Does PSA Cancer Screening Save Lives?

There is an interesting, yet disturbing article in the most recent edition of CURE Magazine about PSA screening for prostate Cancer. A large study, just concluded in the United States, found no evidence that the PSA test saves lives. Ouch! How is that possible? What about early detection? Apparently, if the cancer is aggressive enough to be dangerous, treatment doesn’t help much. A similar study done in Europe was a bit more positive, but only a bit. The European study did say there was a 20% reduction in prostate cancer deaths in men who had the PSA test. However, they also reported that to save one life, 48 men would have to be treated for the disease. CURE goes on to report that, given the cost and side effects, such as impotence and incontinence, it isn’t yet clear whether the test actually resulted in a life-saving benefit for many men diagnosed with the disease. I have been noticing this trend in a number of different cancers – where early detection does not necessarily equal a longer life. We will try and follow-up soon with other examples, pro and con.
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat & Pattie

Summer Issue Of Cure Magazine Available Free!

My summer issue of Cure Magazine arrived in the mail today. This publication is, without a doubt, the finest cancer related magazine available at any price. But a subscription is FREE!
I have recommended Cure on this site before and I am just as excited about it after I receive each quarterly issue. Click on and sign up today. Or save the paper and just read each issue on line.
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat

Chemo Brain & Cognitive Problems With Cancer Patients

Cure Magazine’s Laura Beil wrote an interesting article about cognitive problems in elderly cancer patients in this year’s spring issue. Ms. Beil interviews Tim Ahles, PhD and director of the Neurocognitive Research Laboratory at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. According to Dr. Ahles, “The mental effects from cancer treatment are subtle–strugles with concentration, working memory or multitasking.” The gist of this long and detailed article is that memory loss in older cancer patients is often due to more than mere aging. Why this is the case is unclear. I couldn’t find a copy of this article on Cure’s Website: But you can sign up for a free magazine subscription there. I highly recommend it!
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat

Can The Cure Be Worse Than The Disease?

Cure Magazine ran an interesting article this month about how some cancer treatments can cause secondary cancers years or decades later. While the article emphasises the the majority of secondary cancers are not related to past cancer treatment, it also goes on to say that “Studies tell us the biggest culprits of secondary cancers are high doses of radiation in certain areas and particular types of chemotherapy, such as alkylating agents.” According to this excellent article, written by Teresa McUsic, over 10% of the secondary malignancies identified in a study completed in 2002 among Hodgkin’s disease patients were most likely caused by radiation, chemotherapy or both. Read more about this at
Feel good, be forever vigilant against recurring or secondary cancers, and don’t forget to keep smiling!

Epigenetics Future of Cancer Research?

In Cure Magazine’s 2008 winter issue, Laura Beil’s cover story about Epigenetics makes for fascinating reading. Overshadowed by recent publicity surrounding the Human Genome Project, the study of Epigenetics is emerging as the key to understanding the importance of the Human Genome Project’s mapping of people’s genes. Ms Beil writes: “The epigeonome–the way the genome is marked and packaged inside a cell’s nucleus–tells a cell which of the many sets of instructions on that blueprint to follow, which ones to ignore, and which ones to follow over and over again. If the genome is the blueprint, the epigenome is the contractor directing how the walls and windows are made, and whether the plumbing is correctly installed.” Read more about inherited mutations at
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat

KRAS Gene Colorectal Cancer Predictor

Into in-depth, technical reading about cancer? Cure magazine is running two excellent articles about genetic advances in the world of cancer research this month. These are intelligent, detailed reports, professionally written in a way that only Cure Magazine can do. PhD Heather L. Van Epps investigates the importance of a gene called KRAS as a predictor of colorectal cancer. Apparently, recent studies show that patients whose tumors express a mutated version of a protein called KRAS will not respond well to an otherwise effective chemotherapy regimen using Erbitux or Vectibix. Want to know more? Go to Remember, access to this excellent Website, as well as a subscription to the print version of their magazine, is free to all cancer patients and survivors that register. More about this month’s related cover story tomorrow.
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat