It’s a shame that a frenzy of shopping makes more headlines than a holiday with a concept as simple as giving thanks. The whole crazed shopping thing is not my deal, and I couldn’t care less what people do on their Friday after Thanksgiving, but I very much do not like the idea of Thanksgiving being co-oped by shopping nonsense.
Thanksgiving may have passed, I’m still thinking about giving thanks.
First of all, I am thankful for family and friends. I am thankful for how fortunate we are that we employed, relatively financially secure and of a means to enjoy a celebratory feast and generously share our resources with those who have challenges. Most of all, we have our health.
It’s been almost four years since L’s diagnosis and two years since her bone marrow transplant. Her health is stellar. She had a rough road and more daily issues that any of us care to think about, but now she is healthy and almost completely free of the lingering effects of transplant. I’m sure for all the medical practitioners, researchers and technicians this is somewhat commonplace, but to me it’s a miracle of the best kind because it hinges on research, knowledge and practice.
Thanks to those who spend their lives working on treatments and cures for our medical conditions, our world and our future have changed for the better. And, this is just the beginning.
Researchers at Jefferson announced that they may have discovered that a hormonal imbalance is the cause of colon cancer. So far the research has been confined to rats, but their testing shows that virtually 100% of human patients diagnosed with colon cancer shared the same hormone deficiency. They are testing whether supplementing the hormone alerts the body’s immune system to attack the cancer cells and prevent future tumor growth.
Then there’s this news from the Abramson Cancer center at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania:
“The Abramson Cancer Center (ACC) made a major breakthrough in cancer immunotherapy, which was recently published in The New England Journal of Medicine. “What we’re doing falls under the area of personalized medicine in the extreme sense – using a person’s own white blood cells or tumor cells to develop a personalized vaccine,” says Carl H. June, M.D., Director, Translational Research at the ACC, who is overseeing the development of these vaccines.
Dr. June, widely regarded as one of the world’s leading cancer immunologists, has spent years conducting research at the ACC with modified T cells, cells in the body that are capable of recognizing, attacking, and destroying foreign invaders, and assembling a team of physician-scientists to advance immunotherapy for many types of cancer.
During immunotherapy, the patient’s cells are removed and modified. The altered cells are infused back into the patient’s body following chemotherapy. “This isn’t a drug in a bottle or a vaccine in a vial,” Dr. June says. “This is more like a next-generation blood transfusion.” – Abramson Report, Winter 2012
Doctors at MD Anderson believe that “dying from cancer can eventually be as rare as dying from pneumonia.” Researchers are closest to finding cures for five cancers: lung cancer,
melanoma, triple negative breast cancer and ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, acute myeloid leukemia/myelodysplastic syndrome and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (blood cancers).
Those are just a few examples of what’s going on in the world of cancer research, I’m quite sure there are dedicated medical professionals around the world working every day.
Thanks to them we can all look forward to a brighter future and that’s light years better than any dumb sale.