The Dukes of Dallas in Texas is coming together for a special benefit to help their friend who has a rare brain cancer.
Brenna Kelley’s event was scheduled for Jan. 13th at Buddies II in Cedar Springs but an ice storm caused the event to be cancelled. Plans are in the works to reschedule the fundraiser.
From a cancer vaccine to battlefield bandages that stop bleeding, 2006 brought dramatic health care advances, according to writer Carolyn Poirot.
“With life expectancy in the U.S. at an unprecedented 78 years, being able to predict and prevent illness will be more important in the future,’ said Poirot.
The first vaccine developed to prevent cancer was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last summer.
“Other vaccines to prevent virus-related cancers are under development,” writes Poirot. “Other important advances in the detection and treatment of cancer include several new ‘smart drugs.’ There also have been significant advances in genetic tests that predict the outcomes of people with lung cancer.”
In other cancer news, Mary Jacobs’s remember when her acquaintance was dying of melanoma and out of options. Jacobs recently wrote about her own experiences with cancer.
“As a cancer survivor, I’ve learned that it’s highly unlikely we’ll ever open the newspaper one morning to find the headline ‘Cancer finally cured,'” said Jacobs. “I’m a survivor of Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a so-called ‘good’ cancer because its survival rate is quite high. I benefited from other advances big and small in my treatment. In radiation I benefited from advances that made radiation more targeted. So I was grateful for these advances but my gratitude became more personal when I found out about Arthur Ray Clark, my mother’s cousin.”
Jacobs said Clark was sort of a phantom character in her childhood.
“We always thought he’d died of leukemia but after my diagnosis my mother found out that Arthur had had Hodgkins,” said Jacobs. “Years later Arthur’s name came up again. I have thought of how frightening and discouraging Arthur’s illness must have been and how his mother may have wondered in the back of her mind whether it had been worth it so subject him to the experimental drugs. And likely she never heard whether it had made any difference. Arthur was one of hundreds, maybe thousands, of soldiers in the many battles that took Hodgkin’s from death sentence to ‘good cancer.'”
Clark died six years after his diagnosis.
Jacobs said for many patients participating in a clinical trial requires heroic commitment with little chance of victory.
“But slowly, bit by bit, each contribution chips away at the disease, and the cure rates rise,” she said.