODAY expose, "Doctor accused of selling false hope to families."

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At 'The Houston Cancer Quack,' Skeptics call on Congress to investigate Stanislaw Burzynski


Stanislaw Burzynski.

As regular readers of this blog know, I have cancer, and I believe the law should show no mercy to people who exploit cancer patients and their loved ones. While it's hard to imagine that someone could be so heartless, there are people in the world who profit from our fear, and the lack of education around science and evidence-based medicine. The result of this cruelty: our suffering and death.

One doctor who has been long the target of such "false hope" concern is Stanislaw Burzynski, of "antineoplaston" fame. The Houston-based provider was recently featured in a major investigative takedown in USA Today reported by health journalist Liz Szabo.

Today, Skeptic and pro-science crusader Robert Blaskiewicz shares news of thehoustoncancerquack.com, a new online campaign calling for a congressional investigation into the Burzynski Clinic, and an examination of why the FDA's reviews of their operations have led to little more than hand-slaps. Why is this guy still in business?

Robert Blaskiewicz writes:

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Do multivitamins help your health? New research says nope.

Doctors behind three new studies and an editorial on the question of whether daily multivitamins make us healthier say: no, they don't. After reviewing available evidence and conducting new trials, one set of authors wrote, “We believe that the case is closed -- supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults with (most) mineral or vitamin supplements has no clear benefit and might even be harmful.”

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