Tag Archive for: cancer detection

January 2023 Digital Health Roundup

Science and technology are working together to help with cancer screening and treatment. Machine learning uses artificial intelligence to process data in large quantities with more efficiency and accuracy. A new multicancer screening test has been developed to detect cancer in early stages. This test uses a small amount of blood in combination with machine learning to screen for cancer. With the help of machine learning, a new genetic test has been helpful to test whether a specific cancer treatment will be effective in ovarian cancer patients. New technology is now available to expedite necessary surgery for lung cancer patients.

New Multi-Cancer Test Can Detect Disease at Early Stages with Small Amounts of Blood, Urine

Now, researchers from Chalmers University of Technology have demonstrated that a previously untested method can detect multiple types of cancers early on, including types that are currently difficult to detect reports StudyFinds. While studying metabolism, scientists discovered glycosaminoglycan, which is crucial for cell growth and repair. This sugar has been found to be a biomarker for early cancer detection. Scientists use a small amount of blood or urine with machine learning algorithms to detect this metabolite. It has been shown to help detect all 14 different cancers in their early stages. This test is a simple method that costs less to produce, making it more easily available for patients. Detecting cancer earlier allows for earlier access to treatment for cancer patients which improves patient outcomes. Click to read the full story.

Genetic Test Identifies Ovarian Cancer Patients Likely to Benefit from PARP Inhibitors

The genetic test helps to identify patients who do not benefit from the drug, thus avoiding unnecessary treatment and the adverse effects associated with the drug reports Technology Networks. The PARP inhibitors used to treat this cancer have the potential to cause serious side effects. This drug is used to treat more than half of patients with ovarian cancer. The test checks for a deficiency in specific DNA repair pathways; these are the patients that have tumor types that are sensitive to the PARP inhibitors. Patients that can have these inhibitors can use this therapy for treatment of their ovarian cancer as well as maintenance treatment after surgery. This test uses a genetic test with the help of algorithms from machine learning to guide the patient’s treatment. Doctors use this test to give the proper treatment for the cancer, thereby extending the patient’s life. Click to read the full story.

Game-Changing Tech Means You Could get Surgery the Same Day You’re Diagnosed with Lung Cancer

It can take several weeks to diagnose, and then treat someone with surgery, for lung cancer. But for some patients, INOVA Health System can do both procedures on the same day, thanks to new cutting-edge robotic technology reports NBC Bay Area. This process involves doctors using a bronchoscopy with a biopsy. It allows for staging the lymph nodes and surgery if needed, all in one day. Patients usually must wait weeks or months for the results of a biopsy as well as scheduling a surgery. This wait time causes the patients added stress and anxiety. The expense to the patient is also less by having the procedure done in one day versus paying for two hospital visits. To qualify for this procedure, the patient needs to have findings of a lung nodule that has not spread anywhere. Click to read the full story.

November 2022 Notable News

Looking at things from a different point of view can often lead to insights to advance the treatment of cancer. Studying the genes of a unique cancer patient is helping scientists learn about harnessing the immune system to fight cancer. A single blood test is being refined by scientists to help doctors with early cancer detection. Doctors also address common myths about lung cancer to raise awareness in the month of November.

Unique Patient Offers New Hope for Beating Cancer

A unique cancer patient who has survived a dozen tumors could hold the key to beating the disease, according to scientists’ reports independent.co.uk/ . This patient has developed different types of cancers after getting mutations in a gene inherited from both parents. The patients’ immune system fights these cancerous tumors and scientists want to learn how the patients’ immune system does this. If they can learn how, this could help with earlier cancer diagnosis and development of new immunotherapy drugs to fight cancer. Throughout this patient’s life, from birth to age 40, the patient has developed 12 tumors. Five of those tumors were malignant. By mapping the patient’s genome, scientists found mutations in MAD1L1 gene. It had the wrong number of chromosomes. This gene is important for cell division and proliferation. This patient had five forms of aggressive cancers that disappeared easily. This patient has constant tumors, causing the immune response to be elevated to fight the cancers. Scientists have learned that the immune system can fight against cells with the wrong number of chromosomes. Find more information here.

A Blood Test That Screens for Multiple Cancers at Once Promises to Boost Early Detection

This year, President Joe Biden identified developing MCED’s (multicancer early detection) tests as a priority for the Cancer Moonshot, a US$1.8 billion federal effort to reduce the cancer death rate and improve the quality of life of cancer survivors and those living with cancer reports theconversation.com/us . Tumors shed DNA in blood when the cells die. MCED tests look for trace tumor DNA, these tests are being used to help guide treatments for advanced stage cancers. Later stages of cancer have larger amounts of tumor DNA, testing for this is called liquid biopsy. The MCED test tried to detect cancer in earlier stages when the tumor cell DNA is less which is harder to detect. There are also abnormal DNA shed as part of the aging process and this can be confused for cancer DNA. The new tests focus on molecular barcodes in which DNA methylation is specific to cancer cells. There is one biotech company that launched the first MCED test in the U.S. It tests for 50 types of cancer, but it is not covered by insurance. Doctors are trying to work out appropriate circumstances to use a MCED test and what follow up testing would be required. Find more information here.

Lung Cancer Awareness Month: Myths about Lung Cancer Everyone Needs to Stop Believing

November marks Lung Cancer Awareness Month- a disease many of us think we know the key causes and symptoms of. However, there are still some misconceptions around lung cancer– it’s not necessarily just a ‘smoker’s disease’ reports independent.co.uk. Lung cancer is more common in people ages 6-70 with a history of smoking for many years. However, lung cancer can be diagnosed in people as young as 20 years old. In 10% of patients diagnosed with lung cancer, there is no history of smoking. Causes of lung cancer in non-smokers can be genetic or exposure to harmful substances like asbestos. Some of the damage to the lungs can be reversed after smoking cessation unless the patient is diagnosed with emphysema. Lung cancer patients have a 65% survival rate if the cancer has not spread and is localized. CT scans for smokers over the age of 50 can help find small tumors that can be removed, this increases chances of survival. Men and women are both at risk for getting lung cancer, men’s risk is only slightly higher. People should pay attention to symptoms such as a cough for 2-3 weeks, recurring chest infections, shortness of breath, and painful breathing. If you have any of those symptoms, see your doctor. Find more information here.

