The Latest Cancer News

As I’ve said before, I signed up for a study of the effectiveness of prophylactic radiation to keep the cancer out of the brain.

I got a call this morning saying that I’d been randomized into the control group, so I won’t be getting the radiation; but I’ll do all the rest of it:  CT and MRI scans, some blood tests, and some tests of my cognitive abilities (I hope more interesting than the test that Trump bragged about passing, but we’ll see).  The various tests will happen (IIRC) every three months for two years.

With any luck, I’ll be able to do all the tests at an outpatient facility that’s just a ten minute drive from where I live; but it’s unclear whether some special requirements of the study mean that I have to get the scans at the hospital, a 35 minute drive at the best of times.  I hope to find out more about that tomorrow morning.

I’ve had the first scans already, and I’ll get the lab work done and the first cognitive tests tomorrow morning at the hospital (but I don’t have to show up until 10:30, so that’s after the rush hour).

Update, 2024-01-07:  the test of my cognitive abilities that I took on the 4th was indeed more interesting than the one that Trump bragged about passing, but still nothing to brag about. 😎


  1. SailorStar says

    Well, sorry you didn’t get assigned to the experimental treatment. Hoping you continue to do well and that the testing is close to your house.

  2. Katydid says

    You are receiving at least standard care for your condition, right?

  3. moarscienceplz says

    I, personally, would be happy to be in the control group. Flooding my brain cells with a sub-lethal dose of radiation periodically just on the hope that it kills any precancerous cells seems a bit too much like using dynamite to kill a fly. I’m sure the study has been rigorously vetted, but I have to wonder just what ratio of extended life vs bad side effects they think they are likely to get.

  4. says

    Flooding my brain cells with a sub-lethal dose of radiation periodically just on the hope that it kills any precancerous cells seems a bit too much like using dynamite to kill a fly.

    It is my understanding that when people are discussion radiation hormesis, they’re talking about a level of radiation comparable or just above the natural background. For example what the crew and passengers of high-flying airliners experience.

    With any low exposure scenario, be it radiation or chemical, it is tricky to how to be reasonably certain that any observed effect is actually due to the exposure.

  5. says

    And completely unrelated, it appears that Niklaus Wirth died january 1st.
    Long ago, it was Turbo Pascal that seduced me into the world of programming. So I’ll raise a glass in memory to one of the luminaries in the field of computing.

  6. moarscienceplz says

    I went back to Bill’s first discussion of this study (see ‘On the Cancer Front’) and discovered I had it backwards. The prophylactic radiation treatment has actually been the normal standard of care for nearly half a century. Since a study like this would not be done on a whim, it appears that they have some pretty good evidence already that suggests prophylactic radiation is not very good. This makes sense considering how much ‘standard care’ from the 20th century has turned out to be anything from useless to downright dangerous. Just look at Tylenol, for example. It not only is not a better analgesic than placebo, it actually can damage your liver, yet doctors are still prescribing it for all kinds of minor pain.
    So, I think Bill lucked out being assigned to the control group. Not only does he get to avoid the side effects, he also quite possibly will be in the group with the better outcomes, AND he will probably be “clean” enough to participate in any studies of other treatments (should any be available).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *