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New site to help beat cancer –

Hello guys,

Came across this website where you can help beat cancer and join in on the research.

After a quick tutorial you will be helping analyse cancer cells.

They have a lot of data to get through so every little helps:



16 year old invents a new way to test for cancer


I thought I should share this article I came across (see above). Jack Andraka a 16 year old boy has invented a new test for pancreatic cancer.

It really goes to show that this is a battle where research can improve the odds.




The Cancer Journey

Can-Did member Pam Evans shares with us the story of the book that she, Polly and Nick wrote on their experiences with cancer. The Cancer Journey is a book that gives the reader permission and tools to take control of their situation no matter where on the journey they are. Pam, Polly and Nick each experienced cancer in their own way and discovered different techniques of fighting the disease. They met and found out they had something in common – the desire to help others with information, which is not always readily available. The Cancer Journey book was written to share their experiences with those who need to hear how to walk the journey and make a difference to their health.



A shocking 2011 statistic is that 42 per cent* of us will develop cancer in our lifetime. And the moment we’re hit with the news the questions flood into our minds:  ‘What now?  Can I be cured? What treatment will I need? What are the side effects? Can I still work? How should I tell my loved ones? Who can I go to for help? ‘

All these questions – and others you won’t yet have thought of – are addressed in The Cancer Journey – Positive Steps to Help Yourself Heal , a book by three people who between them have had cancer a shocking eight times and who have been inspired to share their combined first-hand knowledge and experience to make others’ journeys easier.

The authors, Pam – a medical PhD, Polly – a holistic health expert and Nick – a journalist, provide the reader with a wealth of relevant practical advice, tips and resources from the things your doctors don’t or won’t tell you to coping with mental and emotional stress.  It’s full of useful information such as what you will need for your chemotherapy session, what foods will make you feel better while undergoing treatment, how to adapt your lifestyle now that you are a cancer survivor and, very importantly, how to deal with things like constipation and embarrassing side-effects!

It guides the reader through the overwhelming rollercoaster ride of emotions from coming to terms with your own reactions and feelings to how to tell your loved ones and how best to deal with their responses. And throughout this journey it gives the reader the very genuine empathy and insight that only people who have had cancer can give and the very strong and supportive message that you are not alone.

The book is intended to be a motivational and powerful guide that will be equally useful to the family and friends of those with cancer as well the patient.  It has a warm and compassionate style with light humour and the language is simple and conversational using words and phrases that every person will understand. Writing in bite-sized chunks, the authors want the reader to feel comforted and return to it time and time again.

Classical singing star and actress Katherine Jenkins, whose father was diagnosed with cancer when she was 15 says in her foreword; ‘This book is exactly what I needed then.  It’s the go-to handbook for anyone with a diagnosis or for the loved ones of someone with cancer.’

For further information:

* Macmillan Cancer Support, July 2011

Foreword by Katherine Jenkins

When my father was diagnosed with cancer in 1995, I was 15 years old. I had so many questions to ask but didn’t want to upset my parents so kept them to myself. The only other person I knew who had had cancer was my best friend’s mum and as she had passed away only 6 months previously,  the last thing I thought she needed was to be explaining to me what was about to happen to my dad.

This book is exactly what I needed then. It’s the go-to handbook for anyone with a diagnosis or for the loved ones of someone with cancer. It tells you the things your doctor won’t, from what to wear on those dreaded chemo days and how to lessen the side effects, to how to boost your energy with superfoods, how to deal with the emotions of living with cancer as well as telling loved ones what NOT to say – allowing them to avoid embarrassing faux pas!

The advice in this book comes from Polly, Pam and Nick and is heartfelt, compassionate, thoughtful and above all, extremely useful. Polly has been a dear friend of mine for nearly 10 years. Her advice is always practical, precise, inspirational and comes from the heart. Having been through this themselves, they have been able to create a book which provides the reader with bite sized chunks of the things you need to know to help you conquer the ups and downs of the cancer journey.

My life has been touched by cancer several times now. I know how important and vital this information is and I strongly believe it is a must have for anyone affected by cancer.


By Pam Evans

Avatar of Pam Evans

Science or miracle?

As a naturally analytical person and a true believer of mathematics, medicine, astronomy and everything else scientific, I usually like explaining phenomenons with science. Sometimes reading stories like the one below though makes me doubt whether it is all about science or there’s something more to it – perhaps luck, circumstances, or just the “meant to be” factor… I don’t think I’ll ever be able to tell for sure. That’s the beauty of living in a mystery world :)

In the winter of 2005 Charles Burrows was  diagnosed with an inoperable liver cancer and was advised by the doctors to “get his affairs sorted” as he only had 30 days left, maybe 60 if he is lucky. His tumor, the size of a baseball, had already started to strangle the portal vein going into the liver.

Having received this news, Charles quit his job and spent the next 2 month in uncertainty of what was going to happen. In February 2006 he developed a weird illness and got abdominal bloating, nausea, chills and shaking. Not long after that, he noticed the lump on his stomach had disappeared. After through CT scanning and magnetic resonance imaging he was informed that the space where the tumor used to be was now an empty space. This was confirmed by the same doctors who diagnosed him originally as well as by other private practitioners. His cancer did not come back for another 7 years, almost as if to prove wrong the doctors who told him he had 30 days left to live. Because of this, he is featured in a medical journal, which says that “never before in written English history has a recovery such as his been recorded.” Charles himself describes it as winning the lottery.

Spontaneous tumor regressions are amongst the most mysterious events in medicine. Such regressions have been reported mostly with melanoma and kidney cancer but scientists say that the phenomena might as well be an everyday one, taking place beyond doctors’ eyes. Interestingly, recent studies suggest that 1 in 3 breast tumors could disappear on their own before even being detected by a doctor.

