Although cancer researchers have made major strides in recent years and more people than ever are surviving longer, these advances haven’t always been accompanied by improvements in quality of life. That’s the subject of this special Cancer Health report—and it’s the next big challenge for the cancer community. Finding effective new treatments is absolutely essential—after all, there’s no quality of life if there’s no life. Making quality of life more central to cancer care means paying more attention to the experiences of people with cancer, from diagnosis through treatment and survival. Here are some key issues, with recommendations for ways the American system of cancer care has to change and tips on how individuals living with cancer—and their caregivers—can advocate for the best quality of life.
Since emerging in late 2019, COVID-19 has killed almost 2 million people. These data showed that over 310,000 deaths were associated with COVID-19, placing it third among the leading causes of death in 2020. According to the mathematicians, there was enough distance between the number of U.S. deaths caused by cancer (the second leading cause of death in 2019) and those caused by unintentional injuries (the fourth leading cause of mortality in 2019) to conclude that COVID-19 fell at number three on the list in 2020. Heart disease was still the leading cause of death in the United States. During the week of December 5, researchers at the University of Washington said COVID-19 had actually surpassed ischemic heart disease as the leading cause of death in America that week, reported NBC News.
As Los Angeles hospitals give record numbers of COVID patients oxygen, the systems and equipment needed to deliver the life-sustaining gas are faltering. “It’s been nuts, absolutely nuts,” said Esteban Trejo, general manager of Syoxsa, an industrial and medical gas distributor based in El Paso. When a hospital draws more and more liquid oxygen from those tanks, the super-cold liquid can seep further into the vaporizing coils where liquid oxygen turns to gas. But that puts additional strain on the hospitals’ cylinder oxygen supply, as well as the medical gas supplier, Karcher said. They thought something was broken, but when engineers took a look, Christensen said, it became clear the system was just not able to provide the amount of high-flow oxygen patients needed.
Thirty years in the making, the test may soon improve prostate cancer treatment. In any given year, 174,600 men in the United States will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and 31,600 will die of it. By making prostate cancer cells beam on a PET scan, the new test identifies whether metastasis has occurred and if so, where. In the 1990s, cancer researchers found that prostate cancer cells express a distinct protein on their surfaces that can be detected by small molecules. To learn more about this test, read “PSMA PET-CT Accurately Detects Prostate Cancer Spread, Trial Shows.” And to read about another innovation in prostate cancer treatment, see “Minimally Invasive Ultrasound Ablation Can Treat Prostate Cancer.”
Less than a week after President Trump incited a violent insurrection at the Capitol that sent hundreds of lawmakers into hiding and left five people dead, House Democrats are preparing to impeach him for the second time in 13 months. Dodd thinks an impeachment push at this moment would rally the GOP around Trump. Without even mentioning impeachment, Biden has said that he wants Congress to “hit the ground running” on legislation mitigating the health and economic crises paralyzing the country. Experts on both sides of the aisle believe Democrats can build a strong legal case for impeachment. A conviction in the Senate would require 67 votes, meaning least 17 Senate Republicans would need to join Democrats in voting to remove Trump from office.
CDC Expands Negative COVID-19 Test Requirement to All Air Passengers Entering the United StatesThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expanding the requirement for a negative COVID-19 test to all air passengers entering the United States. Testing before and after travel is a critical layer to slow the introduction and spread of COVID-19. Pre-departure testing with results known and acted upon before travel begins will help identify infected travelers before they board airplanes. Airlines must confirm the negative test result for all passengers or documentation of recovery before they board. If a passenger does not provide documentation of a negative test or recovery, or chooses not to take a test, the airline must deny boarding to the passenger.
The Mediterranean diet is well known for its role in helping to prevent heart disease, diabetes and several forms of cancer. But for some men with prostate cancer, this healthy and delicious way of eating may also slow existing disease. Researchers at the university followed 410 men with low-grade prostate cancer on active surveillance. Researchers calculated their Mediterranean diet score across nine energy-adjusted good groups and then split them into three groups (high, medium and low) based on their adherence to diet. For African-American men, these findings are crucial, as a prostate cancer diagnosis, higher risk of death from prostate cancer and disease progression are much higher among this group.
First, they prevent infected people from spreading the virus to others (masks act as “source control”). So, we need to urgently get these more effective “high-filtration” masks to all Americans. We can learn from the remarkable success of South Korea and Singapore, where governments early on manufactured and distributed high-filtration masks (e.g. I was one of over 50 U.S. public health experts who signed a Dec. 15 open letter to the federal government, led by Dr. Michael Mina at the Harvard T.H. The toll will keep rising unless we start treating COVID-19 as a national emergency that warrants aggressive public health actions.
President-elect Joe Biden has picked transgender physician Rachel Levine, MD, to serve as assistant secretary for health at the Department of Health and Human Services. A pediatrician with degrees from Harvard College and Tulane Medical School, Levine currently serves as Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Health and as the state’s physician general. To have a former state Secretary of Health in the [assistant secretary of health] position in the coming months, when there is an urgent need for closer alliance between federal and state pandemic policies, will be invaluable. “We are confident that Dr. Levine is one of the best possible candidates to serve as Assistant Secretary for Health in this time of extraordinary demands on our public health system. She would also make an excellent Assistant Secretary of Mental Health and Substance Use.
Feeling Stressed? Ways to Improve Your Well-BeingHave you been feeling more stressed than usual? “It’s the feeling that you’re overloaded, out of control, and unable to cope,” she says. Ways to De-StressThe first step is to recognize the signs that you’re stressed beyond a normal level. “It’s well known that slow breathing techniques have a positive effect on emotional state,” says Dr. Jack Feldman of UCLA, an expert on the neuroscience of breathing.
