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Unprecedented Medical Case Shows How Cancer Spread from Organ Donor to Four Recipients

An extraordinary and terrifying medical case revealed in the July issue of the American Journal of Transplantation proves that organ transplants can pass not only certain infectious diseases to recipients, but in rare cases, also cancer.

Patients known to have malignant tumors are often not able to donate their organs, but that was not the case of a 53-year-old woman who died of a stoke in 2007. She had no known conditions that could prevent doctors from transplanting her organs, and repeated tests revealed no sign of cancer. The woman’s kidneys, lungs, liver and heart were transplanted into donor recipients, but instead of saving their lives, they infected four of the five recipients with cancer, while the fifth died of unrelated causes shortly after the transplant.

The four organ recipients had recovered well after the transplants, but 16 months later, the woman who had received the donor’s lung fell ill and was subsequently diagnosed with cancer in the lymph nodes in her chest. Unfortunately, we live in an age when someone is diagnosed with cancer every couple of minutes, but what made this case remarkable was that tests showed the cancerous cells were actually breast cancer cells. Further DNA analysis revealed that they had come from the organ donor.

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Mamma Beer – A Czech Beer Developed Specifically for Cancer Patients

Chemotherapy has many nasty side effects, and one that patients often find particularly frustrating is dysgeusia. This side effect causes food and drink to taste bland, bitter, or metallic. Now, a Prague based cancer advocacy group has come up with a solution to that problem – a non-alcoholic beer called Mama Beer.

Mamma Beer has been formulated to help breast cancer patients overcome the symptoms of dysgeusia. Its flavor profile has been engineered to make it taste good to those undergoing chemotherapy, but in addition to it’s great taste, the beer also contains a range of vitamins and minerals that have been known to help people deal with cancer treatment. 

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New Cancer Drugs Turn Patients’ Gray Hair Dark Again

Cancer therapy is known to cause patients’ hair to fall off, but a few new cancer drugs apparently have a completely different side effect – they restore pigment in older people’s gray hair.

Spanish researchers testing three new cancer drugs – Keytruda, Opdivo and Tecentriq – for negative side-effects in cancer patients made a very surprising discovery. After using the drugs, 14 of the 52 patients involved in the study saw their gray hair go brown or black again. The findings were recently reported in a paper published in the JAMA medical journal.

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One Foot Wander – Amputated Foot Gets Its Own Instagram Account

A cancer survivor forced to have her left foot amputated below the knee as a final solution decided to keep her foot after the operation, and even set up an Instagram account for it, where she posts funny photos of the bleached limb.  You can say that Kristi Loyall’s amputated foot is a lot more popular than she is. Its Instagram page @onefootwander currently has nearly 13,000 followers, while Kristi herself has yet to reach the 1,000 mark. But she’s not jealous, after all, she made it all happen.

Last year, 25-year-old Kristi Loyall, from El Reno, Oklahoma, was diagnosed with epithelioid sarcoma, a rare cancer that affects soft tissue, four years after baffling doctors with her symptoms. They told her that the only sure way to keep the cancer from spreading was amputate her foot. Despite being devastated by the news, her first reaction was to make a joke of it, asking doctors if she could keep the foot after the operation. She later realized that she actually did want her limb back, and a month after having her left foot amputated, she got it back in a biohazard bag.

“It was really peculiar. We went to pathology to pick it up and the first thing I did was move my toes,” Kristi said. “My mom was really grossed out by that. At that point I was emotionally separated from it, I had a lot of time to deal with it at home so at that moment I was excited about starting to make a joke out of the situation.”

 

Hil.ar.i.ous. omg. Can’t even rn #amputee #skeleton #foot #butcher #cemetery #onefootwander

A photo posted by cancer foot (@onefootwander) on

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Ballsy Testicular Cancer Survivor Pushes Giant Ball across America

Thomas Cantley isn’t your average cancer survivor – he’s so passionate about raising awareness that he’s actually pushing a giant inflatable ball across America. The ball, nicknamed ‘Lefty’, serves as a metaphor for testicular cancer – the disease that Cantley managed to survive. He started the ‘ballsy’ quest at Santa Monica, California, and plans to make it all the way to the southern coast before heading towards New York, stopping at 11 cities on the way.

Cantley’s cancer journey started in 2009, when he suffered abdominal and lower back pain. He didn’t realise right away what the symptoms meant, and he says that he never received preventive information. In fact, he wasn’t even aware of the disease’s existence.

“I had this ‘Superman Complex’ all these men create,” he admitted. “I was a fashion photographer in New York and I was so self-centered.” So he didn’t see a doctor until things got really bad and he had to go to the emergency room. That’s when he was diagnosed with Stage III testicular cancer – the illness had spread to other parts of his body besides the lymph nodes.

be-ballsy

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Germany’s “Village of the Damned” Where Almost Every Household Has a Cancer Sufferer

Cancer epidemics are practically unheard of. That’s why I was quite shocked when I read about this small village in Germany where almost every household has been hit by the deadly disease. Wewelsfleth, located near the Elbe River in northwest Germany is now being called the ‘village of the damned’. With a population of only 1,500, the spread of cancer in the area is about 50% above average. What makes the condition of these villagers even more pathetic is that they feel abandoned by authorities, who are unable to provide any explanations.

The cancer situation in Wewelsfleth is not a new one. In fact, several cases have been reported as early as 1998, steadily rising over the years. The phenomenon is not limited to any particular part of the body. Cases of cancer affecting the breast, lung, womb, stomach and esophagus have been observed. It is not surprising in the least to note that there are three nuclear power plants in the vicinity and also a shipyard where vessels were sprayed with highly toxic paint. Quite understandably, the villagers are upset and do not intend to give up on their demands for a serious enquiry into the situation.

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