Archive for the ‘health and fitness’ Category


Hail to the coffee bean: New York Times reports coffee drinkers live longer

If you’ve been reading Ciao, Cancer!, you know I love coffee. And so of course I had to share with you the latest news about this very special substance. Coffee Drinkers May Live Longer is the title of an article published in today’s New York Times. It’s worth a read, but here are some highlights:


Community post from the Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure

Just got this from a Ciao, Cancer! fan.

Hi Duper,

I recently stumbled upon your blog and then proceeded to read every entry! My father passed away from a GBM 6 years ago, so I can certainly relate to a lot of the things you talk about.  I wanted to write to you to see if you would mention something about an event I’m helping to plan on your blog.  I currently work for Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure in Washington, DC.  We are putting on a 5K Run/Walk on March 6th, 2011 in Florida.  I know you live in NY, but I bet you have readers from Florida! If you wouldn’t mind posting something, I can send you a short blurb, or you can just list our website  If you want to start a team and either fly to Florida in March (it’d be warmer than NY!) or participate virtually, I can certainly help you do that!

Thanks so much, in advance, for your support!

In hope for a cure,


Read on to learn about the 2011 Florida Brain Cancer 5K.


New York Times: CT scans cut lung cancer rates. Ciao, Cancer: who pays?

The New York Times reported today that a massive, government-funded study has revealed that annual lung CT scans for current and former heavy smokers can result in a 20% reduction in mortality. That’s great news, since there hasn’t been any effective tool for early detection of lung cancer. But there’s something we need to know–or figure out–and that’s who’s going to pay for it?


Making babies

I spent last week on the Cape with some great friends from Italy, their three sons, and Netsai, whom some of you know about from earlier posts one and two on dating post-cancer. While the kids—aged 3, 5, and 7—drove me crazy on more than one occasion, I did think about how much I’d like to have children of my own. The question for me, after more than a year-and-a-half of chemo, is whether it’s even possible.


A closer look at a cup of joe: the word on coffee and cancer

Coffee love imageI had just finished my first cup of joe yesterday—a morning ritual of great importance to me—when I stumbled upon a Reuters story that said there was no link between coffee consumption in men and prostate cancer. Coffee, in this case, was vindicated, but I wasn’t aware that it had been a suspect, at least not for several years. A number of recent studies have shown that coffee—and most likely caffeine—has a protective effect against certain types of cancer; others show no association between coffee and a broad range of cancers. Since I consume so much of the stuff, I thought I’d best do a little digging, and I must say that I was pretty surprised by what I learned.


You’re lacking in Vitamin D, and it’s possibly going to kill you

On Monday, the New York Times published a story, “What Do You Lack? Probably Vitamin D“, stating that “a huge part of the population…[is] deficient in this essential nutrient”, which “promises to be the most talked-about and written-about supplement of the decade.” While there’s truth in the title, it itself is deficient. Mine is a stretch, but it got your attention, and the potential consequences of not getting enough Vitamin D are truly dire. The good news is that reducing your risk of diseases related to Vitamin D-deficiency requires only the tiniest–but consistent–bit of effort.


How to beat cancer: prevention and early detection

One of the first things people want to know when they learn I had cancer is how it was discovered. There’s an element of personal concern in this question that’s perfectly natural—if I get cancer, will I know right away?—and I think what folks are hoping to hear is that all cancers in their earliest stages present clear, distinguishable symptoms that will prompt them to follow up with a medical professional. Unfortunately, this is not the case with many cancers, and all people, especially those at higher risk due to things like long-term exposure to carcinogens (tobacco, for example), a family history of cancer, or age (cancer risk naturally increases as we get older), should take a proactive approach to cancer detection and prevention.


It aint broke, but definitely fix it

Photo of Dr. John G. KennedyIf you’ve been following Ciao, Cancer! over the last few days, you know that 1) I spent some time kayaking and hanging out with my family last week on Orcas Island; 2) while I was there, broke my foot; 3) asked people for help (which I don’t normally do); and 4) got some exercise ideas from Captain Quinn to discuss in my then-forthcoming appointment with my orthopedist. I saw Dr. John Kennedy at the Hospital for Special Surgery yesterday afternoon, learned that I’d previously been misdiagnosed (with potentially significant consequences), and went home in an aircast.


Captain Quinn to the rescue

In yesterday’s post, “Ask and ye shall receive. Really.“, I talked about the importance of reaching out for help, particularly in the health arena. I injured my foot a few months ago and found out last week that I’d actually managed to break it. I wanted to know whom to see–a top-notch orthopedist as old breaks can be problematic–and how to stay in shape if I were to have to withdraw from my fitness class. My normal approach would be DIY: conducting online research to find the doctor and learn about my fitness options. But this time was different. I sent emails and called people who I thought might be able to help me. All responded, one of whom was Jon Quinn, the head of Captain Quinn’s Fitness Boot Camp.


Ask and ye shall receive. Really.

After learning a few days ago that I’d managed to break a bone in my right foot, I decided to do something that’s relatively new to me in regard to personal health. I asked for help.