The question is why some people “win the lottery” and others don’t. Is it just a matter of luck or does it have a scientific explanation? They say one factor in this is one’s immune system, which has the great ability to switch into high gear and protect the body by attacking cancer. In Charles’s case, his regression appeared together with his strange illness. One theory is that his immune system got activated in such a way that it started fighting not only the infection from the disease but also the cancer itself. Such theories around the power of the immune system have been debated for centuries and many scientists still remain unconvinced. Several studies of similar cases however are showing hints of what the immune system might be capable of doing if we harness it. Interestingly, research data suggests that the immune system could be able to sometimes combat cancer. Rober Schreiber, immunologist at Washington University School of Medicine says that “To the body, a tumor looks like the biggest bacteria it has ever seen”.

The question of whether Charles’s tumor disappeared due to his immune system combating it or due to something else remains open. It is a fact though that the 30 day prognosis underestimated the power of the human body. I tend to thinks it underestimated the power of the human mind as well. And who knows, maybe the power of something external we are not even aware of.



Charles Burrows

The power of positive thinking

Last November, my dad rang me… He told me to keep calm…My granddad have just been diagnosed with lung cancer.

For those of you who knows about lung cancer, it often spreads very quickly with very little chance of recovery. It is almost like a one way street.

I flew back the weekend after to see my granddad, who was then started his treatment in a cramped hospital in the most polluted and crowded city in Vietnam.

My granddad is a well-known doctor. He must have seen it coming quite some time back. Seeing him in the hospital, having loss so much weight, I couldn’t help but feel how feeble a human’s life can be.

4 months on, my granddad is still receiving treatments. He is still enthusiastic and positive as ever. He told me the other day ‘I started to grow a lot of vegetables so you better come back soon to eat them’!

So what made the difference? It’s positive thinking…

My granddad has always been full of list. He has been a great inspiration to me and an important figure of my childhood. Even in that hospital room in November, I could never forget his smiley face. Although he couldn’t talk much, he was more positive than any of us. It wasn’t that he deliberately ignored the reality. I think he has accepted and fully embraced it. He was determined to make any passing days count.

Therefore, if you, or your close ones encounter the cancer devil, remember positive thinking is a very important factor in survival.

By Fi Dinh

Where are the good stories?

Did you know that according to Cancer Research UK, the survival rate for breast cancer cases is 79%? Did you know that 7 types of cancer have more than 50% survival rate? I didn’t know. Probably because most of the stats we hear on a daily basis sound like this: “157,275 people died from cancer in 2010 (Cancer Research UK)” or “40% of Britons are likely to get cancer in their lifetime (Macmillan)”. We hear such stats all the time. Fine. But what do they really tell us? That there’s a problem. We know cancer’s a problem, do we really need these facts to remind us what we already know? I don’t. I’ve got enough examples of people fighting cancer to illustrate the fact that the disease is wide spread and difficult to beat. What we don’t hear much is the other type of stats: the ones telling us how many people have had successful treatment and have managed to win the battle over cancer. Why do I believe this is important?

Imagine being told an asteroid is about to hit the Earth in 3 months time. Thinking that you’ve only got 3 months left, you start preparing for the end and try to do as many of the things you have always wanted to do as you can. Now imagine you are told of a hidden place underground, which could give you the chance to escape the danger and survive. Would you not go there, would you not try to save the lives of the ones you love and yourself? Chances are you would.

Hearing the positive news could change your attitude towards the problem and possibly save your life. I don’t know the science behind this but my personal experience showed me that sharing successful stories with those around you who are going through similar difficulties does help. I don’t know if it is simply due to exchange of useful information or whether it goes beyond that and into the ways of thinking and approaching the problem, but it certainly makes a difference.

In April 2010 my grandma was diagnosed with lung cancer at the age of 66. In Bulgaria you need to be pretty lucky to get a doctor who will explain thoroughly what the diagnosis means, what the treatment options are and what could happen. Very often patients are not provided with enough information and so they reach out to people they might know who have been diagnosed with cancer or they live with their pre-existing beliefs about the disease. In the case with my grandma she didn’t know anyone in a similar situation so she approached her diagnosis in the second way. A bit like being told about the asteroid hitting the Earth. You know it is going to come, you know approximately when and you start preparing for the big crush. Having always lived with the understanding that cancer is a terminal disease, she treated it like such. Convinced that she couldn’t possibly do anything to fight cancer anyway, she originally refused to try chemotherapy and other treatments. A few weeks later I spoke to the mom of one of my best friends and mentioned my grandma’s situation. She had been through cancer herself and was shocked to hear how easy my grandma gave up. She told me the hospital where she went and the treatment she had. I remember her words very clearly: “Oh well”, she said, “I lost my hair once or twice but here I am, living a normal life, going to work and taking care of my family.” She inspired me. I told my grandma what I had heard. I told her my conversation in details. And it was amazing watching the reaction. Imagine drinking a glass of water after being thirsty for a whole day. It was as if I gave her something. Not just words. Strength. Hope. She smiled and said “Let’s try this then, maybe it will help”. Hearing that someone else close to me had managed to fight the disease was as if for the first time she heard proof that this was actually possible. She wanted to start her battle, she was ready to experiment. Except that by that point it was too late.

I’ve heard good stories and bad stories. The good ones however, are good enough to make me want to spread them. I am sure you’ve heard some too. At the end of the day it is the good ones that keep us going and the ones that give us and those around us hope in the hardest times. I’ve been lucky to hear them but hopefully Can-Did will let you hear them yourself. Do you have one?