pancreatic cancer

My heart sank when I received the news.

Nearly two years ago, my friend and colleague, Sam Chi, called to tell me that he had pancreatic cancer. I knew that was a death sentence.

There are various kinds of pancreatic cancer, and his was the most common type: adenocarcinoma. It was stage III, which meant that even though the cancer had not metastasized to other organs, it was locally advanced. The cancer had engulfed nearby blood vessels, making it inoperable.

Even under the best of circumstances, the five-year survival rate for pancreatic adenocarcinoma is devastating. According to the...

Who among us hasn’t been tormented by the itch after a mosquito bite? This is due to the histamine release at the offending site. In some, it is a bit more exaggerated and an oral antihistamine or topical cream with the passage of time does the trick to provide optimal relief.

Now imagine that intensity and urge to scratch diffusely spread over your entire body in a constant and unrelenting fashion. Night and day. Where a more significant underlying cause won’t be benefitted and cured by time or a Benadryl, for instance.

That is called chronic “generalized pruritus” and its etiologies can range from the readily fixable to the necessitation of a liver transplant in those where treatment for the symptom might be refractory. In the extreme, sleep is impaired and even...

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is on a recent publishing push with respect to cancer prevention efforts, promotion of current statistics and encouragement of comprehensive plan implementations on all governmental, personal and public fronts.

Pediatrics’ — the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics — November issue included a companion supplement entitled “Opportunities for Cancer Prevention During Early Life.”  The cover disclosed its sponsorship by the CDC, an Agency of the Department of Health and Human Services under the Cooperative Agreement CDC RFA OT13-1302: Building Capacity of the Public Health System to Improve Population...

Pancreatic cancer via Shutterstock Pancreatic cancer via Shutterstock

Pancreatic cancer (adenocarcinoma) is bad.  The tumor develops from the enzyme-producing exocrine glands of the pancreas. The prognosis is bad.  By the time most people present with symptoms the cancer has already metastasized or spread.  Generally, those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer...

Screen Shot 2014-05-06 at 2.45.32 PMA pancreatic cancer diagnosis most frequently indicates poor prognosis it has among the worst 5-year survival rate of all cancers which makes this particular type of cancer the fourth leading cause of cancer death. A new study published in the...