My pal Aaron Muszalski has just announced Burning Wish, a wonderful new nonprofit that grants Burning Man tickets to cancer patients or survivors. He writes:
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Do you know a cancer patient or survivor who’s always wanted to go to Burning Man?
🔥 We’re especially looking for first-time burners who’ve already decided to attend this year, but still need tickets. 🔥
Refer a friend or apply yourself at https://goo.gl/forms/6Cri3CscOn82bZXg1
Burning Man isn’t for everyone — the event takes place in the Nevada desert, where temperatures can exceed 100° F — but there are ways to minimize many of those challenges. For patients who are physically well enough to make the trip, the experience can be incredibly transformative and empowering.
My name is Aaron Muszalski. I’m a longtime burner and recent cancer survivor. Attending Burning Man during my treatment gave me the strength I needed to successfully complete chemotherapy. I’m now NED (“No Evidence of Disease”) and want to share the magic of Black Rock City with others facing this disease.
Burning Wish’s mission is to help connect fellow cancer patients and their loved ones with the resources they need to experience the burn safely — medically AND emotionally.
We’re also looking for volunteers. If you’d like to support this project in any way please tell us more about yourself at https://goo.gl/forms/7Glz3WwqcSDLTUju2
The Trump administration's plan to bring back asbestos is right in line with Trumpist ideology that any science that interferes with profits is a hoax (Trump claims that the asbestos-cancer link is a conspiracy to help the mafia make money on asbestos removal contracts), and the fact that the leading Russian asbestos company (which has ties to Putin) put Trump's face on their packaging is just an extra too-shitty-to-be-true detail for all of us to ponder as we die of mesothelioma in a few years. Read the rest
The FDA has sent warning letters to seven companies selling quack "energy based" vaginal rejuvenation "therapies," in which repurposed laser and radio-frequency-based tools that are used to remove warts and precancerous growths are used to scorch peoples' vaginas, a process that is claimed to have benefits for sexual dysfunction, urinary problems, dryness, "laxity," itching and a host of ills. Some of these companies specifically target breast-cancer survivors. Read the rest
Researchers at the US National Cancer Institute have reported in on an experimental breast cancer therapy that achieved remarkable results, rehabilitating Judy Perkins from the brink of death (she had been given two months to live, had tumors in her liver and throughout her body) to robust health two years later. Read the rest
The National Coffee Association failed to demonstrate that a known-carcinogen produced during the coffee brewing process is not harmful. A judge in the Bear Republic ruled coffee cups need to carry a warning.
Via the NYT:
The ruling stems from a lawsuit filed in 2010 by the Council for Education and Research on Toxics, a nonprofit group based in Long Beach. The group charged that Starbucks and other companies — a group that eventually included 91 defendants — did not warn consumers that ingesting coffee would expose them to acrylamide, a chemical formed when coffee beans are roasted.
California keeps a list of chemicals it considers to cause cancer or reproductive harm, and acrylamide has been included since 1990. The state’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, known as Proposition 65 after it was passed in 1986, requires businesses to provide warning labels when exposing consumers to any of the hundreds of chemicals listed.
Judge Elihu M. Berle, in Los Angeles County Superior Court, wrote in a proposed decision on Wednesday that the companies failed to show that acrylamide does not pose a significant risk when produced during the coffee roasting process.
“Since defendants failed to prove that coffee confers any human health benefits, defendants have failed to satisfy their burden of proving that sound considerations of public health support an alternate risk level for acrylamide in coffee,” the judge wrote.
Derek Yach, president of The Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, sent a letter to 344 public health researchers and groups inviting them to bid for grants from a $1b fund set up by tobacco giant -- the list was a roster of Yach's former colleagues from his stint at the World Health Organization. Read the rest
After losing their 19-year court battle with the US Department of Justice, tobacco giants Altria, R.J. Reynolds, Lorillard and Philip Morris USA are now beginning to run their court-ordered "corrective statements" as full-page newspaper ads, major web display ads, and primetime TV spots, containing frank admissions that they violated federal racketeering and fraud laws when they conspired to cover up the fact that their products killed their customers and that they intentionally designed their products to be as addictive as possible. Read the rest
UCSF researchers have published an important paper in PLOS Biology that draws on internal documents from the US sugar industry lobby that shows that the industry deliberately suppressed research on the link between sucrose and bladder cancer and heart disease, and then deliberately sowed misinformation about the health effects of sugar, using tactics straight out of the tobacco industry's cancer-denial playbook. Read the rest
Researchers demonstrated single-molecule nanomachines that can target diseased cells and then kill them by drilling through the cell membrane. Developed by a team at Rice University, Durham University (UK), and North Carolina State University, the single-molecule nanomotors are about one-billionth of a meter wide and spin at 2 to 3 million rotations per second. They're activated by ultraviolet light and could also be used to deliver drug treatment into the cells. From Rice:
“These nanomachines are so small that we could park 50,000 of them across the diameter of a human hair, yet they have the targeting and actuating components combined in that diminutive package to make molecular machines a reality for treating disease,” Tour said...
