Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A new meaning for “Passing the Sniff Test”: Cancer Detection

Ms. Angela Zimm in a Bloomberg article reports that University of Pennsylvania researchers have found that Tsunami (pictured above) is more than 90 percent successful in identifying the scent of ovarian cancer in tissue samples, opening a new window on a disease with no effective test for early detection that kills 14,000 Americans a year.  When found early, there’s a five-year survival rate of over 90 percent.

Impressed? But wait, there’s more!

The largest study ever done on cancer-sniffing dogs found they can detect prostate cancer by smelling urine samples with 98 percent accuracy. “Our study demonstrates the use of dogs might represent in the future a real clinical opportunity if used together with common diagnostic tools,” said Gian Luigi Taverna, the author of the prostate cancer research reported yesterday at the American Urological Association in Boston.


PS - Given the way my dog, Louis, used to greet strangers, the prostate finding doesn’t surprise me at all

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Thursday, July 24, 2014

GBM: Where to find more detailed (survival) stats?

Everybody I’ve met who’s had a brain tumor wants to know the stats: what are my odds? How long will I live? What if I eat lots of chia seeds? I’m a stage III GBM, what are those odds? 

The discussion thread was started with the following questions: “I've read all the general stats for a grade IV GBM, but where can I find more detailed information? For instance, how does the survival rate differ for operable vs. inoperable tumors? How does it differ by age group? Is there a site or source that gives details such as these?

Copyright: <a href=''>gabivali / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

This Made Me Sad: It’s Just is on Break

I’m worried. The wonderfully, fierce, tenacious Beth Rosenthal appears to be fighting another health issue. Here’s an email I just received:

“We at It's Just Benign hope you're enjoying the summer. We regret to tell you that IJB is temporarily on a break. Beth Rosenthal, the founder & Executive Director, has been ill for a few months and needs to take care of herself. Hopefully she'll be back on her feet in a few weeks. She apologizes for not sending out thank you letters, returning emails, etc. over the last few months but, she's not up to it. Unfortunately, no one presently understands how to run IJB like Beth does. Therefore, please accept our apologies while she take a much needed break and hopefully she'll regain her strength soon. If you need to reach Beth, email her at and she'll reply as promptly as she can.”

If you know Beth, please wish her the best, contribute some ¢ or even some $ to her website and, if you are so inclined, pray for her.

I will.


PS - Here's a link to her website:

Copyright: <a href=''>peerayot / 123RF Stock Photo</a>