Archive for August, 2015

Mum with terminal cancer writes a lifetime of greeting cards for her daughter.Video story here.

Monday, August 17th, 2015

Mum with terminal cancer writes a lifestyle of greeting cards for her daughter image

Mum with terminal cancer writes a lifestyle of greeting cards for her daughter. Photo: Facebook

Heather McManamy has written a letter to her four-year-old daughter for every milestone she will miss.

The wife and mother of one, has terminal cancer but she is determined to stay in her family’s life long after she is gone.

“I did them from when she’s older or younger — random encouragement, bad day, wedding, driver license, even first breakup,” Heather, 35, of Wisconsin, told ABC News.

“Every one of these that I get to hand out in person will be an accomplishment.”

In 2013 Heather was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer, but received a terminal diagnosis in August 2014.

Despite this, Heather says she will do anything to be here a little longer for her daughter Brianna and her husband.

“I’m in my fourth round of chemo — nine in total,” she said.

“I guess I still have hope. I’m just not ready to say goodbye yet. It’s really painful to know that they’re going to be sad and I won’t be there to comfort them.”

Heather and her husband have been together for 13 years, in what she calls a “really special relationship”.

For the last few months Heather has been raiding stores looking for greeting cards to leave behind for her daughter – she has 40 in total, the ABC reports.

“They’re like this physical representation of ‘this is all of the stuff I’m going to miss,” she said.

“I’m going to miss everything and I never like missing anything. I’m always the last one to leave the party.”

Despite growing up with a mum who has cancer, Heather says her daughter is “so happy and hilarious.”

“She’s a special, empathetic kid and she really cares for other people.”

“I don’t care what she does in her life,” Heather said.

“I just want her to find her happiness. Life it short. If she’s true to herself, everything will be OK.”

Watch the full story here below.


Henry Sapiecha

The new frontier in treating cancer

Monday, August 17th, 2015

Dr Kylie Mason, who survived leukaemia as a teenager, now treats and researches blood cancers image

Dr Kylie Mason, who survived leukaemia as a teenager, now treats and researches blood cancers. Photo: Justin McManus

Ask a medical researcher if we will ever find a cure for cancer and the answer will likely come cushioned with a gentle smile and shake of the tilted head before it’s verbalised – no.

“It’s an infinite number of diseases, it’s not just one disease,” says leukaemia researcher and scientist at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and Melbourne University Kylie Mason. “The more we know the more we realise what we don’t know.”

Progress, helped by advances in everything from supercomputing to immunotherapy and genomics, is nevertheless being made.

In Dr Mason’s field alone, researchers have gone from believing that there were just two kinds of non-Hodgkin lymphoma to having identified more than 60 types. And that’s not including the subtypes that have been documented.

According to the Cancer Council, the five-year survival rate for all cancers has improved from 47 per cent between 1982-87 to 67 per cent in 2007-11.

And there is more improvement to come, thanks to the advent of what is called personalised medicine which tailors treatment to the individual’s profile, not the cancer.

“Every patient is an individual,” said Dr Mason, who herself survived leukaemia as a teenager. “They are going to respond differently to somebody else with the same named diagnosis. We’re not treating a cancer, we’re treating a patient.”

Bowel cancer clinician-scientist Jayesh Desai from The Royal Melbourne Hospital and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute will join Dr Mason and colleagues to discuss the question of curing cancer at the Science in the Square Festival on Wednesday, as part of National Science Week.

For Dr Desai, personalised medicine is the new frontier.

“The breakthroughs will come and the progress will be made by having more of an in-depth understanding of how a particular patient’s cancer behaves,” he said.

This means understanding at a molecular level the changes that occur in an individual, allowing it to grow and divide, rather than treating all kinds of bowel cancer in the same way.

“To be able to do molecular and genomic tests allows us to much better understand what makes a patient’s cancer behave in a particular way and that will allow for more tailored treatments,” Dr Desai said.

He said while a cure for cancer would likely remain elusive, improving treatment and the quality of life for patients would be where progress was made.

Immunotherapy drugs, which stimulate the immune system to overcome the resistance put up by cancer cells, are having an impact, particularly with melanoma.

“It’s arguably the most exciting thing that’s going in cancer at the moment,” he said.

Generally treatment falls into two categories: targeting the immune system or targeting the cancer. Dr Desai said the next phase could be combining the two.

“The solutions won’t be simple because the problem isn’t,” he said. “What we’re trying to do with many cancers is to turn it into a chronic disease.”

More than 131,000 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in Australia this year, according to the Cancer Council.

Chief executive of Cancer Council Victoria Todd Harper said while there had been an improvement in survival rates for common cancers such as breast, bowel and cervical, survival rates for less common cancers such as brain, stomach and kidney had barely increased in recent decades.

“We still don’t know enough about less common cancers,” he said.


Henry Sapiecha


Sunday, August 9th, 2015





cannabis oil in bottle image
The cultural narrative of many countries is one that speaks of the cannabis plant as being a legitimate threat to mental and physical health and therefore rendering it a threat to the populace — deserving to be forbidden and restricted behind government classification.

This typically archaic mentality is slowly peeling away, layer by layer, around the world. Governing bodies are starting to accept the science that recognizes the medicinal value of the plant, displaying its effectiveness against an array of disorders from the minor to the major.

In regards to the major: the internet is now abundantly flourishing with evidence — of both the anecdotal and scientific varieties — that suggests and outright proves cannabis, in all its taboo-shattering glory, is effective against tumor cells and certain types of cancer……MORE

Henry Sapiecha <<MORE HERE