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Orlando MAGA Rally, June 18, 2019 (C-SPAN)

Joseph "Beau" Robinette Biden III died of cancer in May of 2015. As a result, his father, Joseph "Joe" Robinette Biden Jr., made reference to curing cancer in a public appearance in Iowa on June 11.

People understood the importance for the former Vice President in light of the death of his eldest son and namesake from brain cancer. The younger Biden had been the 44th Attorney General of Maryland and also served the United States Army as a Major in the Army Judge Advocate General's Corps.

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This illustration picture shows a saliva collection kit for DNA testing displayed in Washington DC on December 19, 2018. - Between 2015 and 2018, sales of DNA test kits boomed in the United States and allowed websites to build a critical mass of DNA profiles. The four DNA websites that offer match services -- Ancestry, 23andMe, Family Tree DNA, My Heritage -- today have so many users that it is rare for someone not to find at least one distant relative. (Photo by Eric BARADAT / AFP) (Photo credit should read ERIC BARADAT/AFP/Getty Images)

Genetic testing company 23andMe has just gotten FDA approval to sell a test for hereditary colorectal cancer syndrome directly to their consumers.

The test examines three genetic variants of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry that have indicated a correlation to the cancer syndrome. It's the second time that 23andMe has been approved for a cancer test based on genetic mutations, with the first being a test for the BRCA gene which can act as a litmus test for the likelihood of developing breast cancer.

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A anesthesiologist prepares a kidney donor in the operating room for a kidney transplant at Johns Hopkins Hospital June 26, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. The US Supreme Court is expected to announce their decision on the US President Barack Obama's healthcare law on June 28. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI

Few would argue with the importance of organ donation—138 million people in the U.S. have signed up as organ donors, and with more than 114 million Americans on the organ transplant waiting list as of August, the need for donors is greater than ever.

While typical complications for a recipient of a donated organ include rejection, surgery complications and infection, a recent case in the U.K. brought to light yet another risk even doctors couldn’t foresee: Donations by a woman with undiagnosed breast cancer resulted in four of the recipients of her organs contracting a “histologically similar” type of breast cancer over a period of 16 months to six years. Three out of four of them eventually died.

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Screenshot via YouTube.

Cancer continues to be one of the most prominent causes of death globally. According to the World Health Organization (or WHO), cancer accounted for more than 7 million deaths worldwide in 2008, and in the span between 2008 and 2030 the annual death rate is expected to shoot up more than 45% to nearly 13 million deaths. The National Cancer Institute has determined that for every 100,000 persons there will be 439 new cases reported and 164 cancer-related deaths.

Further broken down, on a daily basis, there are projected to be 4,750 new cases and 1,670 deaths. And these staggering spread and mortality rates are for a disease that cannot be spread from person-to-person. It is frightening to contemplate what the statistics would be if cancer were communicable and how much higher the rates of incidence and attributable deaths would be. While contagious forms of cancer do exist, humans are fortunately not susceptible to them.

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Cancer can develop in a variety of different organs, with each type of cancer presenting different signatures detectable via individual specialized methods. Cancer researchers have long sought to discover a way to detect multiple forms of cancer (over 100 in all) with a single test. Recently, scientists at a Silicon Valley healthcare company called GRAIL have succeeded in such a breakthrough, producing a blood test that can recognize 10 unique types of cancer with varying degrees of certainty.

In general, cancer is a unique disease in that a person’s immune system cannot recognize the key players, which are a person’s own cells turned against them. Since the immune system is designed to distinguish between “self” and “non-self,” cancer cells frequently slip through. Thus, scientists have expended significant time and resources to identify markers on cancer cells that are distinctive relative to normal healthy cells, which would aid in the detection of cancer.

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Turns out there’s more to worry about than pain, potential infection and skin aging when getting a tattoo: Scientists say the inks can actually migrate to the lymph nodes.

Researchers in Europe examined four cadavers with tattoos and two without, and found that the tattooed bodies’ lymph nodes contained multiple colored pigments. Taking it a step further, the researchers then tattooed corpses with synchrotron X-ray fluorescence, which allowed them to not only confirm that tattoo ink can migrate through the lymphatic system, but cause the lymph nodes to become inflamed as well. The findings were published in Scientific Reports in 2017.

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Cancer is a demon that doctors have desperately tried to exorcise for decades. It is the body turned against itself, where the natural programming of healthy cells runs amok. The dysregulation of the orderly signaling pathways is linked to the balance between cellular growth and cellular specialization of the cell life cycle. The result is unrestrained cellular proliferation accumulating into large tumors that interrupt the normal functions of vital organs.

Since cancerous cells are derived from normal cells of the body, the human immune system does not see them as disease because the immune system is trained only to distinguish between “self” and “non-self.” This prevents the body from attacking itself, though disorders where this mechanism fails are known as autoimmune diseases.

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