I was 11 years old when I learned to ride a bicycle. 20 when my elbows touched my knees in my first successful sit-up. 30 when I learned to swim. Then, in my 40s, I faced a real physical challenge: Cancer.
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• Good news, coffee addicts of the world: Yesterday, the World Health Organization officially took coffee off of its list of possible carcinogens, which it’s been on since 1991, and said that drinking coffee could actually protect against a number of cancers. That said, researchers did note that, surprisingly, drinking coffee—or any beverage, for that matter—when it’s super hot could contribute to esophageal cancer, so make sure to let your java cool before you sip! [New York Times] Read more »
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia | Photo by Jeff Fusco
It’s the end of the workweek and we could all use a good, stress-relieving happy cry, couldn’t we? Well, here we go: The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Dr. Richard Aplenc, who has been working with pediatric blood cancer at CHOP since 2000, was just awarded a $1 million grant by Hyundai Hope on Wheels to further pediatric cancer research and hopefully take a step toward transforming the way acute myeloid leukemia, which currently has a cure rate of between 50 and 60 percent, is treated. As he says, “We are very, very excited. This gives us resources to do something we wouldn’t be able to do before.”
If you are tearing up right now (because money to help sick kids!), feel no shame: I might’ve teared up as I was talking to Dr. Aplenc, which is significantly more embarrassing. Read more »
• Welp, this will make you think twice about your bagel addiction: A new study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention found that people whose diets included lots of high-glycemic foods (hi, bagels) saw a nearly 50 percent jump in their risk for lung cancer. And, interestingly, this didn’t just apply to smokers. [Women’s Health]
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Tom Wolf speaks at the press conference about his cancer diagnosis this morning.
Gov. Tom Wolf has prostate cancer, he announced today.
It was caught early, Wolf said at a press conference, and is not expected to interfere at all with his duties as governor. In the coming weeks, he will undergo treatment. He said that, because he caught it early, his prognosis is excellent.
“I’m convinced it’s eminently treatable,” Wolf said. “I feel great. It was detected very early, so the procedure is going to be a truly minor one.” Wolf said he won’t undergo chemotherapy.
The treatments for his cancer will not require him to hand over power to Lt. Gov. Mike Stack. He said he’ll undergo his treatment in the York area, where he’s from, and will take a short vacation at some point with his family before treatment starts. “I haven’t had a vacation yet as governor,” Wolf said. Read more »
Vice President Joe Biden, pictured with Penn president Dr. Amy Gutmann, launches a “moonshot” initiative to hasten a cure for cancer at Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center in Philadelphia on January 15, 2016.
Joe Biden called it a moonshot, but the vice president says he’s realistic about the fight against cancer. He doesn’t want people to think the push against cancer, announced by President Obama in Tuesday’s State of the Union address, is some over-the-top declaration that we’re going to find a cure for cancer immediately.
“My goal is that we find absolute cures, but for some cancers where we get to the point where we can manage them and they become chronic diseases,” Biden said at Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center on Friday afternoon. “The goal is: Whatever breakthroughs we can make in 10 years, my goal is to make sure we can do it in five years.”
Biden was in West Philadelphia to talk with doctors and kick off the push against cancer, which Biden says is less of a program and more of a way to see how he and the U.S. government can be a “value-add” to the fight against the disease. Biden’s son, Beau, died of brain cancer last year at the age of 57.
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Photo courtesy of Sarah Frank
Sarah Frank, of Blue Bell, Pa., was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in March of this year. Upon first hearing the devastating news, the 23-year-old was told her chances of being cured were 80 to 90 percent. However, she relapsed back in August and was forced to go on leave in her last year at Drexel University when her chances of survival dropped to around 40 percent. Frank has since undertaken a form of art therapy to help her cope.
An example of one of Frank’s floral paintings.
“I long for a sense of control, but it’s hard to find it in much: not in my own health, not in others’ reactions to my situation, not in how I feel physically and emotionally day-to-day,” says Frank. “Making art takes me out of my own head and gives me a break from the chaos of the outside world. It gives me the chance to focus on something totally my own, totally within my control.”
The young artist first stumbled upon finger-painting a few years back when she was suffering with depression. She turned to acrylics as a method of escape from the chaos and anxiety. “Its an activity kindergarteners embrace. I figured I couldn’t fail, and I had the potential to surprise myself.” Surprise herself, she did. Frank continues to embrace the craft today in her more recent battle with Hodgkin’s — and come to find out, she has a real talent for it.
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Taylor Swift with Delaney Clements. From @delaneyy.bug on Instagram.
Leave it to Taylor Swift to never leave a dry eye in the room. The pop star decided to, in typical Taylor fashion, surprise a super fan by paying a visit during the busy holiday season. Read more »
A new report released today by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer labels processed meat — hot dogs, bacon, cold cuts, and so on — a Group 1 carcinogen, in the same group as cigarettes. So what does that mean, you ask? Well, it means that, after lots of research, WHO now considers processed meat carcinogenic to humans. Red meat was placed in Group 2, as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” Yikes. Read more »
A new study out of Harvard proves what horn dogs have been trying to tell us for years: orgasming doesn’t only feel good—it can make you live longer, too!
The study reveals that men who ejaculate more often during their lifetime—about 21 times a month—have a 22 percent lower risk of getting prostate cancer.
There’s some heft behind the results, too: There were 32,000 males in good health involved in the study over the course of 18 years, which makes it the largest scientific study to date on male ejaculation. To get the results, subjects chronicled and shared their monthly ejaculation practices—from masturbation to full-on sex—between the ages of 20 and 29, and 40 and 49.
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