August 2022 Notable News

August brings advances in the field of cancer treatment and detection, thanks to the partnership of scientists and physicians. Scientists persevered in their research to find a new molecule to help improve cancer immunotherapy treatment. The well mapped brain of a locust and its sense of smell is aiding scientists with cancer detection. New research warns that a diet high in saturated fats can increase chances of bladder cancer in males.

New Molecule Could Improve Cancer Immunotherapy’s Effectiveness and Accessibility

We have developed a molecule that can inhibit PD-1/PD-L1 binding and remind the immune system that it needs to attack the cancer reports technologynetworks.com . This molecule uses the body’s own immune system to fight the cancer. In the past, immunotherapies have been expensive and challenging to manufacture. Until this new molecule, immunotherapies primarily worked on cancer that did not have solid tumors. With the help of Computer Aid Drug Design (CADD), they were able to find the best structure for the molecule. This new molecule is more cost effective and easier to manufacture. This new immunotherapy treatment is effective on solid tumors, expanding the types of cancer that can be treated. Patients will be able to take immunotherapy orally from home, instead of intravenously which is how it is currently given. Immunotherapy will be more affordable and effective for patients, dramatically improving cancer patient outcomes. Find more information here.

Researchers Hack Locust Brains to Help Diagnose Cancer by Smelling Them

In their quest to find a technology that can “sniff” out cancer, researchers at Michigan State University have revealed that locusts can not only “smell” the difference between cancer cells and healthy cells, but they can also distinguish between different cancer cell lines reports interestingengineering.com. Researchers have already mapped out the locust’s brain, they understand it’s neural circuits and olfactory sensors. Using electrodes over the locust brain, scientists can see responses to gas samples and can create chemical profiles. Cancer cells emit chemicals that differ from healthy cells. Locusts can smell the cancer chemicals. This method can work with any cancer that introduces volatile metabolites into the breath. Plans are in progress to develop a closed system with a portable sensor to use for detection. The earlier the detection of cancer, the higher the chances of patient survivability. Find more information here.

Too Much Saturated Fat Could Increase Bladder Cancer Risk in Men- What Are the Signs?

The research, funded by the World Cancer Research Fund, found that consuming too much saturated fats increased the risk of bladder cancer in men by 37%, while women who ate monounsaturated fatty acids and plant-based oils (such as olive, coconut, and sesame oil) decreased their risk of the disease by 27% reports newschain.com . The quality of the fat eaten effects developing bladder cancer. There is an even higher risk of developing bladder cancer with certain conditions such as type 2 diabetes, repeated bladder infections, repeated kidney stones, and long-term indwelling urinary catheter use. Smoking causes an increased risk of this cancer also. Symptoms of bladder cancer include blood in the urine, dark urine, frequent urination and urgency, pain with urination, and pain in the lower abdomen. A physician uses urine microscopy, cystoscopy with biopsy, CT scan, or MRI for diagnosis. The treatment of bladder cancer involves tumor removal or removal of the bladder. It is often recommended to have treatment with chemotherapy and radiation as well. Find more information here.

February 2022 Digital Health Round Up

Technological advances show promise in the areas of cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. During the pandemic, the virtual visit was introduced to adapt to the changing needs of healthcare. Healthcare providers and patients have demanded that telemedicine evolve to provide for an effective patient experience. Providers are harnessing the power of technology to make a less invasive way to diagnose colon cancer, which is the 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Two Squadrons at Keesler Air force base are joining forces and using digital health technology to make radiation therapy for cancer patients safer and more precise.

The Virtual Visit

This trend is here to stay; 76% of Americans indicated that they plan to use telehealth either more or at the same rate, even after the pandemic subsides, reports MedCityNews.com . To provide “distributed care” or care that is brought to the patient instead of the patient going to the care. It requires data and artificial intelligence (AI) to drive the digital health experience.  Healthcare providers use data and clinical history to create a strong patient relationship. The digital interaction is documented and can be shared with other providers to provide continuity. Providers create easy to use platforms to make appointments, view records, and link to the virtual visit all from one site. Telemetry tools are available to monitor patient conditions at home and use diagnostic tools to input for AI algorithms. Insurance companies and Medicaid offer billing codes and reimbursement for virtual visits. There are guidelines in place for data governance to insure patient privacy. Find more information here.

Cancer Detecting Pill

The Colon Capsule Endoscopy device, or Pillcam, passes through the digestive system taking 50,000 pictures of the bowel on its way, reports BBCNews.com . This pill camera requires the same preparation as a colonoscopy and has been used on its 2000th patient in Scotland. The pill still must be swallowed in the hospital setting but the patient can go home as it passes through their system. The patient wears a recorder on their waist to record the images.  Many patients have a fear of having a colonoscopy and avoid getting the procedure done. The Colon Capsule Endoscopy device is less invasive than a colonoscopy, it’s painless, and there is no sedation required.  Pillcam allows for early detection of colon cancer and therefore the patient gets treatment faster. Find more information here.

Customized Care for Cancer Patients

In an effort to make radiation therapy for cancer patients more accurate and effective, the 81st Diagnostic and Therapeutic Squadron joins forces with the 81st Dental Squadron to shape radiation bolus for each patient, reports WXXV25.com. They use digital dentistry software in combination with 3D Printers to help cancer patients by making an artificial surface specific to each patient.  This artificial surface acts as a barrier, allowing the radiation to work, as well as make the radiation bolus specific to each case. During the radiation bolus, the machine scans the patient’s face creating a custom prosthesis that can be used every time there is a treatment. This process makes the radiation therapy more precise and safer for the cancer patient. Find more information here.

Applications of Computer Vision In Healthcare

All the technological advances developed in healthcare allowed us to understand the anatomy and physiology of the different organs that structure the human body more precisely in recent decades. With the development of computer vision and artificial intelligence, it is relatively easy to identify the diseases from early phases to begin the treatment on time.

The advanced applications provide the ability to process, analyze, and understand complex information for early diagnoses. From a bird’s eye view, a complex interaction of SuperData, same as quality data, machine learning, and analytics applicable to detection, speech recognition, computer vision, etc., offers potential outcomes.

