The American Cancer Society was founded in New York City on May 22, 1913. (That's a hundred years ago today.) Back then it was called the American Society for the Control of Cancer. It's funny to think of "celebrating" in terms of a disease like cancer. And it sure would be better if there was never any need for an American Cancer Society in the first place. But here we are, left saying "fuck cancer" anytime someone like David Rakoff or Adam Yauch dies way, way too young, and so to the people who are working so hard to make it be so that we [...]
(This letter is an excerpt from the new memoir Public Apology, out today!)
Sorry for choosing Hannah and Her Sisters when you asked me to go out and rent some movies for our family to watch to get our minds off the fact that Dad had been diagnosed with cancer.
You remember, I'm sure, that this was just a couple weeks before I graduated from high school. It must have been a weekend, because we were all at home in the afternoon. Dad walked in to the TV room with his friend David Landy. You could tell that David Landy had been crying.
"The doctor just hit me [...]
"Eight out of 10 couches contain flame retardant chemicals that are linked to heightened cancer risk, developmental delays in children or are lacking adequate health information, according to a study released today by UC Berkeley and Duke University researchers." —There's another reason to get off the sofa: It's giving you the cancer.
Visualizing a downpour of rain on Colorado.
— Marianne Williamson (@marwilliamson) June 28, 2012
Neat! Megalomaniacal New Age preacher-shill Marianne Williamson has been mounting a comeback and I didn't even know it! She is a wingnut, and a former associate of the uber-wingnut Louise Hay, who—well, let her tell you her own parable of manifesting a sore throat because she wants to be pitied. You know, because we all make ourselves sick with our thoughts. HOW do you beat those thoughts? I'm glad you asked.
"An international panel of experts says cellphones are possibly carcinogenic to humans after reviewing details from dozens of published studies…. The group classified cellphones in category 2B, meaning they are possibly carcinogenic to humans. Other substances in that category include the pesticide DDT and gasoline engine exhaust."
I really don't want to share this with you, but I guess I probably have to: "There's a worrisome uptick in the incidence of certain head and neck cancers among middle-aged and even younger Americans, and some experts link the trend to a rise in the popularity of oral sex over the past few decades." Please don't let this news affect your positive feelings about blowjobs. I'm sure they're working on a cure right now.
— Matthew Zeitlin (@MattZeitlin) May 14, 2013
love to Angelina, but if the cure to breast cancer is that woman have to get their breasts removed before they get cancer, we are in trouble
— Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik) May 14, 2013
"Raising awareness" about a test that is too expensive to be affordable for most people is kind of problematic.
— Aaron Bady (@zunguzungu) May 14, 2013
— Justin Evans (@Justinevans0502) May 14, 2013
“You know what would be news? [...]
"Biologists first encountered the cancer in the late 1990s. The tumors grew on the devils’ faces or inside their mouths, and within six months the animals were dead. The first cases appeared in eastern Tasmania, and with each passing year the cancer’s range expanded westward. When scientists examined the cells in the tumors, they got a baffling surprise. The DNA from each tumor did not match the Tasmanian devil on which it grew. Instead, it matched the tumors on other devils. That meant that the cancer was contagious, spreading from one animal to another." —Nature, in all its weird and terrifying glory, is killing off the already endangered Tasmanian [...]
"Our latest estimations show that for many cancers, adjusting for age, death rates are set to fall dramatically in the coming decades." —University of London cancer researcher Peter Sasieni discusses cheery recent medical science data. Meanwhile, in the field of military science, Californian airship manufacturer Aeros is designing the Aeroscraft Ballast-less Variable Buoyancy Cargo Airlift Vehicle. This looks like a super-cool spaceship that could bring food to starving people in desolate, difficult-to-reach places. But judging from the video above, which is enjoyably labeled "DO NOT COPY OR DISTRIBUTE" on YouTube, it will instead be used to bring tanks to the Antarctica for when we go to WW III [...]
