20% Rise Seen in Number of Survivors of Cancer

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Cancer Institute, the number of cancer survivors have increased by about 20% in just six years. In 2001, there were 9.8 million, while in 2007, it increased up to 11.7 million. Compared to the past, this is a drastic change as it was only about 3 million in 1971.

According to the graph above, 65% of cancer survivors have lived at least 5 years, 40% have lived 10 years or more, and nearly 10% has lived 25 years or even more.

Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the director of the Centers for Disease Control, have said that some of the factors that would have caused this increase in the number of cancer survivors may be the following, in which various by type. For some cases of breast cancer and colon cancer, the improved treatments and increased follow-up after these treatments have helped increase survival. Furthermore, generally, these cancer diagnoses are simply the consequences of the country’s aging population and improved care. This means that the people are living long enough to develop these cancers.

Dr. Frieden mentions that “having cancer may be the first stage, really, in the rest of your life” and that “we need to continue to scale up” the services available for cancer survivors.


Web of Popularity, Weaved by Bullying

This post is not necessarily a news on areas of health or science. However, bullying, which I am going to present a news article about it, has been becoming a worldwide problem.

“It does highlight that it’s a typical behavior that’s used in establishing social networks and status,”

says Dr. Gallagher, an associate professor of child and adolescent psychiatry. These struggles for a higher social hierarchy within the student’s high school may and has led to numerous damaging consequences.

It is clear that the cause of this act of bullying is to get involved in the “popular” crowd. The most concerning problem is that most of the cases of bullying mostly involve chronic harassment of socially isolated students. Teenage aggression and victimization has also been reported in various forms several times.

Robert Faris, an assistant professor of sociology at U.C. Davis, has said that “most victimization is occurring in the middle to upper ranges of status” and that “rather than going after kids on the margins, they might be targeting kids who are rivals.”

People like Robert Faris are not many. This is because the bullying that occurs at a high school “may be somewhat invisible,” as Dr. Faris says. Most educators and parents are unaware of the aggression that is happening in school and the ample amount of stress that these students are getting everyday.

It is hard to either block or lessen the severity of this problem. However, there has been some efforts for it. Dr. Faris has been saying that “all the attention has been on the mental health deficiencies of the bullies” and that they “need to direct more attention to how aggression is interwoven into the social fabric of these schools.”

Success of Spina Bifida Study Opens Fetal Surgery Door

“While this is a very promising and quite exciting result,”

says Dr. Diana Farmer, a surgeon in chief at the Benioff Children’s Hospital at the University of California, San Francisco.

For a considerable amount of time, surgeons have been trying to fix problems on the baby by operating in the womb. It was hard to overcome all the difficulties and risks to both the baby and the mother. Thus, this surgery was used only when the baby was on definite risk of dying.

Recently, a trial showed that a fetal surgery may not always be life-threatening. This was shown from Tyson Thomas, of Stansbury Park, Utah, who’s currently 22-months old. When his mother, Jessica Thomas, had him, the doctor told her that this baby’s malformation is at “the worst they had ever seen and would be likely that he wouldn’t be able to breathe on his own.”

After the surgery, Tyson is able to breathe independently and shows absolutely no brainstem malformation. Mr. Thomas, his nurse, said that he is even “getting really close to walking.”

Now many babies could be able to receive surgery to close the spinal opening after birth. However, there are still some problems that cannot be overcome. It has been said that the nerve damage from the spinal cord exposure to amniotic fluid remains. Also, the brainstem may be pilled into the spinal column. The surgical replacements may have to be repeated and there may be infections.

I hope this area of study will develop to increase the chances of success in this fetal surgery and would safe a lot more lives.

As U.S. Patients Await Organ Transplants, Potential Donors Struggle for Visas

“When patients need a transplant, most of the time, the first people they turn to is their families … It becomes complicated when their families are not in the U.S., which in a lot of instances, that is the case.”

This is a quote from Dr. Juan Carlos Caicedo, a transplant surgeon and director of the Hispanic Transplant Program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

I am starting my blog with a new theme: health. It is an area that I have great interest in and would also want to hear diverse views about those issues. The first post of this theme concerns the difficulties for organ transplants to be done when there already is an organ donor.

One of the cases goes to the Dr. Gabriel Danovitch, a transplant surgeon at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is treating his patient, Dr. Danovitch, an immigrant from Mexico whose kidneys have failed. Luckily, this patient has a donor, his brother.

Then what is the issue, when the patient already has a donor? The big problem is that his brother, being a Mexican citizen did not have a visa to come to the states.

It is just a pitiful situation, not being able to save a person’s life because one could not get the visa. Some issues also deal with some of the poor families whom cannot afford to pay for the donors in order to travel to the states.

This is a situation of complication. It is not that easy to just allow people to come to the states by giving mercy to the situation. On the other hand, these desperate situations cannot be merely avoided.

I hope a solution that will benefit with less losses will come up to better the current situation.

Image: http://cntransplant.com/2.htm

News: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/21/us/21transplants.html?ref=health