Computer vision developments promise to make healthcare more precise and accessible to all. Here, we focused on presenting the game-changing technology of computer vision in healthcare, by connecting biology aspects with artificial intelligence and computer vision for precise treatment.

The role of computer vision in healthcare

Computer vision encompasses training a model with the right data to help the model detect objects and draw conclusions. It automates, comprehends, and imitates human visual data systems to predict desirable outcomes. Computer vision functions include:

  • Obtaining the images,
  • Transforming the data into images,
  • Separating multidimensional data from them.

Providing insights, this analyzed data is HIPAA-compliant and helps to identify patterns, objects, and trends in labeled data. Technological advances in computer vision provide the following benefits to the healthcare industry:

  • Rapid medical research
  • More accurate and coherent imaging analysis
  • Decreased labor expenses and lower insurance costs
  • Better patient identification in the cases of mistaken identity
  • Consistent and accurate results
  • Smart operating rooms eliminating manual efforts
  • Safety equipment usage and identifying sterile processing failures

The top applications of computer vision in healthcare

Computer vision applications in healthcare sector and increasing, yet a few common examples include:

COVID-19 diagnosis

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the healthcare system is constantly facing challenges in terms of supporting critical patients and medical costs on time. Computer vision and artificial intelligence widely utilized for COVID-19 prediction and analysis.

Computed tomography (CT) images, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), and clinical data provide helpful input to AI algorithms, scanning different human body sections to identify the diagnosis. Training steps and higher resolution raise the model performance, allowing higher hyperparameters on the results, not to mention the importance of having a reliable annotation tool at hand.

For better clinical decision-making, visualization tools contribute to high-quality 3D images in the domain of COVID-19 detection. Here is more on COVID-19 diagnosis applications:

  • X-ray radiography (CXR) — It assists radiologists in correctly recognizing lung infection and producing quantitative analysis and diagnoses.
  • Disease progression score — It has become essential to analyze disease progression to recognize patients with a high risk to develop severe COVID-19 infection before it’s too late.
  • Masked face recognition — One of the successful ways to prevent COVID-19 from spreading is wearing masks in public gatherings. Detection and recognition of masked faces tremendously benefit in large public settings.

Cancer detection

With technological advances, it is now possible to detect cancer in earlier stages. Since some symptoms of skin problems are similar, it’s difficult to identify forms of cancer including but not limited to skin, bone, breast cancer.

The trial of trained models over 1.2 million skin cancer images has shown successful results, the same as certified professionals. Cancer detection as well as cell classification applications cover the following:

  • Semantic segmentation — The most challenging part of medical image analysis is to identify the pixels of organs or lesions from background medical images, including MRI or CT images. Semantic segmentation helps to classify each pixel belonging to a specific label.
  • EEG analysis — The Electroencephalogram analysis mainly used for neural dysfunction including cancer detection, brain tumor, has great potential to bring forward advancement in accuracy and treatment of neural dysfunctions.
  • Cell classification — Cell classification creates a visualization of specific tissues and organs to predict more accurate diagnoses. Cell classification applications include comprehending the consequences of drugs and genes in screening experiments, localization of various proteins, as well as diagnoses of cancer from images acquired using different approaches.
  • Drug discovery — It incorporates many levels from recognition of targeted symptoms and diseases, implementation of experiments, and formation of chemical compounds outlined to transition in regions prompting the underlying disease.
  • Cell biology — Researching the particular structure and attributes of an organism’s genetic fabrication can provide deeper analysis into development status. This outlook helps with cell image classification, where most of the time biological processes are hardly seen by the human eye.
  • Digital pathology — Allowing patient tissue samples along with digital whole slide images (WSIs) to be distributed on an international scale for diagnostic, educating, and research purposes.

Movement Analysis

This measuring method is used in computer vision and image processing to identify movement. The purpose of movement analysis is to sense motion in an image, trace and identify an object’s motion in a particular time frame, class of objects that make a move together, and detect the direction of motion.

Gathering information helps healthcare providers trace muscle activity, perform gait analysis and diagnose possible mobility issues. For patients with cerebral palsy, joint issues, muscular dystrophy, and such diagnoses, movement analysis tests are required in a certified laboratory.

A variety of movement analysis systems allow movement to be captured in different settings, which can broadly be classified into devices interconnected to the body and video-based techniques. While some methods require to be captured in diverse environments, others can be distinguished in specific settings.

Tumor Detection

Approximately 70% of tumors are detected in the later stages of the disease when it is challenging to treat, which defines the low survival rate. Computer-aided diagnostic tools assist radiologists to spot malignant tumors in earlier phases. Deep learning systems predict what tumor is from the basis of large real-world data sets and examples.

Applying trained algorithms to evaluate images detects the most subtle tumor pattern within seconds, facilitating a supplementary resource for physicians. These applications are useful to save patients’ lives and diagnose with accurate treatment before any harmful stage. New techniques are developed to better the precision of tumor diagnosis.

Summing up

Computer vision in healthcare has evolved substantially over recent times, and various technological research has contributed a vast amount of important information to the industry. Computer vision has the probability to be applied across diverse environments and disciplines. The requirements and priorities for a computer vision in the healthcare sector heavily depend on the unique capture environment and research area across different disciplines. Computer vision in healthcare is advancing further from the newer implementations in technology. The applications are in development phases with the potential to improve medical procedures around the world. Helping doctors to reduce the time and efforts required in predicting health conditions or results of medication, these applications benefit healthcare providers.

January 2022 Notable News

January offers hope. This year is starting with many new and exciting advances in the areas of cancer diagnosis, prevention, and treatment. A simple blood test has been found to detect if a patient has cancer and if it has metastasized in the body. There are now new clues as to how ovarian cancer begins and therefore might be prevented. Cancers have been found to be sorted by immune archetypes to make more precise immunotherapies to treat the cancer. It is encouraging to see the results of the prevention efforts, there is new research to show that the HPV cancer vaccine is saving lives.