What A Year It Was for Science Advances! Here’s a quick rundown of all the pioneering advances in biomedical research, both NIH and non-NIH funded:Shots of Hope. This breakthrough has the potential to accelerate the fields of structural biology and protein research, fueling progress throughout the sciences. That’s why the editors and writers at Science singled out “a second pandemic of misinformation” as its Breakdown of the Year. Links:COVID-19 Research (NIH)2020 Science Breakthrough of the Year (American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington, D.C)
Accelerating Cures in the Genomic Age: The Sickle Cell ExamplePosted on December 11th, 2018 by Dr. Francis CollinsCredit: Jill George, NIHForty-five years ago, when I was a first-year medical student, a lecturer introduced me to a young man with sickle cell disease (SCD). Sickle cell disease is the first “molecular disease”, with its cause having been identified decades ago. In fact, it inspired some of my earliest research on human hemoglobin disorders, which I conducted as a postdoctoral fellow. Somatic cell gene editing is associated with ethical issues that are much more in line with decades of deep thinking about benefits and risks of therapeutic trials. December 3, 2018Links:Sickle Cell Disease (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute/NIH)Cure Sickle Cell Initiative (NHLBI)John Tisdale (NHLBI)Somatic Cell Genome Editing Program (Common Fund/NIH)What are genome editing and CRISPR-Cas9?
Genes, Blood Type Tied to Risk of Severe COVID-19Posted on June 18th, 2020 by Dr. Francis CollinsCaption: Micrograph of SARS-CoV-2 virus particles isolated from a patient. In contrast, people with blood type O appear to have about a 50 percent reduced risk of severe COVID-19. Their study included 1,980 people undergoing treatment for severe COVID-19 and respiratory failure at seven medical centers in Italy and Spain. The analysis identified two places that turned up significantly more often in the individuals with severe COVID-19 than in the healthy folks. The researchers did find evidence suggesting a relationship between blood type and COVID-19 risk.
As Black History Month kicks off, the Black community continues to mourn the loss of beloved actress and icon Cicely Tyson, who died January 28 at age 96. “With heavy heart, the family of Miss Cicely Tyson announces her peaceful transition this afternoon,” said her longtime manager, Larry Thompson, in a statement issued January 28, according to The Associated Press (AP). Tyson garnered praise for her role in the 1972 film Sounder, which earned her both Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations. At age 88, Tyson won her first Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for the Broadway production of The Trip to Bountiful. She had a heart unlike any other—and for 96 years, she left a mark on the world that few will ever match.”Hillary and I mourn the passing of Cicely Tyson.
CDC has issued an order that requires face masks to be worn by all travelers while on public transportation (which includes all passengers and all personnel operating conveyances). A public transportation conveyance is any mode of transportation other than a private vehicle. Types of public transportation conveyances include airplanes, trains, subways, buses, taxis, ride-shares, ferries, ships, trolleys, and cable cars. People should wear masks that completely cover the mouth and nose and fits snugly against the sides of the face. A transportation hub is any location where people gather to await, board, or disembark public transportation.
Uterine fibroids are benign (noncancerous) growths or tumors found in the uterus. The cause of uterine fibroids is unknown, but family history is a risk factor for their development. The presence of high levels of hormones—as are seen during pregnancy—helps fibroids grow bigger. African-American women are more often affected by fibroids; additionally, in Black women, fibroids tend to appear at a younger age and grow more quickly. Because women may lack symptoms, uterine fibroids are often discovered during a routine gynecological pelvic exam or through image studies.
“I don’t have any children, so I asked questions because nobody had ever mentioned fibroids to me before,” she says. He told Abudeye that having fibroids would make it harder to give birth. “But no one in my family, even distant family, had fibroids,” Abudeye says. Abudeye considered her options and chose to go on birth control, one way her doctor said she could manage the condition. As a result of her initial experience years ago with her general practitioner, Abudeye doesn’t automatically accept what a doctor says.
A New Hampshire police chief; a Philadelphia detective; two Seattle Police Department officers who traveled cross-country, to name just a few. “To think that there were police officers who participated in this plot against our country and this attack against our country, it’s heart-wrenching. A day after Acevedo spoke with TIME, a Houston Police Department officer was identified among those entering the Capitol during the riots. Two police officers from the Rocky Mount, Virginia police department have been charged with misdemeanors by federal authorities after being inside the Capitol during the riots. Protesters break into the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 06, 2021 in Washington, D.C.
There is a trust gap between Big Tech, the government and the population. To achieve Chinese levels of digital sophistication, while respecting democratic norms and free market liberties, we need a new relationship between Big Tech and its users. To begin with, citizens must be shown the potential benefits of sharing data and fuelling AI. The big data and machine learning has been shown to spot likely terrorist attacks before they happen. If Big Tech copied this business model we would give them not only more data, but higher quality (i.e.
On his first day in office, President Joe Biden sent an immigration bill to Congress filled with goals that are a far cry from the Trump Administration’s hardline policies. Along with proposals for a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who meet certain qualifications, Biden’s bill plans to address the deeper goal of addressing the root causes of migration, particularly from Central America. The bill would also establish centers throughout Central America for people to pursue refugee resettlement in either the U.S. or other countries. “[$4 billion] is an upgrade, and it will have significant consequences,” Ruiz tells TIME. López Obrador has worked with the U.S. and Canada on similar efforts made to address the root causes of migration in Central America, and in 2018 the U.S. backed Mexico by investing $5.8 billion.
At Wellness Axis we want to encourage habits of wellness, Increase awareness of factors and resources contributing to well-being, Inspire and empower individuals to take responsibility for their own health, and to support a sense of community. Wellness can be thought of as the quality or state of being in good health.