medical resources

Comparison of Radiation Doses

from :http://www.molecularimagingcenter.org/index.cfm?PageID=7083

Typical Radiation Doses (From Various Sources)*
Watching television2 0.01 mSv/year
Air travel (roundtrip from Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles, Calif.) 3 0.05 mSv
Medical chest X-ray (one film) 0.1 mSv
Nuclear medicine thyroid scan2 0.14 mSv
Full set of dental X-rays 0.4 mSv/year
Mammogram (four views) 0.7 mSv
Average annual exposure living in the United States6 3 mSv/year
Average annual exposure from breathing radon gas5 2 mSv
Nuclear medicine lung scan1 2 mSv
Nuclear medicine bone scan1 4.2 mSv
Nuclear cardiac diagnostic test (technetium or Tc-99m) 4 10 mSv
Abdominal CT scan1 10 mSv
Various PET studies (18F FDG)1 14 mSv
Tobacco products (amount for a smoker’s lungs from 20 cigarettes a day)5 53 mSv/year
Cancer treatment (tumor receives)5 50,000 mSv

Vitamin D May Be Another Savior

A retired UCLA doctor asked me,

“ Are you checking Vitamin D level? Cancer patients tend to be low in Vitamin D.  If vitamin D is low, they have trouble with muscle function and pain, as well as bone pain/osteoporosis. “

He is right.  My vitamin D level has been low and I’ve been suffering from muscle stiffness, pains, and cramps.

After I read the email, I googled about the link between cancer and vitamin D.  Then, this is what I found.

“ Vitamin D may boost breast cancer survival odds”

 

According to the CBS news dated 3/7/2014, the researchers studied 44,400 breast cancer women’s vitamin D (25-hydroxyvitamin D) level in the blood. “Patients with high levels of Vitamin D in their blood were twice as likely to survive the disease than women with low levels of the nutrient,” said the article.

The researchers reported that Vitamin D could block the aggressive cancer cell division and stop cancer growing.  They recommended to add Vitamin D to chemotherapy.

The best source of vitamin D is the sunlight, but they say that fatty fish like tuna, fortified milk, and even oranges are good sources of vitamin D, also.

It depends on the level of vitamin D in the blood how much we should take as a supplement, but I was recommended 2000IU/day.  I was taking only 400IU/day, so it was way too little.  Increasing the dose, now I may be able to improve all my muscle problems and even make the new regimen more powerful!  Thank you Doctor!

 

Good News for Triple Negative & Hormone Positive Breast Cancer

The following news is not directly for me who has a HER2 + Breast cancer. Yet, it is still encouraging.

1. Vaccine for Triple Negative Breast Cancer
Mayo Clinic found a target protein of triple negative cancer. Because scientists could not find targets to attack by chemo until now, triple negative was the most difficult type of breast cancer. Yet, this can be a turning point! The clinical trial of the vaccine will begin this spring.

2. New Drug for Estrogen Positive Breast Cancer was Approved
The name of the drug is Librance. In the clinical trial the Progression Free Survival rate of a combination of this drug and Femara was 20.2 months, while Femara alone was 10.2 months. FDA approved Librance two months earlier than the scheduled.

Curing cancer 100% is still a dream, but the medicine is progressing every day. I pray that the victory will come soon!

The Facts of Cancer

A little while ago, I read news that a recent study revealed that breast cancer patients often didn’t know much about their own cancer.

Usually we know little about cancer except it is a deadly disease until we are diagnosed with it. Yet, because the cure is so difficult, but the information is overwhelming, if we lack the knowledge, it may cause confusion, unnecessary fear, or wrong decisions.

So I collected the cancer facts, which may be misunderstood, but important to know.

1. Healthy cells keep a cycle of reproduction from birth to death, but the cancer cells never die and keep growing. While the healthy cells communicate with each other sending signals to regenerate new cells or terminate old cells that grew to the limit, cancer cells send wrong signals or ignore the signals without following the order.

(Since last week I have heard the big scandal that Hillary Clinton didn’t follow a White House rule and kept federal information in her own email account even after her resignation from the Secretary of State. It is interesting to know that whether it is in the human society or the world of the nature, not obeying the order is harmful and may be deadly.)