Blood Test for Cancer Detection

A University of Oxford study outlines a new type of blood test that can be used to detect a range of cancers and whether these cancers have spread (metastasized) in the body, reports MedicalXpress.com. This blood test can be helpful in finding and staging cancer in the future for patients with non-specific symptoms that concern the provider. This is the first simple blood test to find metastatic cancer without any prior knowledge of the cancer type. A different technique is used with this blood test, it uses magnetic fields and radio waves to profile metabolites from the cancer tumors in the blood. Early diagnosis of cancer offers a better prognosis for patients, this blood test is easily, quickly, and affordably done by a primary doctor. Find more information here.

Clues into Ovarian Cancer

In a new study, scientists used stem cells created from the blood samples of women with BRCA mutations and ovarian cancer to fashion a model of fallopian tube tissue. There, they found first hints of ovarian cancer in the fallopian tube tissue, reports U.S.News.com. The hope is that by studying this tissue, they can predict ovarian cancer many years in advance of it developing. Ovarian cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths for women due in part to the subtlety of the symptoms. Women with BRCA-1 mutations have a much higher risk of developing ovarian cancer. If scientists can find the abnormalities in the fallopian tube tissue, they may be able to stop the cancer. Using this fallopian tissue, they may be able to test which drug is most effective on the cancer without having to expose the patient to the drug first. The findings of this study may allow doctors to have early detection of ovarian cancer and have more effective treatments for the patient. Find more information here.

Sorting Cancers to Develop Precision Treatments

Using data from over 300 patient tumors, researchers have described 12 classes of ‘immune archetypes’ to classify cancer tumors, reports Sciencedaily.com. This study showed that cancers from different parts of the body respond similarly immunologically. Tumors are made up of immune cells that are supposed to fight the cancer cells, but with cancer cells, they overpower the body’s immune cells and take over. These ‘immune archetypes’ allow for doctors to personalize each patient’s cancer immunotherapy. This information helps researchers explain why immunotherapy works for some patients and not others. These archetypes increase information needed by physicians to appropriately treat the cancer tumors with the right immunotherapy, thereby significantly improving patient outcomes. Find more information here.

HPV Vaccine Saves Lives

New data confirms that the vaccine is already saving lives. The number of cervical cancer cases and deaths among American women dropped after the HPV vaccine was introduced in 2006, according to a November 2021 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, reports mskcc.org. While this study speaks for itself, there are still many people afraid to get this vaccine for their children. HPV is a common sexually transmitted infection with very severe consequences to the body. There is an increase in throat and neck cancer caused by HPV, this has greatly affected both men and women. Physicians want to emphasize that this vaccine does not promote sexual activity, this vaccine saves lives. This simple vaccine can save the lives of many people and prevent cancer caused by HPV from ever occurring. Find more information here.

December 2021 Notable News

If you are like pretty much everyone in the world, you are tired of hearing about viruses, but there is a type of virus that you’ll be glad to learn about. You’ll also be glad to learn that blood tests are detecting cancer, immune cells are communicating with each other, and researchers are taking steps to reduce disparities in healthcare. You may not care to learn that there is yet another link between obesity and cancer, but there is, and that probably doesn’t come as a surprise at this point.

A study in Australia shows that obesity could lead to 10,000 cases of thyroid cancer in the next ten years, reports medicalxpress.com. The study found that one in five future thyroid cancers in the future will be linked to obesity levels today. The study shows the importance of preventing obesity in order to prevent cancer. The findings are especially troubling because the occurrence of obesity has doubled in Australia over the last 20 years. Obesity has been called a causal risk factor for thyroid cancer. Learn more about the study here.

Researchers have developed a new tool for determining the risk of breast cancer in black women in the United States, reports cancer.gov. Black women are usually younger when diagnosed and are more likely to be diagnosed with aggressive or advanced forms of breast cancer. Black women are also more likely to die from breast cancer. The tool, called the Black Women’s Health Study Breast Cancer Risk Calculator, is an online questionnaire that uses information about a woman’s medical, reproductive, and family history. The new screening tool is a step toward reducing the disparities in care for black women. Learn more about the risk calculator here.

Scientists have discovered how immune system cells communicate with each other to identify and eliminate tumors, reports sciencedaily.com. The information could help improve the number of patients who are able to benefit from immune therapies and could lead to the development of vaccines that could increase the survival rate for several cancers. Learn more about the findings and how the cells communicate with each other here.

A California company has developed a simple blood test that could detect up to 50 different kinds of cancer, reports webmd.com. The test, called Galleri, can even reportedly detect pancreatic, ovarian, and esophageal cancers, which are generally hard-to-detect. The test detects whether cancer signals were or were not detected and could lead to early detection of cancers. The test does not diagnose cancer and is not meant to replace regular recommended screenings but could help detect cancers that don’t have screening tests. The test doesn’t have full Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval yet, and it’s meant for people at high risk for cancer. Patients can expect to pay $950 for the test which isn’t covered by insurance. Learn more about the Galleri test here.

Believe it or not, some viruses can help to fight diseases like cancer, reports sciencedaily.com. Oncolytic viruses are able to target and destroy cancer cells all while leaving healthy cells alone. Viruses outnumber all other life forms combined, and they infect every form of cellular life. The oncolytic viruses are known as specialists in that they are selective in the type of organisms they infect, and because they kill cancer cells and don’t harm normal cells, they could provide a key to new cancer therapies. Learn more about the potential cancer fighting viruses here.

Let’s hope that in 2022 the viruses that are making headlines are the cancer-fighting kind. Wishing you health, peace and hope in 2022 and beyond. Happy New Year.

Notable News July 2020

It seems like everyone is talking about the Broadway musical Hamilton this month, so let’s take a cue from A.Ham himself and rise up because sitting is proving, yet again, to not be so good for us. Also, not good yet again? Covid-19. It’s especially not good for people with cancer. What is good? Advances in cancer treatment and a blood test that delivers super early cancer detection.


PanSeer is a non-invasive blood test that can detect five types of cancer up to four years earlier than current methods of diagnosis, reports theguardian.com. The blood test is not a cancer predictor, but instead is finding cancers before they cause symptoms or are detected through other screening methods. The test is not able to indicate the type of cancer a patient has, but, with further research, shows promise for early, non-invasive diagnosis. You can learn more here and here.

