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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Cancer in the news

Thanks to BoingBoing (, I saw this story yesterday:

Cancer is even more complicated than we thought

quote from the story: "Scientists have long known that the same type of cancer can play out in very different ways, from a genetic perspective, in one patient compared to another. But this new research shows that, even within the same patient—even within the same tumor—different samples of cancer cells have more genetic differences than they have similarities."

As a person with Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma, I figured on this all the time, but find it interesting that they say all cancers are more complicated. When we who are ACC-wearers check in with each other, we often find very different stories about how things (treatment side-effects, progression or regression of the cancer, etc.) are experienced. I bet if we had 200 of us rare cancer wearers together, very little would be in common outside of the biggies of us all having cancer invade our persons and our lives, and living through 'the valley of the shadow' of treatment and healing. Our doctors (gp's, oncologists, surgeons, take your pick) are basically bookies (well-meaning, excellently trained, caring), trying to outguess where or even if the cancer is coming back (pretty much with ACC, they agree that the "when" is a given, if we live long enough otherwise). So far, I am keeping my bookies poor - their bets haven't been successful, and I am still casting a shadow and paying taxes, while dodging expensive tracking procedures that haven't been proven to lengthen my lifespan.

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