2. The immune system fights against foreign objects such as bacteria and viruses, recognizing them as invaders, but it can’t recognize cancer, which the healthy cells mutate into.
The theory of a cancer vaccine is to take out a part of the immune system, such as a white blood cell, educate it to be able to recognize cancer, and send it back to the body.

3. In the lab, cancer doesn’t grow in an Alkali environment, but the PH of a human body is set stable and corrected if it changes to too acid or alkali by the body system. Therefore even if we eat or drink alkali food or water, they can’t prevent or shrink cancer.

4. Cancer is named based on the primary location or organ cancer first grows. The metastasis or secondary cancer happens as the cancer travels from the primary location to a different organ or tissue through blood or lymphatic fluid. For example, if cancer grew in the breast first and traveled to lungs or the brain, it is still called breast cancer instead of lung or brain cancer.

5. Even if cancer cells flow into lymphatic fluid or capillaries, most of them can’t survive. When a flowing cancer cell sticks in a capillary and penetrates through the capillary wall into a different organ, where it is comfortable for the cancer cell to grow with the nutrition, the new tumor starts grow.
This appears to me that it takes a while for cancer to grow or metastasize.

6. Lymph system works as a filter stopping cancer or abnormal cells as well as a fighter against infections.
If cancer cells get into the lymphatic fluid, they are carried to lymph glands. Cancer cells may die there, but if they survive, it is called lymph node spread.

7. Cancer grade tells how aggressive cancer is. The higher the grade is the faster the cancer grows and spreads.

8. Cancer stage tells how big a cancer tumor is or how far cancer is progressing.

Stage 0 or carcinoma in situ: There are a group of abnormal cells in a particular part of the body. They may grow into cancer in the future, but this status is too small to form a tumor.
Stage 1: The tumor is small and stays in a primary location of organ.
Stage 2: The tumor is bigger than stage 1 and may include lymph node spread.
Stage 3: The tumor is bigger than stage 2 and there are cancer cells in lymph nodes in the area.
Stage 4: cancer cells spread from the primary organ to a different organ or organs. This is the end stage, but is not necessarily the end or terminal condition, in which cancer has spread too far to treat. In fact there are a quite a few stage 4 patients who have experienced remissions or survived more than ten years.

9. Surgeries and radiation therapy are local treatments, which focus on only a particular area or region of the body. The local treatment is not good enough if there is a possibility of metastasis, and a systematic treatment, such as chemo or hormone therapies, is needed.

10. According to Mayo Clinic, sugar is a vital energy source as well as protein for not only healthy cells but also cancer cells.  However, neither consuming sugar makes cancer grow faster nor refraining from sugar stops growing cancer, except that a large intake of sugar may cause weight gain or diabetes, which are risk factors of cancer.

11. Some people are worry that a microwave may cause cancer, but this is not true. It is safe as long as a plastic or a container is microwaveable. If they are not suitable for a microwave, toxic chemicals may leak from them.      
If you cook vegetables or fruits with a microwave, add a little water to them so that the loss of nutrition, which is easily destroyed by heat such as flying, steaming, grilling, or boiling, is minimized.

12. At last most importantly, even if the condition becomes terminal and the death gets near, there is still hope. God who created heavens and earth has sent Jesus for us. Because He paid the price of our Sin on the cross, and resurrected three days after, defeating death, the people who believe it can live forever even after death.

GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME!

Continue AHCC

Abraxan I started in September has a side effect of lowering white cell count, especially on Neutrophils. Mine was also affected and went down below standard range. The doctor ordered Newpogina, a shot to boost up the neutrophils count.

At that time, I gave up taking a supplement, AHCC, (an extract of mushrooms), which I had taken since before this summer, thinking this was not helpful.

The following week, the lab test showed the recovery of Neutrophills, but decrease of other white cell counts, such as Lymphcytes, Monocytes, and Eosinophils: Especially the count of Lymphcytes was out of the standard range.

All the white cells are vital elements of the immune system. If the immune system gets weak, we are susceptible to any kinds of disease and may even die by an infection.