Photodynamic Therapies

Also showing promise is research regarding skin cancer treatments that could be used to treat other types of cancer, reports medicalxpress.com. Photodynamic therapies (PDT) which use light to treat skin cancers by destroying cancerous and precancerous cells could possibly be used to treat other types of cancers thanks to the development of silica nanocapsules that can be used to convert near-infrared light to visible light. Right now, PDT only works if the tumors are on or under the skin because it works with visible light to activate medications that are injected into unhealthy tissue. However, since near-infrared light can get deeper into the tissues and then be converted into visible light by the silica nanocapsules, the treatment becomes more versatile. Learn more about the process here.

Good Diet Improves Treatment

Speaking of versatile, changing your diet could really help during breast cancer treatment, says cancernetwork.com. Recently reported study findings show that a fasting mimicking diet is safe and effective during chemotherapy in women with early breast cancer. The diet appears to have a positive effect on how well the cancer treatment works, and also reduces the side effects caused by the treatment. Basically, the research found that when fasting, there were less nutrients and insulin for the healthy cells to address, indicating the body should conserve energy and put healthy cells into maintenance mode. Chemotherapy targets rapidly dividing cells, so instead of attacking the less-active healthy cells, it would easily find the malignant cells which don’t pick up on body signals and continue to divide despite the fast. Fasting mimicking diets are low-calorie, low-protein, low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet plans that trick your body into thinking it is fasting. You can learn more about fasting mimicking diets and breast cancer treatments here and here.

Cancer and COVID-19

The sooner we can get a treatment for Covid-19, the better, but in the meantime, cancer patients need to be especially diligent about avoiding the virus. The longer you have had cancer, the higher your risk of a severe Covid-19 infection, says technologynetworks.com. Research has found that people who were diagnosed with cancer 2 years or more ago are more likely to have a severe Covid-19 infection. While there are not a lot of studies regarding cancer patients and Covid-19, one study of 156 cancer patients with confirmed Covid-19 infection showed that 22 percent of the patients died from the infection, and those who had been diagnosed two years or more prior to infection were at a higher risk of dying. Symptoms of Covid-19 can mimic cancer symptoms or the affects of cancer treatments, so it can be hard to diagnose Covid-19 in cancer patients, which could result in more severe infections or higher death rates. Learn more about the study here.

Activity Decreases Cancer Risk

Avoiding exposure to the coronavirus may keep some of us out of the gym, but we still need to get moving, otherwise we increase our risk of dying from cancer, reports medicalnewstoday.com. In a study where patient activity level was tracked through hip monitors, researchers found that the amount of time people are sedentary puts them at a higher risk for dying from cancer. Researchers also found that being physically active for 30 minutes a day decreased the risk of dying from cancer. Vigorous exercise decreased the risk 31 percent and light exercise decreased the risk 8 percent. The increased activity doesn’t have to be all at once, either. It can be as simple as standing for five minutes every hour while you are at work. Instead of thinking you must get out there and exercise for thirty minutes at a time, think, ‘sit less, move more,’ throughout your day. Find more information here.

June 2020 Notable News

It’s officially summer so grab a cup of coffee and soak up some vitamin D because this month we learn that both of those things can help prevent cancer. We also learn about the recall of a popular drug and the approval of some others. In addition, there’s a new blood test to diagnose liver cancer and some tips on how to recognize skin cancer. Finally, research shows that COVID-19 remains a very real threat, especially for cancer patients.

Vitamin D and Coffee Benefits

With so much going on, your vitamin D status may not be on your mind, but you might want to give it some thought, reports sciencedaily.com. It turns out that a good vitamin D status is good for cancer prevention and prognosis, especially for colon and blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma. Conversely, a low vitamin D status often correlates with higher incidence of cancer and lower survival rates. You can learn more about vitamin D and cancer here.

While you’re out soaking up the vitamin D from the sun’s rays, you might want to bring your favorite cup of coffee because there’s evidence that coffee could reduce the risk of cancer, reports dailycoffeenews.com. The news comes from an update in the diet activity guidelines from the American Cancer Society. It’s not known how or why coffee seems to help prevent several types of cancers, but there’s been a decade of research that supports the claim. In addition to coffee, the American Cancer Society recommends following a healthy diet, limiting alcohol, staying active, and maintaining a healthy weight. Research shows that diet and exercise lifestyle choices are connected to 18 percent of all cancer cases in the United States. Learn more about coffee and cancer here.

Take a Look at Your Skin

All this talk about sun exposure makes it a good time to think about skin cancer. Especially since there’s room for improvement in skin cancer survival rates, says consumerreports.org. Getting to know your own skin could be the key to survival. A Consumer Reports survey found that only 52 percent of Americans have their skin regularly checked by a doctor. There’s debate about whether or not everyone should see a dermatologist every year, but early detection of skin cancer makes a big difference. When skin cancer is found early treatment is relatively non-invasive and early stage melanoma has a 98 percent survival rate. So, whether you see a doctor or not, you should perform monthly skin checks of your own. Get familiar with the moles and marks on your skin and look for any that don’t seem to fit in. If you find something that looks irregular, let your doctor know. Learn more and find examples of what skin cancer looks like here.

Metformin Hydrochloride Recall

While you’re checking your skin, you might also need to check your list of medications. A popular diabetes drug has been recalled due to cancer risk, reports webmd.com. All lots of metformin hydrochloride extended release 500 mg tablets were recalled due to the possibility that they contained high levels of N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) which is a chemical thought to cause cancer. A test by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found higher than allowed levels of NDMA in one lot of metformin. Get more information about the recall here.

FDA Expands Indication for Gardasil 9

The FDA has given accelerated approval for the use of a vaccine to prevent head and neck cancers, reports statnews.com. The human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine, Gardasil 9, is recommended for both males and females ages 9 through 45 to prevent several cancers. However, the vaccine was not previously recommended as prevention for head and neck cancers even though they are commonly caused by HPV in the United States. The hope is that, by including head and neck cancers in the list of cancers the vaccine prevents, it will raise awareness for and help prevent the occurrence of these types of cancers. Find more about Gardasil here.

Good News for Thyroid and Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

The FDA has also given accelerated approval for a drug to treat thyroid and lung cancer, says cancer.gov. The drug selpercatinib (Retevmo) will treat people with thyroid or non-small cell lung cancer with tumors that have a gene alteration called RET. The drug blocks the RET proteins and was shown to shrink tumors. Selpercatinib has fewer side effects than older RET blocking drugs. Accelerated approval means that, although the drug has not gone through all required levels of testing, it can be approved for use, but testing must continue while the product is on the market. The process is only used for drugs that treat serious or life-threatening diseases without better treatment options. Learn more about the accelerated approval of selpercatinib here.

