To all of you who know someone who is fighting this dreadful disease, know someone who has passed on, or may even be fighting this battle yourself... I hope you find some comfort here at this site, whether it be an article, a link, or even a picture. My heart is with you, for I have lost my dear sister Janel who was only 42 at her passing October 26th, 2009. This young woman never drank alcohol or smoked a day in her life. She was a third degree brown belt in karate and only lived for three days following her diagnosis. I encourage everyone to support research and funding for this silent killer.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Rules for Being Human

Angels are everywhere if you only stop to notice. Sometimes, they even let you in on a few secrets.

Stone angel

Happiness consists of being perfectly satisfied with what we have, not with what we have achieved.

Rules for Being Human:

You may like it or hate it, but it will be yours for the entire period, at least this time around.

You are enrolled in a full time informal school called life. Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or think them irrelevant and stupid.

Growth is a process of trial and error, experimentation. The “failed” experiment is as much a part of the process as the experiment that ultimately “worked”.

A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it, you can then go on to the next lesson.

There is no part of life that does not contain it’s lessons. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned.

When your “there” has become a “here”, you will simply obtain another “there” that will again, look better than “here”

You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects to you something you love or hate about yourself.

You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.

The answers to life’s questions lie inside you. All you need to do is look, listen and trust.

Unless you consistently stay focused on the goals you have set for yourself, everything that you have read won’t mean a thing.

— Anonymous Message from an Anonymous Angel

Monday, March 5, 2012

Care That Never Quits...

Pancreatic Cancer Prognosis

To Learn More About This Topic: Chat with Us | Email Us

Over Five Years Later:
A Survivor’s Story

When pancreatic cancer survivor Peggy was told there was no hope, she refused to give up and came to CTCA.
Conventional wisdom often says that the pancreatic cancer prognosis is not a good one. Conventional wisdom also says that cancer can't often be beaten, but we at Cancer Treatment Centers of America know that conventional wisdom can be wrong.
When your doctor gave you the initial pancreatic cancer prognosis, it may have erred on the side of caution. No one wants to give false hope, yet no one wants you to walk away from your initial pancreatic cancer prognosis feeling that there is no need to do anything further. Yes, the pancreatic cancer prognosis may be serious, however, the pancreatic cancer prognosis is not without hope.
At Cancer Treatment Centers of America one of the most valuable things we can give people who are dealing with a less than optimistic pancreatic cancer prognosis is hope. Call 800-487-3526 or click here to chat with on Oncology Information Specialist online about your pancreatic cancer prognosis. We can start you on the road to more effectively dealing with your pancreatic cancer prognosis.

Pancreatic Cancer Prognosis: There is Hope

When you first received your pancreatic cancer prognosis, you most likely had a lot of questions. Some were as basic as "Will I survive?", others may have dealt with best treatment options, post treatment care, and life after treatment. At Cancer Treatment Centers of America we've dealt with all those questions and more. We are dedicated to giving you the most optimistic pancreatic cancer prognosis possible. We won't give you false hope, but we will give you hope. Hope that your initial pancreatic cancer prognosis can become brighter. Hope that your pancreatic cancer prognosis doesn't mean an end to life as you know it. Hope that, working together, we can find ways to bring health and healing to your initial pancreatic cancer prognosis.
Call 800-487-3526 and speak with an Oncology Information Specialist today. Healing and hope may be as close as a phone call. Your initial pancreatic cancer prognosis was not written in stone. You may have the power to change that prognosis for pancreatic cancer. Cancer Treatment Centers of America is ready to be your partner in making that change.

What do you say to someone who is dying?

Talking to someone who is dying can be very uncomfortable. It can be so uncomfortable people often avoid, or want to avoid, visiting or talking with a dying person. People often state they “just don’t know what to say.”

It is understandable we are at a loss for words around someone who is dying. We never wrote essays in school about talking to a dying person and dinner conversations don’t routinely cover this subject. It is especially difficult to find words when we are experiencing intense feelings of sadness and impending loss. We may only see their failing body, declining health, and vanishing spirit while losing sight of the fact a dying person is more than their death. Finding words in this painful situation necessitates a broader perspective than the moment we are in.

At any point in time a human being is a composite of their past, present and future.

Relating to people successfully includes referencing all three of these dimensions.

When we say “hello” to someone who is dying we need to be thinking about the person they were, the person they are, and the person they will become. When we ask “How are you?” we need to really mean it and not accept “fine” or “OK” as an answer. We need to say “No, I mean how are you really.” Then we need to listen and listen well, because talking with someone who is dying is as much about listening as it is about words.