The researchers found it takes at least a minute for a motor to tunnel through a membrane. “It is highly unlikely that a cell could develop a resistance to molecular mechanical action,” Tour said.
Pal expects nanomachines will help target cancers like breast tumors and melanomas that resist existing chemotherapy. “Once developed, this approach could provide a potential step change in noninvasive cancer treatment and greatly improve survival rates and patient welfare globally,” he said...
The Pal lab at Durham tested motors on live cells, including human prostate cancer cells. Experiments showed that without an ultraviolet trigger, motors could locate specific cells of interest but stayed on the targeted cells’ surface and were unable to drill into the cells. When triggered, however, the motors rapidly drilled through the membranes.
"Molecular machines open cell membranes" (Nature)
Monsanto is facing over 100 lawsuits in a Federal district court in San Francisco brought by people who attribute their non-Hodgkin's lymphoma to exposure to glyphosate in Monsanto's Roundup weed-killer, and as part of the discovery process, it submitted internal documents to the court that detailed shenanigans in the company's internal science and its dealings with regulators and the press. Read the rest
Authorities in Texas who falsely claimed that Planned Parenthood sells fetal body parts are prohibited from withholding federal Medicaid funds from Planned Parenthood, a federal judge ruled today. This is a significant legal victory for Planned Parenthood, which is under renewed conservative attack under President Donald Trump. Read the rest
Jonathan Peltz at the Miami New Times: “'Donald Trump' and 'protecting patients’ access to health care' are two phrases that aren't generally associated with each other. But that fact didn't seem to bother the American Cancer Society (ACS), which hosted its fundraiser Rock Palm Beach at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago [on February 10].” Read the rest
Xeni's posted many times about her cancer, what it took to treat it, what helped, and the financial issues at stake. For CNN, she writes that Obamacare saved her life. With Republicans rushing to dismantle the healthcare law formally known as the Affordable Care Act, it's more important than ever to understand what Americans will face if insurance companies are put back in charge. Even if you think you have good insurance, you might be surprised to learn what it won't cover if the ACA goes away.
I am a breast cancer survivor because the Affordable Care Act, politicized by the GOP as "Obamacare," ensures that for-profit insurance companies can't deny me coverage because I had the audacity to be diagnosed with cancer.
My insurance provider paid people to work hard to deny me life-saving chemotherapy because they thought I had a preexisting condition. I am alive in part because that is no longer legal under the ACA. In cancer treatment, timing is everything. Cancer does not wait to progress until your coverage kicks in.
The Affordable Care Act is all that stands between me and insurance company greed. I only have enough in me to fight cancer, not insurance companies.
The Hugh Mungus saga continues (previously). Hugh Mungus nemesis Zarna Joshi posted a series of videos outlining her views and asking viewers to support her financially via funding platform YouCaring. Ethan Klein at H3H3 gave Zarna $100, then created a companion fundraiser for Hugh Mungus (aka Rudy Pantoja), who recently revealed he has costs related to health treatment. On Monday night, YouCaring abruptly shut down both fundraisers. Read the rest
My friend Dave Rosser, the NOLA-based guitarist for the Afghan Whigs (and the Gutter Twins, and Mark Lanegan, etc.), was just diagnosed with inoperable colon cancer. Dave is a brilliant musician, a true gentleman, and a total laugh riot. Now he has a long, hard road ahead of him and the medical expenses he faces are absolutely overwhelming. There's a GoFundMe campaign to help Dave with those bills and the Afghan Whigs have just announced two very special benefit performances to support their much-loved bandmate. Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Afghan Whigs's dark soul-rock masterpiece Black Love, they will play the album in its entirety in New Orleans on December 10 and Los Angeles on December 14. Tickets go on sale tomorrow (Friday 11/3).
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“Dave Rosser has been my close friend and bandmate for over a decade now,” Afghan Whigs singer Greg Dulli commented. “By doing these shows for him we hope to ease any financial stress he may face as he pursues treatment to combat his illness. 100% of the proceeds from these shows will go to his medical care. I’m hopeful that folks will come out and show their support for Dave who will be performing with us.”
The New Orleans show will take place at The Civic Theatre on Saturday December 10th and feature performances from: The Afghan Whigs, Mark Lanegan, Ani DiFranco, Morning 40 Federation, King James & The Special Men, and C.C. Adcock & The Lafayette Marquis along with special guests.
The Los Angeles show will take place on December 14th at The Teragram Ballroom featuring sets from: The Afghan Whigs, Mark Lanegan, Moby and Carina Round.