Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Trend in Breast Cancer Medicine

I keep up with my interests, so I subscribed to google alerts using these two words: "breast cancer" and I get all sorts of emailed articles - some of them even relating to breast cancer.

First, I must complain that not once has my breast cancer blog ever come up on one of those alerts. Are you telling me that "baby head expander" or "cyst farm" aren't important enough key words that would lead to the serving of my blog posts to all who care? I'm seriously insulted and think you are all wrong in how you choose to get important content to people, Google. Fix that.

It's not that I haven't gotten other odd posts. I get medical alerts, saying that cannibis stops the spread of breast cancer (not going there). I get horribly written blog posts by an NFL fan who is tracking sales of breast cancer items with NFL logos and who uses the term "butt cheeks" liberally. And, of course, I get all sorts of conflicting information about my future health: what to eat, what to drink, and what to do, which changes daily. But, there are times when I do get real medical information.

Today I got an interesting article discussing a study that is being published in Lancet Oncology. The study, led by a team at Cancer Research UK’s London Research Institute, found that measuring the activity of six particular genes could forecast whether a breast tumor was sensitive to Taxol. As they are learning more and more about cancer, the trend of care is becoming more about personalized therapy. The herceptin I take is part of this trend - made just for us HER2+ girls and our particular cancer. It'd be nice if they could take more detailed cell samples and do a personalized therapy for each patient like they do for us HER2+ cancer patients.

Then I started thinking about what personalized therapy would really mean for me if I could decide. Why let the researchers have the fun? They can play with their chemicals and grow cells and come up with genius ideas - doing their part to cure us. But, I want my own form of personalized therapy too.

So here's what it would look like:

I'd go to the infusion room to get my designer drugs made just for me.  As I sat there in the chemo chair (which would not be a pleather baraclounger, but an Italian Leather Eames Lounge Chair), the nurse - who is a male and who looks just like that guy in the Old Spice Commercial, you know, the "Man your man could smell like" guy - would, before he stuck a needle in me, bring me a rolling cart with electricity so I could plug in my netbook. I'd be in a beautiful atrium with lots of natural light and tons of flowers. And, I would have free fast wifi and an iPhone dock. As the needle was placed in my vein, my feet would be plunged into hot bubbly water in preparation for the perfectly sterile pedicure I am about to get. Once I picked my color and my nails were dry, it would be time for lemon water and then the facial. Old Spice Nurse would check on me frequently and even rub my back if I'd been in the chair more than an hour. Once my infusion was over, I'd be taken back to the special "closet" to pick out a pair of Jimmy Choo boots or a Marc Jacobs bag, just because I'd had chemo. When I reach the end of my designer infusions, the nurse would take me for a ride on his horse and give me a Tiffany necklace to congratulate me for completing treatment.

That's what I call personalized therapy.

Just to see if I can get this post to show up in my alerts, I'm going to say, breast cancer, breast cancer, breast cancer, breast cancer, breast cancer, breast cancer, breast cancer, breast cancer, breast cancer, breast cancer. There, that should do it.

And, just in case you have never seen the Old Spice Commercial, meet my new nurse:


  1. I get google alerts too for breast cancer and other things. I find they can be useful but also full of crap. I feel like this week I have gotten lots on new weird treatment ideas that are not tested. I don't know if there is much value in them but I like them.

    No my chemo nurse did not look like your chemo nurse.

  2. I want that man my man could smell like, but don't have any cancer. Can I still dream about him?

  3. Ann, I couldn't stop laughing at this one! My "dream" designer infusion would also include a beautiful, catered full course meal delivered straight to me (and obviously without a trace of any nausea, fatigue, snoring people sitting next to me during their infusions, or boredom).

    Hang in there for your Herceptin series; I've been there, and looking back now, four years later, it almost seems like it happened to someone else. Almost...

  4. P.S. I just showed this post to my husband. He's going out to get some Old Spice. My daughter will love the horse, too!

  5. You may not be getting alerts Ann but I couldnt help but laugh because when I put "baby head expander" in the search box on Google, your blog gets the first two hits!!

    aka llurgy from tivo community

  6. just in case i hadn't mentioned it this week, you are hysterical, symmetrical or not.

    keep laughing,

  7. That is a hilarious video ...


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