Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Breast cancer in the news

This morning's news has two articles on breast cancer.

1. There is an impending shortage of a necessary isotope which is used in 'procedures' to diagnose breast and other cancers. 2/3 of the world wide supply comes from one reactor which has been shut for repairs and will reopen in April. The balance comes from another reactor which is closing this month. There are talks to find another source in Poland but nothing is signed yet. A shortage means a return to older, less advanced tests. Clearly this demonstrates the need for market competition and multiple sources for specific items. Isotopes have half lives and decay which means they can't be stock piled in advance. Well, get those negotiations going with the third plant. We don't need a return to less advanced techniques.

2. Can taking aspirin reduce the chance of breast cancer recurrence? They say yes, well, maybe, well, we are not sure, possibly, but don't start taking aspirin daily yet unless you talk to your doctor. This is a classic case of 'we-don't-quite-know-what-we-are-talking-about-yet-but-it-sounds-good-and-we-think-it-eventually-will-lead-to-something-and-we-need-some-coverage-so-maybe-we-will-get-some-funding-for-research-and-eventually-have-a-concrete-answers'. Call me a cynic but I do feel we hear these stories about promising new research and then never seem to hear them put into standard treatment protocols. And what about me? I am on anti-inflammatories for my back and if this study is based on the anti-inflammatory properties of aspirin, am I getting a similar protection? Because of my anti-inflammatory, I can't take aspirin products currently.

Too much time in medical facilities causes cynicism and stress and scanxiety and surgical scarring and impatience and generally overall crabbiness.

But today is another day. We got another snow storm yesterday so I worked from home and went to the gym after going to my therapist. I also made a giant pot of soup - yum! This morning I get to go to the dentist and then to work. How fun. What a combination. No replies from my doctor yet on the ultrasound but its only Wednesday.

2 comments:

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