August 12, 2010

Young Woman Fakes Terminal Cancer to Raise Money for Herself

Filed under: cancer — Tags: , , , , — drwatson @ 4:28 pm

Ashley Kirilow, a 23 year old woman will be facing multiple charges of fraud under $5,000. The young woman from Ontario, Canada allegedly faked having terminal cancer in order to raise money for herself. Kirilow shaved her head and plucked her eyebrows to make it look as if she really was dying.

Kirilow was eventually caught when her father asked about her treatments at the hospital. Although he had his suspicions, it was not until the news from the hospital that he could confront his daughter and reveal what was really happening.

What is truly unfortunate is that many people gave generously in the belief that their money was going to be donated to help fund cancer research. Some people who were unaware that Kirilow was faking her illness even offered to help her collect funds. Now these people, who were only trying to help what they believed to be a good cause, are receiving death threats and other hate mail.

Other victims of Kirilow’s actions have to include all cancer research centers and any cancer treatment or cancer help centers. When someone uses donations for charity for their own personal gains, it always leaves many worried about donating.  Kirilow’s actions may cause hesitation among those wishing to donate to cancer charities.

As Kirilow is set to appear in court, she will do so without the support of her family. Her father says that they are unable to support her and the acts she has committed, no matter how much they’d like to.

December 10, 2009

Coffee May Help Prevent Prostate Cancer

To the fellow male coffee drinkers out there, I have amazing news (sorry ladies, this one is just for the guys). A study on coffee and its effect on prostate cancer was presented at the Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research conference in Houston, Texas, that showed a great deal of promise. The finding of the study showed that men who regularly drink coffee have a significantly lower risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer. However, before anyone (mostly me) jumps to any sort of final conclusion, the study will require further investigation, and I’m sure there will be a multitude of studies just to follow up this one.

At this point in time I would just like to point out that coffee is really proving itself as a drink that will help your health not harm it. Coffee is mostly a good thing, (yes there are those few black marks on coffee’s record) it has proven its ability to restore energy, focus the mind, decrease the severity of heart attacks or stroke, help protect against some cancers, type 2 diabetes, liver disease, and gallstones. Studies have shown that coffee helps prevent cavities, boosts a person’s mood, and helps stop headaches.

Remember if anyone asks why you drink coffee, you can tell them that you think the taste is awesome (which it is). And you can also tell them because of all the health benefits coffee provides. They’ll probably be confused due to the common misconception that coffee is bad for you, but you will know and that’s all that matters. After that, just walk away and feel like a champ, I know I would. Then go to the nearest coffee shop and buy yourself a victory cup.

November 30, 2009

Hope for Cancer Patients Could Rest In the Form of A Tiny Disk

A new hope for those suffering from cancer has recently surfaced. Scientists at Harvard University have developed an implant that may have just become the front runner in the long list of possible cancer treatments.

The miniature disk, only 8.5 millimeters in diameter, is filled with tumor-specific antigens and is placed under the skin in an attempt to reprogram the immune system. This reprogramming helps the body’s defenses recognize the cancer cells, which aren’t normally recognized as foreign. This allows the immune system T cells a chance to then find and eliminate tumor cells.

Unlike other vaccines that also focus on creating an immune attack, this treatment does not need to remove cells in order to reprogram them. This allows a much larger number of cells to survive, increasing effectiveness significantly.

Furthermore, this new treatment only targets the tumor cells. This means that unlike chemotherapy, there is no damage done to healthy tissue. Imagine a treatment that doesn’t leave the patient sick and looking like they could die right then and there. Instead, patients would be comfortable while being treated. Also, many of the researchers are hoping that because no healthy tissue is damaged, the chances of relapse will reduce drastically.

September 28, 2009

The High Tech Future For Battling Cancer

I’m sure the majority of people have seen movies like Star Wars or other science fiction movies. I’m also sure anyone who has seen anything like that has been waiting for our time to develop some cool futuristic gadgets like little pills that turn into full meals if you spray water on them or heat them in the microwave. Now that would be really cool and very convenient if we had those sort of tools, but unfortunately our time has not reached that level of awesomeness… yet. However, we are getting close and what may be the closest thing to one of those movie gadgets is a microchip that can detect cancer and possibly other infectious diseases.

Imagine how this sort of technology could effect the way medicine is practiced. We could potentially be looking at a much more efficient way of locating cancers. We would be able to determine the placement, type, and severity of the cancer, much more quickly. This could lead to the early detection of many cancers that are fatal if not found very early. Who knows maybe we’ll be able to find a way to actually destroy the cancerous cells with the microchip, avoiding surgery all together.

However, there are some downsides. We could become so dependent on this sort of technology and expect it to do all the work for us. What if there is a malfunction, will we be able to detect the wrong diagnosis by the machine? Will we still be able to do other tests for cancer? Hopefully this technology only helps us and leads to a better understanding of how our bodies work.

August 24, 2009

The Power of Marriage Helps Battle Cancer

Will finding that special someone help you survive cancer? Well a new study has shown that those that are married have a higher survival rate when compared to people that are single, divorced, or going through a separation.

Those that have found their life partner have a 63 per cent 5 year survival rate, and a 53 per cent 10 year survival rate. Followed by those that have never been married, then people who are divorced or widowed, and last are people who are going through a separation.

Obviously the stress of going through a split up takes a significant toll on the body. That damage lasts for the rest of your life and will always linger. However, those that are married or have never been married haven’t witnessed that sort of damage at least not for themselves. I would think this would help the person that is diagnosed use more of their energy on fighting cancer.

I think the only reason why married people have a better survival rate than people that have never been married is that married people have much more emotional support from their significant other. Their husband/wife is there helping them along the way, cutting some of the stress away and giving that person the chance to use more energy to fight the disease. Also, if I were married and diagnosed with cancer, I would feel the need to fight and beat cancer so I don’t leave my wife alone in the world. I would feel obligated to stay with my wife and be there to support her.

Regardless, marriage truly is an incredible union. Makes you wonder all the other illnesses that married people have a better chance of living through.

August 20, 2009

Tanning and Your Kids

A survey of 1,300 high school kids from six different schools showed that 53% of high school students like to tan. Not a huge shock that just over half of the kids like to tan, especially with what today’s celebrities look like (I’m not a huge fan of the orange skin though). Although the one major thing that I find ridiculous is how almost every kid that said they tanned didn’t think they would be affected.

It does have to make you wonder what are these kids learning? If your child is stupid enough to think that they won’t ever be affected by their tanning, then I am surprised natural selection hasn’t found them already. If your kid does tan and doesn’t get any sort of cancer, great, but don’t expect to never be affected by what you do. Tanning is a big invite for UV rays to come and do their worst. It will most likely lead to skin cancer.

Maybe its not the schools fault maybe the parents are to blame. Parents talk to their kids about tanning. At least make them wear sunscreen and tell them the sort of damage they are doing. If your child still goes out to tan try to make sure they don’t tan for too long. Also try to get them to tan occasionally if they really want to. Cancer isn’t fun, but you should know what could and most likely will happen to you if you stay out in the sun for too long, too often.

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