Combatting Nausea

There’s another drug of note this month giving hope to advanced cancer patients who have nausea and vomiting, says cancer.gov. In a study conducted by the National Cancer Institute the drug olanzapine (Zyprexa) was found to reduce nausea and vomiting in advanced cancer patients. Olanzapine is an antipsychotic medication mainly used to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia and has also been used off-label to prevent nausea and vomiting in cancer patients. Learn more here.

Detecting Liver Cancer

The National Cancer Institute was also involved in a study where a blood test has been developed to determine which people are most likely to develop liver cancer, says cancer.gov. The simple blood test is used to check for exposure to certain viruses that lead to the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) which is the most common form of liver cancer. The test could help lead to early diagnosis and treatment. Most patients with HCC are diagnosed when the cancer is advanced and incurable, but when caught early the prognosis is much better. With HCC on the rise in the US, a test that could help with early detection is welcome news. Learn more about the testing here.

COVID-19 Update

The not-so-welcome news continues about the novel coronavirus. There are some new studies that emphasize the danger of the coronavirus for cancer patients, reports apnews.com. The studies showed that current and former cancer patients who developed COVID-19 were more likely to die within a month than people without cancer. One study showed that 13 percent of cancer patients with COVID-19 died. Another study found the death rate to be 28 percent. The studies are a reminder of how critical it is for cancer patients to do all they can to follow safety guidelines so they can avoid contracting the virus. Find out more here.

Notable News – October 2019

Boo! It’s October, the month of all things frightful, tricks and treats, and dressing up in superhero costume. In the news this month, there’s a super scary shortage of medication that could be a nightmare for some kids, researchers may have some tricks up their sleeves to combat chemo brain, a former NFL player is treating women to cancer screenings, and a superhero alliance has formed to take on cancer at the earliest stages. So, grab your pumpkin spice latte and read on!

The International Alliance for Cancer Early Detection formed this month, reports nature.com, and joins research teams from the United States and the United Kingdom. Just as the name implies, the group is focused on diagnosing and treating cancer in the early stages. Stanford University, Oregon Health & Science University Knight Cancer Institute in Portland, the University of Cambridge, the University of Manchester, and University College London make up the alliance. Advances in cancer research and imaging have made early cancer detection more possible and the alliance hopes that they can further develop testing to be more accurate, helping to improve cancer treatment and survival rates. Find out more about the newly formed alliance here.

Another superhero to many is a former NFL player who knows just how devastating breast cancer can be. Each year more than 42,000 women and men die from the disease. Helping to limit the number of breast cancer deaths is DeAngelo Williams, who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Williams has sponsored over 500 mammograms since 2015, reports today.com. He lost his mother and four aunts to the disease and says he covers the cost of screenings in their honor. Williams has a nonprofit organization that pays for mammograms at hospitals in cities in Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Arkansas, and North Carolina. Learn more here.

What’s not being provided this month is the proper supply of a crucial cancer drug. The truly frightening shortage of a cancer medication is keeping some kids from getting the doses they need, reports abcnews.go.com. Vincristine is a chemotherapy medication used to treat childhood cancers, including leukemia, lymphoma, and brain tumors. It is a low-cost, generic medication that is now having to be rationed by doctors. As of July 2019, Pfizer is the only supplier of vincristine in the United States and has reported a shortage due to manufacturing delays. Teva Pharmaceuticals stopped supplying the drug in July. This type of drug shortage can be a matter of life or death to a child with cancer, but to the pharmaceutical companies, it may be about profitability. Drugs like vincristine don’t have a large profit margin so the companies don’t feel compelled to keep producing them. Pfizer is hustling to increase production and the FDA expects the vincristine supply to recover by January 2020, but in the meantime, there is no equivalent drug available. Learn more about the drug shortage and the children it is effecting here.

The good news is that there is no short supply of hope when great research is being done. For patients who feel like zombies thanks to chemo brain, there’s new hope for a solution in the future, reports medicalxpress.com. Scientists have discovered that there may be a link between the brain fog known as chemo brain and how harsh chemotherapy can be on the digestive system. Using mice for testing, researchers are investigating whether or not the changes to the gut microbiome during chemotherapy are causing cognitive issues. The hope is that, if there is a connection, patients could be treated with prebiotics, probiotics, and diet to help prevent chemo brain. There’s much more to be done, but the theory is promising. Learn more here.

5 Ways to Detect Cancer Before It’s Malignant

Cancer are diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and can invade nearby tissues. Cancer cells can also spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph systems. In 2018 statistics, Cancer appears to be the second leading cause of death worldwide. It is responsible for an estimated more than 9 million death in 2018. About 1 in 6 deaths globally are caused by Cancer. There are several main types of cancer. There are several causes of cancer, however the main cause of cancer is the change or mutation in the Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) of cells. There are some factors that would lead to cell mutation. Usually cancer cells are genetics and that means it is hereditary. Other factors also are, individual’s lifestyle, diet, smoking, environment such as exposure to radiations and exposure to viruses and other infections.

There are several types of cancer nowadays, however according to statistics the following are the most spread types of cancer:

  1. Lung (2.09 million cases)
  2. Breast (2.09 million cases)
  3. Colorectal (1.80 million cases)
  4. Prostate (1.28 million cases)
  5. Skin cancer (non-melanoma) (1.04 million cases)
  6. Stomach (1.03 million cases)

Symptoms of cancer may vary depending on the type of cancer an individual has. However common symptoms of cancer are already established according to studies. The C-A-U-T-I-O-N U-S mnemonics is already an established common symptom of cancer according to studies, viz:

C- Changes in bowel or bladder habits;

A- A sore that does not heal;

U- Unusual bleeding or discharge;

T- Thickening or lump in the breast or any other part of the body;

I- Indigestion or difficulty swallowing;

O- Obvious change in a wart or mole;

N- Nagging cough or hoarseness;

U- Unexplained Anemia;

S- Sudden Weight loss.

