Breast cancer, blood clots and ‘bridging the gap’

20 Apr
blood clots - kim carney

Beautiful blood clot illustration by Kimberly Carney.

I swear the last year has been a blur. Between the cancer whispering job at Fred Hutch, the cancer advocacy world and our crazy clown car presidency, I haven’t had time to blog much. But I’ve written and tweeted and advocated plenty!

In days ahead, you’ll find me at the Binaytara Foundation’s 2019 Summit on Cancer Health Disparities (#SCHD19) next weekend, April 27 and 28, here in Seattle.

On Tuesday, April 30, I’m joining lung cancer patient advocate Randall Broad, physician-scientist Dr. Renato Martins and others for a C-SESSIONS discussion on Bridging the Gap, improving cancer patient/provider communication. More info here. Register for the free event here.

And for the first time ever, I’ll be attending the largest cancer research conference in the world, ASCO 2019, in Chicago  May 31-June 4. In a word, EEK!

Writing-wise, here are a few stories that might be of interest to my breast cancer peeps …

Blood clots: What cancer patients need to know

When Don Stranathan’s left leg became swollen after a long day of shoveling granite for a buddy’s new bocce ball court, he didn’t think much of it. He even joked about it on Facebook. “Typical me, I posted a pic and said, ‘I worked so hard, my leg’s all swollen,’” said the 66-year-old metastatic lung cancer patient from Santa Rosa, California. “Then somebody said, ‘Don, if you have lung cancer, there’s a good chance that could be DVT, deep vein thrombosis. You should get that checked; it could be serious.’” As it turned out, it was serious — and not just for Stranathan. Blood clots, also known as thrombosis, or, when they break loose and lodge in the lung, venous thromboembolisms, are the next leading cause of death in cancer patients after cancer itself. They are a side effect of both treatment and the biological nature of the disease… They’re common, they’re scary, they’re potentially lethal and they’re pricey — yet they’re not always on the radar of patients or clinicians. … READ MORE …


Is it possible to prevent breast cancer metastasis?

Researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle may have found a way to essentially smother cancer cells in their sleep, preventing them from ever waking up and forming deadly metastatic tumors. The work, led by translational researcher Dr. Cyrus Ghajar, has also turned on its ear the longstanding belief that chemotherapy can’t kill dormant disseminated tumor cells — cancer cells that escape early on and hide out in other regions of the body — because those cells are in a “sleeper state.” They’ve stopped growing so chemo, which blindly targets all fast-growing cells, healthy and otherwise, doesn’t work. That’s not quite the case. … READ MORE …


Supper, sleep, circadian rhythms and cancer risk

When you eat may be as critical as what you eat for your risk of breast and prostate cancers, a research team reported this week. The findings came from a Spanish study published in the International Journal of Cancer, which was led by environmental, occupational and molecular epidemiologist Dr. Manolis Kogevinas of Barcelona’s Institute for Global Health. Kogevinas is currently a visiting professor at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. In a nutshell, participants in the study who ate dinner before 9 p.m. or waited at least two hours after eating before going to bed had a 26 percent lower risk of prostate cancer and a 16 percent lower risk of breast cancer than those who either ate after 10 p.m. or ate and then promptly hit the hay.   … READ MORE …

20190415_120642.jpgLast but not least, I celebrated (angrily acknowledged?) the eighth anniversary of my double mastectomy this week. Incredible that I have made it 
eight years. Really happy to still be here but man, I wish we could crack this nut. People are still dying.

Peace out, much love, #FUcancer and thanks as always for the read!

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