The Cancer Beat: Thursday, September 2, 2010

No one used to talk about cancer. It was the C-word, and social restrictions limited discussions to doctors and patients, and patients only with their closest family members. But—and fortunately—times have changed, and now with the world online, news and conversations about cancer are everywhere. The problem today is information overload, and Ciao, Cancer! is going to start filtering it for you, pulling out the gems in a weekly post called, “The Cancer Beat”.


President Barack Obama issued a proclamation on the White House website declaring September to be National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among men in the United States, claiming more than 32,000 lives each year. The Prostate Cancer Research Institute has unofficially named the month “Blue September”, and several prominent buildings in Hollywood will be bathed in blue light for a week to raise awareness of prostate cancer.
COMMENT: Great that we’re raising awareness of prostate cancer, but let’s not do it by wasting energy.

Michael Douglas stunned David Letterman in an appearance on The Late Show on Tuesday when he announced that he had Stage 4 throat cancer. Douglas, a smoker and drinker—the two leading causes of throat cancer—said that while his cancer had spread to his lymph nodes, everything was “above the neck” and his prospects for survival were good.
COMMENT: Don’t smoke, and drink only in moderation.


The first annual mountain bike fundraiser in Steamboat Springs, Colorado took place yesterday. Lance Armstrong participated in the event, called “Ride 4 Yellow”, which raised more than $300,000 for cancer research.
COMMENT: With yellow claimed now for all cancers, pink for breasts, and blue for prostate glands, we may be at risk of running out of colors.

Excitement grew around the 2010 Stand Up to Cancer telethon when two of the biggest stars in Hollywood announced their participation in the September 10 event, scheduled to be broadcast on all major television stations. George Clooney and Will Smith will join Gwyneth Paltrow, Denzel Washington, Renee Zelweger, and more than a dozen other celebrities for the fundraiser.
COMMENT: Where’s Beyoncé when you need her? (She was there for the 2008 event).


Two studies found that smokers may be able to reduce their risk of lung cancer or fight it more effectively. A European study found that smokers with diets containing  a “wide variety” of fruits and vegetables—defined as 23 to 40 different types over a two-week period—have a 27% lower risk of developing squamous cell lung cancer than smokers consuming less than 10 types. In a separate study, U.S. researchers at the National Cancer Institute found that a common diabetes drug, metformin, prevented lung tumor formation in mice, with findings that were “so strong the team now wants to test it in smokers to see if it can keep then from developing tumors.”
COMMENT: If I catch you smoking, I’m going to kick your butt and steal your cigarettes.

That’s all for this week. Let me know if you find a weekly roundup helpful; comments, ideas for stories, and suggestions are always welcome and much appreciated.

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  1. September 25th, 2010 | Mulk/JCocker/Canada/Slash says:

    Smoking is stupid. At least you guys aren’t paying for the health care of all those dumbasses that choose to smoke!!

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