Like in most diseases early detection plays an important part in the prevention and intervention of diseases. The same concept is very important also in cancer. It would help a lot in determining what type of cancer a person has and correspondingly its proper management. Once cancer is early detected, it can be prevented from spreading more damages to the person’s body by providing adequate and proper remedies. In most cases, cancer can be detected by the individual upon experiencing the above stated signs and symptoms. Some cancer may cause severe pain in the affected body parts, while some may cause unusual bleedings, sores and other unusual tissue growth that are visible and palpable to the infected individuals. According to studies, there are established cancer self-assessment methods applicable to men and women. In women, the breast self-examination (BSE) is applicable. It can be done regularly by women usually upon taking a bath and every month for purposes of detecting any lump in the breast. In men, the Testicular self-examination (TSE) is applicable also with the same duration in women. However, there are some cancer cases that are asymptomatic. In these cases, diagnostic tests may be conducted by the proper medical experts.

The following are the 5 common ways or methods to detect cancer:

  1. Biopsy– In most cancer cases, biopsy is the main method to determine whether cells are cancerous. In this method, the doctor will get a tissue sample for examination to be used in diagnosing cancer. The method of getting tissue samples can be made possible either through an image-guided biopsy, ultrasound, x-ray, computed tomography scan (CT scan), fluoroscopy and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Depending on what method used by the doctor the purpose is just to aid in guiding a specific organ or body part where the tissue samples can be obtained.
  2. Barium Enema – In this method an enema is required to clear the colon for purposes taking images through X-Ray by a radiology technician. This is used to detect colon cancer.
  3. Ultrasound– This is a method of taking images on the body part where cancer is suspected. It uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of internal body organs. The sound waves hit the organs and bounce back to a device called a transducer. The transducer turns the sound waves into images that are shown on a computer. There are two individuals that will conduct this method. The first individual is the sonographer or the specialist that operates ultrasound machine. 12 hours before the test, the patient is required to be in a “nothing per orem” (NPO) status, which means that the patient will not be allowed to eat or to drink 12 hours prior to the test. However, 1 hour before the test the patient is required to drink a quart of water to keep full bladder. During the test, the patient is required to remove his clothes and any metal object and is required to lie down on the examination table. The sonographer will then apply the echo gel to the skin of the patient in order to block the air pockets for better imaging quality. The Sonographer will then press the transducer firmly against the gel and move it back and forth. After the images are taken, the second individual, the radiologist, which is a medical doctor will then interpret the images for purposes of diagnosing cancer.
  1. Bone Scan– This method uses a small amount of radiation to detect cancer cells that start to propagate in the bones and bone tissues.
  2. Endoscopy– This method uses a thin scope that has camera on its tip connected to the monitor in order to determine any lumps or unusual tissue growths in the patient’s Gastro-intestinal tract.

In most cancer cases globally, early detection is the key to prevent extensive damages that are caused by cancer cell proliferation. It is also very important for proper cancer management.

Notable News: August 2018

The death of legendary singer Aretha Franklin received a lot of attention this month, but the cancer that killed her is in need of more awareness, say experts in a huffingtonpost.com article. The five year survival rate for pancreatic cancer is a very low eight percent. The disease often has no symptoms in the early stages, spreads early, is resistant to treatment, affects vital functions and, despite being thought of as rare, is increasing in frequency. However, there is some promising new research in the detection of pancreatic cancer (you’ll read about it in the next paragraph). Heightened awareness, funding, and research are needed to help combat this deadly disease. You can start by learning more here and, in case you missed it, you can find this month’s profile in which Alison Greenhill tells the story of her late husband’s experience with pancreatic cancer here.

The promising news is that a blood test could offer early screening for pancreatic and other cancers, according to research reported by dailymail.co.uk. In one study, scientists discovered that they can detect 95 percent of cancers through one blood test thanks to a protein produced by malaria parasites. When ten cancer cells were exposed to the protein, nine of them successfully attached to it. The test can also detect the cancers at any stage and help identify the aggressiveness of the disease. Among the cancers the test can detect are liver and pancreatic. Pancreatic cancer tends to have a low survival rate because it is often not found until the late stages of the disease. This blood test could allow for earlier detection. More can be learned about the potentially life-saving test here.

Another blood test has been found to detect melanoma with an 80 percent accuracy rate, says sciencealert.com. Caught early, the melanoma survival rate is 95 percent, but if it’s not detected early, chances for survival are below fifty percent. The test works by detecting antibodies that the body produces when melanoma forms. Currently, melanoma is detected through biopsies which are invasive and have a slightly lower accuracy rate than the blood test. The researchers hope to take the test to clinical trial and ultimately hope it will be used to detect the disease prior to biopsy in high-risk patients: those with fair skin, a lot of moles, and/or a family history of melanoma. More about this blood test can be found here. There is also a better way to determine which melanoma patients may benefit from immunotherapy. You can learn about that at axios.com here.

Another immunotherapy update comes from a recent study that may offer new insight into immunotherapy treatments, says geekwire.com. While immunotherapy has been a game-changer in treatment for many cancer patients, it doesn’t work at all for others and it can also come with some life-threatening side effects. Researchers set out to better understand the therapies and discovered how the components talk to each other in a process called signaling. It appears that the speed and strength of the signaling affect how the body responds to the treatment. It is the difference in the signaling that may help researchers find a way to reduce or eliminate the dangerous side effects and may also lead to making the treatments more effective. More information about this promising research can be found here.

As important as treatment is, keeping on top of when to be screened can be crucial to successful diagnosis and treatment. There are now more cervical cancer screening options for women aged 30 to 65, and you can learn about those at cnn.com here.

With all the positive research and advances in detection and treatment, it’s important to be aware that not all cancer patients have equal access to the best healthcare. It turns out that the disparities in minority health that we told you about here during National Minority Health month also apply to children. African American and Latino children are more likely to die from cancer, reports npr.org. Race and socio-economic status are factors. A comprehensive look at the research about the inequities in healthcare and survival rates for minority children can be found here.