Wondering if the reason of the drop was halting AHCC, I resumed it. Then the next week all the numbers improved and now they are in the standard range. I could have the infusion.

I don’t feel different so much and am on the couch sleeping for hours after the infusion, but assuming AHCC is working, I decided to continue taking it again.

Began Afinitor

I have to take Afinitor every day and today is the fourth day. The
instruction says to wash hands after I handle the drug. That makes me feel this drug is seriously dangerous. It makes sense of why the
people, who have taken the drug already, said to take it putting into
a capsule and with lots of water.
I can take it with or without food, but since it has to be always
at the same time of a day, I decided to take it at 10:30pm with a bit
of banana hoping to avoid nausea.

Mouthwash and gargle are also recommended to prevent mouth sores and infections. I increased the dose of vitamin B, which is effective for the mouth sores, and added vitamin C in my daily supplements. I put
masks into my purse, as well.

To prevent the elevation of glucose and cholesterol level, diet
must be important, but also exercise, too, I think. So I went to a
park this morning to run. I felt good, but pretty soon after, I got
exhausted with muscle ache, and laid down on a couch.
The instruction also says that I should avoid exposure to the sun just
like other chemo drugs, but this time, this warning sounds important
more than any other drugs.

I am very conscious with the side-effects, but adding Afinitor, I am
hopeful, too.

” I cried out to the Lord, and He answered me from his holy mountain.
I lay down and slept, yet I woke up in safety.
For The Lord was watching over me.
I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies, who surround me on every
side.”–Psalm 3:4-6

I ‘ m ready to fight again this year with the Lord, who promised me
never to be forsaken.

I Wish I Were A Mouse!

” In the mice study, the vaccine was successful.” I said.
Then a friend answered, ” I can make you a mouse bringing you a long tail, big front teeth, and cheese!”
Her joke made me laugh, but I really like her idea!

Though I haven’t heard anything from Hitachi yet despite two phone messages I left, I received some interesting additional information about the vaccine from NCI.

1) Cost

Expensive investigated drugs and all sorts of exams in the trial are sometimes covered by the study sponsors or sometimes to be subjects of individual health insurance. Since my insurance is Kaiser, which applies only for Kaiser hospitals, if a trial outside of Kaiser asks for a health insurance, it is almost impossible for me to participate the trial. Yet thankfully for this vaccine trial, NCI covers all the costs of the study including the traveling expense. This makes possible for me to fly to outside of CA if Irvine is not the option.

2) Procedure of Vaccine

Unlike ITL therapy, which requires to be admitted in an ICU, a patient’s white blood cells, which include Dendritic Cell (DC) are collected by 1-3 hour procedure using needles, which are shot under the skin. Once the vaccine is made by the collected DC, it is given four times. The side-effects appear to be flu symptoms like fever, fatigue, headache, etc, but only right after the vaccine injection, and other than that, it says the procedure of vaccine is safe and no need of hospitalization.

樹状細胞が含まれる白血球は、献血採血と似ていて、片腕から抜かれる血液は血液を分離する機械を通り、再び反対側の腕に戻される。

Collecting white blood cells for the vaccine is like a procedure of blood donation.  The circulated blood goes from the needle on one arm to a machine, which separate white blood cells from other blood cells and goes back to another arm.

3) Effectiveness

Since this is a phase 1 study, there is no data in human beings, but the theory is very impressive: While targeted drugs such as Herceptin, Perjeta, or Kadcyla, work only on the small part of HER2 protein, which characterizes HER2 positive cancer, the vaccine is supposed to induce antibodies to work much more comprehensively.

分子標的薬

Targeted drugs (Trastuzumab and Pertuzumab) recognize only a small portion of HER2 protein

The Vaccine is supposed to induce a patient’s immune system and make comprehensive antibodies called polyclonal antibodies.

左上よりワクチン接種後4日目、9日目、11日目、14日目、19日目、26日目

The shrinking cancer in the mouse

The problem is there is a huge gap between a mouse and a human being. It is not unusual that a clinical trial failed although the animal trial was successful.
Umm, I wish I were a mouse!

Minnie Mouse