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Friday, February 5, 2010

MYJ | Another immune system boost at COH

One of the consequences of 16 months of chemotherapy following my March 2006 diagnosis with mantle cell lymphoma (now in remission a second time) is that my immune system is challenged. This new reality makes me far more susceptible to infections and illness, so we are guarded about exposures.

That's why we were back to City of Hope Wednesday for the second of a series of seven monthly IVIG infusions (gama globulin), a class of blood plasma proteins, most notably including the antibodies that help fight infections and disease. MORE | http://wisegeek.twi.bz/a

The gama globulin infusion process is not unlike chemotherapy, taking 5-6 hours to complete the dose of about a liter of fluid that looks like pink lemonade. But unlike chemo, this substance has few side-effects other than its main purpose (boosting the immune system).
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clipped from www.webmd.com
WebMD: Better Information. Better Health.

Immunoglobulins

An immunoglobulins test is done to measure
the level of immunoglobulins, also known as
antibodies, in your blood.

Antibodies are
substances made by the body's
immune system in response to bacteria, viruses,
fungus, animal dander, or cancer cells. Antibodies attach to the foreign
substances so the immune system can destroy them. See a picture of the
immune system .

Antibodies are specific to each type of foreign
substance. For example, antibodies made in response to a
tuberculosis infection attach only to tuberculosis
bacteria. Antibodies also work in allergic reactions. Occasionally, antibodies
may be made against your own tissues. This is called an
autoimmune disease.

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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

SET | Something new to ponder about the health care reform debate

It has long been common knowledge that the Canadian, British, and other western societies that have government-run health care have a rationing system for advanced critical services like open-heart surgery. Hence, stories like this one surface from time to time about high-profile citizens of these nations who choose to come to the U.S. for advanced medicine, where they probably usually pay out of pocket.

All of this gives much fodder to those on the side of stopping any attempts in the USA to implement a similar system here for government-run health care.

Quotable BLOGGER BEN SMITH | http://politico.twi.bz/g | "Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams is set to undergo heart surgery this week in the United States. | CBC News confirmed Monday that Williams, 60, left the province earlier in the day and will have surgery later in the week. | The premier's office provided few details, beyond confirming that he would have heart surgery and saying that it was not necessarily
clipped from web.me.com

Williams new health-debate poster boy

Danny Williams either bought faster foreign access to routine heart surgery or needed urgent specialized treatment Newfoundland's health care system did not provide. The real diagnosis doesn't matter because his fate in at least one national medicare debate is sealed. | Read more:

The National Post is now on Facebook. Join our fan community today. | http://nationalpost.twi.bz/d

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

MYJ | Luminary linked cancer and smoking

Epidemiologist Lawrence Garfinkel, MA, a legendary researcher for the American Cancer Society whose work helped establish a link between cancer and smoking and other activities, died of cardiovascular disease Thursday in Seattle, Washington at 88.

"The American Cancer Society today mourns the loss of one of its most important historical figures," said John R. Seffrin, PhD, the society's chief executive officer.
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clipped from www.latimes.com

Lawrence Garfinkel dies at 88; statistician helped link smoking to lung cancer

Garfinkel had a key role in two massive studies with the American Cancer Society, one of which helped pave the way for the landmark 1964 surgeon general's report on smoking and health.

Lawrence Garfinkel | 1922 - 2010
Lawrence Garfinkel, the statistician who overcame his lack of a doctoral degree and training in oncology to become one of the driving forces in demonstrating that smoking causes lung cancer, died Jan. 21 in Seattle. He was 88.

The cause of death was cardiovascular disease, according to his son Martin.

Garfinkel oversaw the training of thousands of volunteers for the American Cancer Society and helped conduct two of the largest epidemiological studies ever, enrolling more than 2.2 million men and women. The first of those studies, along with the British Doctors' Study, played a key role in formulating the landmark 1964 surgeon general's report on smoking and health.
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