Hopefully, the healthcare gap and survival rate can be narrowed because a new study shows that life is pretty good for most patients and survivors. The majority of current and former cancer patients who are 50 or older are happy, reports sciencedaily.com. The study showed that two-thirds of cancer patients fit the researchers description of complete mental health which was characterized by high levels of social and psychological well-being and being happy and/or satisfied with their daily lives. The cancer survivors were even happier with three-quarters of them meeting the complete mental health criteria. Learn more about this very happy study here.

Spot These Early Cancer Symptoms – They Can Save Your Life

The word “cancer” is terrifying, but it’s hopeful to know that early detection can lead to increased survival. Over 140 million Americans will get cancer in their lifetimes, but early detection can lead to better treatment and boosts one’s chance of a cure. That’s why it’s so important to be in tune with your body and regularly check for early symptoms that you might have the disease. In this way, checking your body for signs of cancer can form part of your self-care goals. You’re looking after yourself and increasing your longevity.

Cancer is not always easy to spot. Although it might present with a bump or lump, such as in the thyroid or breast, these are not the only symptoms to look out for. Sometimes, cancer in one part of the body won’t show up there. An example is pancreatic cancer. It will show symptoms when the cancer’s big enough to press on other organs, so an early symptom could be pain in the belly or back. However, there are some early, general signs that something’s wrong with your body and the cause could be cancer. Here’s a rundown of the most common symptoms associated with cancer. While it’s important to realize that these symptoms could be something else, it’s always worth checking with your doctor if they persist so that you can get the proper treatment.

Losing Weight Without Trying

If you’re not on a diet but you’re losing weight, this could be a sign of various illnesses, such as diabetes. However, it could also be a sign of cancer in the body. Unexplained weight loss is a common symptom of cancers of the stomach, esophagus, pancreas, and lung.

Extreme Tiredness

If you feel fatigued even when you’ve got a good night’s sleep, and this is a regular occurrence, cancer could be to blame. Fatigue is usually an early symptom of cancer such as leukemia, but it can also present with colon or stomach cancers that cause a loss of blood which goes unnoticed.

Skin Changes

Skin cancer will obviously show up as changes to the skin, such as a sore that doesn’t heal or a mole that’s undergone changes in color. However, skin changes can also be a symptom of other cancers. Rippling or dimpling of the skin can signal breast cancer, for instance, while reddened skin can be a symptom of lung cancer, especially when it’s combined with difficulty breathing or a faster heart rate.

Changes In Bowel Movements

Diarrhea and constipation can arise from a variety of things, such as diet, but if they persist they can be a symptom of various cancers. An example is ovarian cancer, which might also present with bloating and gas. Colon and rectal cancer are also marked by changes in bowel movements, especially if they occur suddenly and persist.

Although there are many symptoms that can signal cancer in the body, the important thing is to note any changes that aren’t normal for you. Whether it’s changes to your skin, energy levels, or bowel habits, anything that doesn’t go back to normal after a few days is worth checking with your primary caregiver.

About the Author: Chrissy Rose is a Content Manager and is working to build one of the best senior resource sites.

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 went in for one, it took all day because of the side effects of blood clotting and Amy Grayblocking of the urethra. This led to catheterization as well as pain. After his third one he said, “Let’s just cut the damn prostate out. It’s gotta be better than these biopsies.”

Wouldn’t it be great to have the same information gleaned from a drop of blood?

Thanks to Dr. Dennis Lo, a researcher in Hong Kong, this technology may soon be available. He developed a technique called the “liquid biopsy,” which has shown great success in detecting liver and other cancers before they are symptomatic. He does this with a gene sequencing machine that analyzes the DNA in a person’s blood. Since dying cancer cells shed their DNA into the blood stream, a liquid biopsy can detect the presence of a cancer on a cellular level. This technology is already being used in China as part of prenatal monitoring, as the fetus sheds cells into the mother’s bloodstream during pregnancy.

Early detection of cancer has been behind the great improvement in cancer treatment over the last few decades. For example, one of the main reasons for the decline in colorectal cancer is the more frequent use of colonoscopies. For greater efficacy in early detection, liquid biopsy is being looked at with great interest by American researchers and companies as well. Eric Topol, a professor of genomics at the Scripps Research Institute, stated that this technology, will become the “stethoscope for the next 200 years.” A San Diego company, Illumina, which builds fast gene-sequencing machines, is excited about the market potential of as much as $40 billion. It manufactures these devices, some of which are as small as a cell phone, and the devices could be used in clinical trials very shortly.

The liquid biopsy is not a one-size-fits-all cancer detection system. As each cancer has unique DNA markers, part of the research is to identify those markers and apply them specifically.

As far as my husband is concerned, the day cannot come too soon when a liquid biopsy is available for his type of prostate cancer. Luckily his cancer seems to be in remission, and his biopsy schedule has been reduced. Perhaps by the next rodeo, he’ll be able to have a blood draw and call it a day.


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 withinAG 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? About 100 to 10,000 times smaller than human cells. These smart little machines travel through a patient’s body to the site of a particular problem. Not surprisingly, a very big use of nanotechnology is in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

Nanotechnology and cancer detection and treatment is a match that, in the past, was only imaginable in science fiction. Cancer initially happens in formerly undetectable ways at a molecular level. Nanotechnology has the capacity to rapidly detect cancer-causing cells, also at the molecular level. Through the application of molecular contrast agents, nanotechnology can not only detect changes in cells potentially leading to cancer, but can also monitor treatment to ensure that a cancer patient is receiving the correct medicine. Understanding and treating cancer on such a profoundly targeted area of the body can also lead to greater development of individualized therapies.

At this point, most cancer patients receive some combination of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, all of which can have distressing side effects. The promise of nanotechnology is that the field of targeted treatment, already in process, can be accelerated even more. And as early detection is one significant tool in cancer treatment and cure, nanotechnology can certainly be an important tool in that arena.

How available is nanotechnology for the average cancer patient? Several new nanotechnology drugs have passed the clinical trial stage and are on the market, including Doxil® and Abraxane®. Doxil® has been approved in treatment of AIDS-related Kaposi’s sarcoma, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and other solid tumors. Abraxane® is being used in the treatment of advanced breast cancer, advanced non-small lung cancer, and advanced pancreatic cancer. Many other nanotechnologies are in the pipeline as well.

Chalk one up for science fiction predicting real life inventions! I’m still waiting for the transporter myself.