I hadn’t planned on starting this Blog in this fashion, however, when I woke up this morning my wife Wendy and I started to talk about the recent revelation that John Edward’s wife Elizabeth has had a recurrence of breast cancer. Putting aside my feelings when I hear about anyone diagnosed with any cancer, this particular revelation may have a significance for all of us who are dealing with any major illness, including prostate cancer. Actually, it has consequences for not only us, but for our families and for everyone else who may ever suffer from any significant illness. (That kind of includes all of us.)
Wendy, who is a practicing clinical psychologist, reminded me that when Al Gore was vice-president there was a huge increase in research dollars for mental health as well as the beginnings of what became legislation requiring parity from the health insurance companies for mental illness.
Next year’s Federal budget from the Bush administration actually contains significant cuts in real dollars for medical research. While we spend more and more dollars on building bombs to kill people, we spend fewer and fewer dollars on keeping ourselves alive! I don’t understand this.
Would a John Edwards presidency have an effect on research dollars? I don’t know. I am not aware of any statements that he has made pertaining to this matter. Then again, I haven’t heard any of the candidates, either Democratic or Republican, talk to this issue. Might there be shift in support for stem cell research, for cooperation among countries and among drug companies in sharing research findings at earlier stages?
This doesn’t mean that I am supporting John Edwards, but it does mean that I will certainly factor this in my decision process. Of course, I also have to wonder how he or anybody can balance the stress of managing an extraordinarily difficult job, like the presidency, and also the stress confronting family members and care givers.
Anyway, welcome to my new Blog . I plan on sharing my experiences, thoughts and feelings about being an Advanced, Recurrent Prostate Cancer survivor. Next week, as a representative of Malecare and Raise A Voice, I am going to be giving testimony at the Cellular, Tissue and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee of the FDA pertaining to the approval process for Provenge. I will write about that experience when I return.
As a cancer survivor myself and a friend, I am so proud to know you and will enjoy reading future posts from you.
I am always looking for more money into research for cancer and the republican administrations always leave me hanging, in particluar this administration is by far the least caring of its own citizens and more concerned with other countries. It is amazing that this administration has been able to spend freely on issues that do not concern American Citizens. As a family member of a Breast Cancer victim I hope Mrs. Edwards illness brings a new light on the need for more funding. I just hope it will not be used as a ticket into the white house and then forgetten.
My dad was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer a week ago. It has spread to his bones in three places.
He is 74 and never had his prostate checked. He assumed that his cardio doctors were checking his psa levels
each year when he had his cardio physical. He never goes to the regular doctor because he is never sick.
Anyhow, he went for a full physical in January with the family doctor, and the PSA was elevated. After biopsies and bone scan, he was diagnosed. He is on Lupron and Casodex (sp.). I am interested in your blog as I have been on the internet constantly since his diagnosis.
I just read a very interesting article from Dr. Julian Whitaker reporting a Dr. Bihari in New York who discovered low-dose naltrexone having positive effects on many cancer types. Try googling Dr. Bernard Bihari and reading his work on ldn.
On the Provenge front: I see the future of cancer treatment definitely in the immunotherapy camp. In time as more and more immunotherapy agents are developed we will see amazing solutions.
Unfortunately many good products never make it to market due to the prohibitive costs of the FDA process. Patient safety is important but when one is dying from cancer many would like to try anything promising but are prevented from doing so.
Senator Brownback authored a bill S-1956, known as the “Access, Compassion, Care and Ethics for Seriously Ill Patients Act” or the “Access Act”. This is pending legislation due to a law suit filed against the FDA by Abigail Alliance. As a result of the lawsuit, the D.C. Circuit appeals court ruled that patients with life-threatening diseases have a Constitutional right to seek treatment for which efficacy is not yet established. Judge Judith Rodgers , in writing the majority opinion wrote, “The prerogative asserted by the FDA to prevent a terminally ill patient from using potentially lifesaving medication to which those in phase II clinical trials have access, impinges upon an individual liberty deeply rooted in our nation’s history and tradition of self presevation”
Call your representative to support the above bill. Let your desires and rights be known or die without access.