I was lucky enough to have been at Santos Party House on Monday night, where this great thing happened when Killer Mike came onstage at the release party for El-P's new album Cancer 4 Cure. They were going to perform a song called "Butane"—a duet from Killer Mike's new album, R.A.P. Music, which El-P produced—but there was a glitch with the music equipment. It turned out that El-P didn't have the R.A.P. Music instrumental tracks with him. So they did it a capella, and it ended up being even better that way. The whole concert was excellent. (I know I have been going on about these [...]
Here you will find a list of things the Daily Mail has claimed give you cancer. [SPOILER: Includes Worcestershire sauce.]
You've lost so much weight. You look fantastic! Thanks for noticing! My doctor says I'm malnourished.
You're strong and I know you can beat this. Are you going to be disappointed in me if I die?
I read that kelp/almonds/asparagus have magical anti-cancer properties. You should definitely eat some, then.
I know what you're going through. Your grandfather's colostomy bag does not make you an expert on my medical situation.
That reminds me of when my dog/cat/gerbil had a tumor on her leg. I'm sure that was heartbreaking for you.
Remember, Taj, the oldest elephant in America, who died this week? (I hope you do, it was like 48 hours ago.) Remember that she liked to paint? Well, five-and-a-half years ago, her caretakers at Six Flags Marine World had her paint a picture for a woman named Lindsey who had pancreatic cancer. A month later, Lindsey died. She was 26.
Will reheating food in plastic containers give you the cancers? Probably. I mean, everything else seems to, so it seems unlikely that it wouldn't. On the other hand, you're gonna die anyway, and carrying around a ceramic bowl is super-inconvenient. It's a toss-up, I guess.
Bad news for women who like to have a cigarette now and then while drinking a six pack of wine: Even one smoke more than doubles your risk of keeling over dead from a heart attack. Results from a three-decade study that followed the health habits of 101,000 American nurses found that even very light smoking dramatically increased the incidence of "sudden cardiac death"—these are the sneaky kind of heart attacks that just knock people over dead, with no warning and no previously known medical conditions.
Light-to-moderate smokers were twice as likely to die of sudden heart problems than those who had never smoked. But those who quit [...]
"And then there was the matter of how they talked. My parents and their friends spoke this exotic language very slowly. There were other odd things. For instance, they often slept standing up, and this group narcolepsy could strike right in the middle of the most dynamic conversation. Someone would start a sentence: 'Those ofay cats bopping out on the stoop are blowin’ like Birrr . . . ' and suddenly the words would begin to come out slower. And. Slower. Soon they wouldn’t be speaking at all. Eventually our living room would be filled with black and white hipsters suspended in time and space, while I ran through the [...]
"Scientists have worked out how caffeine might protect against certain skin cancers – a finding that could lead to better sunscreens. The research, conducted in mice, suggests that caffeine changes the activity of a gene involved in the destruction of cells that have DNA damage and are therefore more likely to become cancerous. The scientists said this may lead to new ways of preventing skin cancer, though other experts cautioned that it did not mean coffee lovers were better protected against the disease." —Science now knows why coffee lovers are better protected against skin cancer.
Now that we've covered what not to say, let's talk about some winning things to say to somebody with cancer.
These are my preferences after more than 20 years as a cancer patient, then a cancer survivor, and then a cancer patient again. Clearly different things are going to bug different people. You will do the best you can because you're a nice person, and your friend with cancer will be able to tell that you are doing the best you can. Don't over-think this.
1. I don't know what to say. If you're feeling uncomfortable talking to us, we can probably tell. The best way to dispel [...]
Do you want to care about something boring and dull but important? Sure you do! While the budget is being hammered out for our fine country's 2011 fiscal year, so far the House has suggested they'd be happy cutting $1.6 billion from the National Institutes of Health. What's that you say? We pay money from our taxes to go to health research? How disgusting! But it turns out that when legislators actually know what the NIH does, they want to give it more money, not less. Also? Unlike much of the government, the NIH makes money [PDF] for America. Through science! While they are, you know, curing [...]