We may not know much about the particulars a dying person shares such as diagnoses or tests or treatments. But we all know about pain, frustration, sadness, and loss. These feelings are not situation specific and we can say “I am so sorry you have to experience these things today.” Empathizing with someone who is dying is a powerful way to be with them. Even the dying person can only spend so much time with their decline and will need to move on.

You can say “I remember when things were different. Do you remember when we went fishing in that snowstorm?” or bring up some time in the past you were together. This can often be a comfortable time talking about your shared past and exchanging familiar remembrances that connect you in the world of memories. Talking about past experiences reminds everyone that the dying person’s life is more than what it is today.

When reminiscing is ending you can talk about tomorrow by asking “What will your tomorrow be like?” This question may take you into current events or it may take you into the final chapter of a life. When a dying person talks about “just waiting to go” you may squirm and say “I hate to hear you say that, my world will be different without you.” Tears and hugs and hand holding are meaningful because sharing emotions and touch are another powerful way to be with someone.

Ending a conversation or visit with a dying person can be hard. You can say “I have to go now, I have enjoyed talking with you, I am thinking about you.” You may be overwhelmed with lots of other thoughts and emotions, but know you have made a positive difference by spending time with someone and their past, present, and future. And when the dying person can no longer talk, you can still communicate with them by sitting quietly at their side in silence, remembering their life is so much more than this moment.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Gene linked to pancreatic cancer growth, U-M study finds

Inactivating Kras caused tumors to disappear, suggesting possible treatment target

-added 1/31/2012
Ann Arbor - A mutant protein found in nearly all pancreatic cancers plays a role not only in the cancer's development but in its continued growth, according to a new study from University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers. The finding suggests a possible target for developing new ways to treat this deadly disease.
Gene linked to pancreatic cancer growth, U-M study finds
When Kras is turned off, early stage precancerous pancreatic lesions transform into normal pancreas cells.

Researchers have known that mutations in the Kras gene are what cause pancreatic cancer to develop. These mutations are frequently seen in common precancerous lesions, suggesting it has an early role in pancreatic cancer.
The new study, published in the February Journal of Clinical Investigation, finds that in mice, mutant Kras also keeps the tumor growing and helps precancerous tumors grow into invasive cancer. When the researchers turned off Kras, the tumors disappeared and showed no signs of recurring.
The researchers were able to manipulate Kras in a mouse model that they designed to look at Kras at various points in pancreatic cancer development. In the precancerous lesions, turning off Kras eliminated the tumors in mice and the pancreas tissue returned to normal, with no signs of the cancer returning. With invasive cancer, inactivating Kras killed off the cancer but left the pancreas with fibrous areas similar to scar tissue. Tumors did not recur.
Researchers hope this finding provides the basis for future drug development.
"Right now no drugs specifically target Kras, but there are drugs that target the cellular processes downstream of Kras. We next need to figure out which of these downstream effectors of Kras are important in pancreatic cancer," says study author Marina Pasca di Magliano, Ph.D., assistant professor of surgery and of cell and developmental biology at the U-M Medical School.
Kras is also known to play a role in lung and colon cancer. But it is likely the biggest player in pancreatic cancer, where more than 90% of all tumors have mutated Kras. Pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadly types of cancer: about 4% of patients are alive five years after their diagnosis. The disease is often diagnosed when surgery is not an option and it tends to be resistant to available chemotherapies.
"There is a dire need for new therapies for pancreas cancer based on a better understanding of the biology of this disease. My lab is now looking at the downstream inhibitors of Kras to try to find the best target," Pasca di Magliano says.
Note to patients: This research was based in mice and needs further testing before any possible treatments are available for clinical trials. For information about current pancreatic cancer treatments, call the U-M Cancer AnswerLine at 800-865-1125.
Pancreatic cancer statistics: 43,140 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year and 36,800 will die from the disease, according to the American Cancer Society.
Additional authors: Meredith A. Collins, Filip Bednar, Yaqing Zhang, Jean-christophe Brisset, Stefanie Galban, Craig J. Galban, Sabita Rakshit, and Karen S. Flannagan, all from U-M; and N. Volkan Adsay from Emory University.
Funding: U-M Biological Scholar Program; National Cancer Institute; U-M Gastrointestinal Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE); Pancreatic Cancer Action Network; American Association for Cancer Research; Michigan Gastrointestinal Peptide Research Center.
Disclosure: None
Reference: Journal of Clinical Investigation, Vol. 122, No. 2, February 2012.


Written by Nicole Fawcett