Entries by Amy Gray

Milton Marks Family Camp – A Respite from Brain Cancer

For the past three autumns, a small gathering has taken place in the wild beauty of Sonoma County, California.  There, doctors, nurses, musicians, therapists, and body workers, among others, have convened to offer support and respite to a unique group of people – families living with brain cancer. But unlike many specialized family camps that […]

Epigenetics

Why your cancer-creating habits can affect your children (and we’re not talking about second-hand smoke). It’s hard enough being a parent.  There are no “Parenting for Idiots” books out there.  We just bumble along, trying our best to inoculate our children from our worst selves and influence them with our best. But like many humans, […]

How Your Lifestyle Can Affect Genes That Cause Cancer

There are two schools of thinking about cancer.  School one says that cancer is a hereditary disease, passed from generation to generation.  A good example of this are women who possess the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutation.  Women with this mutation have a 70% lifetime risk of developing breast and/or ovarian cancer.  Angelina Jolie, for example, lost […]

Can A Shot From Your Doc Prevent Cancer?

Vaccines for highly contagious childhood illness — such as diphtheria, measles, and the mumps — are, for many, an everyday part of pediatric health care.  Even though our kids may scream piteously as the needle goes in, many parents feel that it’s a good thing to protect their children from what were once very common […]

Liquid Biopsy Is the New Frontier in Cancer Diagnosis

When my husband was diagnosed with very early stage prostate cancer, it was determined that the best course of action was “watchful waiting” – that is, monitoring the cancer at six month intervals using biopsies of the prostate. It sounded reasonable. What was not mentioned was the excruciating ordeal of prostate biopsy. Each time he […]

Comparing Cancer Treatment to Bug Control

When farmers try to manage insects in their crops, they figure out what dose of pesticide yields the best results. They do this based on understanding which bugs are the most harmful to their crops and what level of poison best combats them. This analogy may send shivers up the spines of organic eaters out […]

The New Version of “The Fantastic Voyage”

In 1966, a science fiction film was released about a team of scientists who shrank themselves into molecular sized particles in order to heal a colleague from within his body. Crazy, no? Well, since then, we’ve seen the development of nanotechnology, a new tool where disease fighting mechanisms are released into the body. Their size? […]

Running From Cancer – And Towards Lower Risks

As you head out for your run, walk, or swim of the day, it’s good to know that in addition to the widely known cardiac benefits, exercise also brings documented results in lowering cancer risks. A recent study from researchers at the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society found evidence that the current recommendation of moderate-intensity […]

Heading Off Cancer Growth on the Cellular Level

Cancer cells are like all the cells in our body, in that they need certain basic building blocks – amino acids – in order to reproduce. There are 20 amino acids found in nature. The amino acid serine is often found in abundance in patients with certain types of breast cancer, lung cancer, and melanoma. […]

The End of Trial and Error As a Drug Delivery Model?

As researchers discover that cancers can be specifically targeted with a particular drug, the question then arises – which medication works best for a unique individual with a particular cancer?  Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the company Presage Biosciences have created a device called CIVO™ to answer that very question. In […]

Can the Apple Watch Be the Next New Thing in Cancer Treatment?

Apple watches are cool devices for checking email on the go and staying in touch. But researchers at MD Anderson Cancer Center wondered if they could also be a useful tool for helping breast cancer patients with their treatments.   This past December, a study was launched in collaboration with Polaris Health Directions who provided Polestar™, […]