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What We're Reading

These pages are updated regularly with interesting articles that we've been reading on the subjects of cancer and, more importantly, disease prevention. We hope that you come back regularly to see what is new.

Cancer - General
The power - and the fear - of knowing your cancer genome hen it comes to cancer, all knowledge is power - even when that knowledge is scary. Knowing as much as you can about cancer lets you and your health care team act decisively in devising your treatment strategy. Even more important, it lets you act specifically in selecting treatments or clinical trials that might be best in treating your disease.
Blockchain Could Be the Solution to Health Care's Electronic Record Woes This morning, Senate Republicans moved Rep. Tom Price one step closer to the highest office of public health, rolling over a Democratic boycott in the finance committee and advancing his confirmation as Secretary of Health and Human Services to a full Senate vote.
The cancer lottery: precision oncology might save your life, or it might do nothing In her 30-year battle with breast cancer, Carmen Teixidor thought she had experienced every treatment doctors could hurl at the disease. She had endured multiple bouts of radiation and multiple courses of hormone therapy. She tried chemotherapy once, about 25 years ago, but it diminished the quality of her life so much that she's tried to avoid it ever since.
In-Depth: Consumer genomics and the road to legitimacy More than a decade ago, when most people were still using not-so-smart mobile phones, the first human genome was sequenced. It cost $3 billion. In the time it took for smartphones to become the essential consumer technology, DNA sequencing rapidly evolved from a costly, uncommonly used process into a quick, reliable, relatively cheap and widely used predictive tool to give insight on disease risk and personalized treatment.
Why cancer screening has never been shown to "save lives"-and what we can do about it Why cancer screening has never been shown to "save lives"-and what we can do about it
Cancer deaths hit their lowest rate in decades Cancer deaths have fallen to their lowest rate since the numbers peaked in 1991, but the decrease wasn't seen across all cancer types.
Practical Ethics Gyngell, Douglas, Savulescu There are rumours in the scientific community that the first studies involving the genetic modification of a human embryo are about to be published. If true this would be the first case of an experiment in which genes in germ c
Two-thirds in U.S. with invasive cancer live five or more years: study The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tracked patients diagnosed from 2003 to 2010 and found that the overall five-year survival rate for invasive cancer was 65 percent. A goal of a federal program called Healthy People 2020 is to reach a ra
If Patients Only Knew How Often Treatments Could Harm Them If we knew more, would we opt for different kinds and amounts of health care? Despite the existence of metrics to help patients appreciate benefits and harms, a new systematic review suggests that our expectations are not consistent with the facts.
A Faster Way to Try Many Drugs on Many Cancers Chemotherapy and radiation failed to thwart Erika Hurwitz's rare cancer of white blood cells. So her doctors offered her another option, a drug for melanoma. The result was astonishing. Within four weeks, a red rash covering her body, so painful she had r
Ray Kurzweil's Mind-Boggling Predictions for the Next 25 Years Ray Kurzweil's Mind-Boggling Predictions for the Next 25 Years 239,357 39 In my new book BOLD, one of the interviews that I'm most excited about is with my good friend Ray Kurzweil. Bill Gates calls Ray, "the best person I know at predicting the future of
Vitamin D May Boost Colon Cancer Survival, Study Finds MONDAY, Jan. 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Higher vitamin D levels in patients with advanced colon cancer appear to improve response to chemotherapy and targeted anti-cancer drugs, researchers say.
New drug Opdivo successfully ends lung cancer trial A new cancer drug, Opdivo, is working so well that pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb announced Monday it is stopping a trial in lung cancer two years ahead of schedule. The trial compared Opdivo to Docetaxel, a type of chemo used for patients whos
Cancer survivors plagued by lack of personal control The study's lead author said that while the responses can't be generalized to all cancer survivors, people in the study often mentioned a physical problem or a wish to return to "normal." "Cancer survivors are often caught off guard about the lingering pr
The Future of Medicine Is in Your Smartphone Over the past decade, smartphones have radically changed many aspects of our everyday lives, from banking to shopping to entertainment. Medicine is next. With innovative digital technologies, cloud computing and machine learning, the medicalized smartphon
Bad luck, bad journalism and cancer rates | @BobOHara @GrrlScientist The big science/health news story this week is about cancer rates, with news outlets splashing headlines like "Two-thirds of adult cancers largely 'down to bad luck' rather than genes" (for example, here) or "Most cancer types 'just bad luck'" (here). (I'
Google developing a cancer detector Google is aiming to diagnose cancers, impending heart attacks or strokes and other diseases, at a much earlier stage than is currently possible. The company is working on technology that combines disease-detecting nanoparticles, which would enter a patien
When the Diagnosis Is Rare, Parents May Know More Than Professionals Despite reassurances from their pediatrician, David Faughn and Glenda McCoy, new parents, knew something was wrong with their baby, Katherine. It was April 2012. They had expected Katherine to continue to hit all the developmental stages right on time. Th
Why Sharing Is The Future Of Healthcare - Iodine Blog Peggy, a woman I met in my fieldwork, lives with Marfan syndrome, a condition that affects the connective tissue of 1 out of every 5,000 people in the U.S. She developed chronic kidney disease late in life and realized that she was the only person trackin