Namo amitabha Buddhaya, y'all.
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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Weird Wednesday: A Cure For Brain Cancer

There's a lot of weirdness going around this Wednesday. To begin with, we have some whack job taking over the Discovery Channel offices because the channel encourage human breeding. Here's a link to his rant--apparently MySpace took his page down, so if you were trying to use the earlier link, sorry about that. We also had a psycho-stalker ex-girlfriend get herself stuck and actually die while trying to break into her former boyfriend's house by way of the chimney. I mean, there's no end to the possible jokes here, but I'll stick to "If Santa can do it, I can do it." But the weirdest by far is this one: A brilliant batch of masters of the obvious have just published an article in the Journal of the AMA, announcing that if you have bits of you lopped off, your risk of dying of cancer in your missing bits drops to zero. I mean, it's hard to imagine how we ever managed twenty thousand years of civilization without knowing that.

Seriously, look at the article. (Oh, sure, you can look it up on CNN or U.S. News and World Report, but let's just be hardcore and look at the real thing, shall we?) Honest to God, there it is, right under "Results": " No breast cancers were diagnosed in the 247 women with risk-reducing mastectomy compared with 98 women of 1372 diagnosed with breast cancer who did not have risk-reducing mastectomy." In short, if you don't have breasts, you can't get breast cancer. Wow. I mean, I'm just in awe.

All joking aside, though, "This is the first study to show that this risk-reducing surgery can extend the life of women," says Virginia Kaklamani, an associate professor of medicine at Northwestern University, who wrote an editorial that accompanied the study. Which is more than a little upsetting to yours truly. Women who carry a "mutant" version of a gene called BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 are much more likely to get breast or ovarian cancer than women who don't. That's a statistical probability. But just because one has an increased risk of getting cancer, does that mean one should have the offending bit removed? And when? Should we DNA-screen every infant and start with the double mastectomies when they're six months old? Or wait until they're twelve? Is twenty-four okay, or has the "mutant gene" already started to wreak havoc by then? When is it the least traumatic to have a body part chopped off? Would you rather lose your leg at five or fifty?

To make this even more tricky, the "mutant" genes tend to be carried by Jewish women of Eastern European origin at a rate 10 times higher than in the rest of the population. "Me of IA" nailed it when he or she commented on the U.S. News & World Report forum,

"Voluntary" sterilization. Implementation is based on a woman's submission to the authority of the medical doctor (and his appeal to her fear of death). 'Jewish women with Eastern European roots should get tested.' If testing is recommended to them, is sterilization encouraged? Sterilize the Jews?!?!?! Holy mother of god! They're mutilating and sterilizing women, and openly admitting the genetic motive! If that's not whitewashed genocide, nothing is.

Thank you, Me of IA. That's exactly what I was thinking.

I gotta wonder if doctors would be quite so quick to recommend this same "risk-reducing surgery" to their male patients with a high risk of testicular cancer. Not an issue, right? You don't need balls to live, do you? And what's a little sack of tissue hanging from your scrotum when compared with extending the lives of men? Good God, DNA screen the dudes and start chopping at age twelve. Better safe than sorry and all that.

Come to think of it, I just thought of a cure for brain cancer. Let's start with Virginia Kaklamani. Oh, whoops. Too late.

1 comment:

Cele said...

My cousin had this surgery out of her terror of breast cancer. The screening showed she had the gene and you back that up with a grandmother who had a double radical mastdectomy because of cancer, she scared her self silly.