Friday, October 7, 2011

A Cancer-Killing Virus? Will They Let It Get To Us?

Absolute news that is too good to be true, right?  A cancer-killing virus has been found at Penn State Hershey Medical Center.  I know, I're wondering, once again, if it really works, if it's a virus that kills only a certain percentage of the cancer, etc.  Well, based on a story posted online by a friend and shown on ABC's Channel 27, WHTM, in Pennsylvania, this is the scoop - it kills breast cancer cells (all kinds of breast cancer cells) and does it 100% of the time.  I can almost feel your skepticism...but bear with me.  The virus, apparently, triggers the breast cancer cells to turn on themselves and die.  It does NO damage to healthy cells.  Assuming this was an error of sorts, the researchers repeated the procedure (as scientists do) time after time and, in every case, found the same results.  Okay, so more skepticism - they only did it in culture dishes so far...and mice.  Again, something scientists do.  What were the results when they moved to mice?  Same thing.  It just keeps working.  Promising, in my opinion, is a largely understated word for this find.  If you want to read about this, try this link:

We're holding our collective breaths, are we not?  I realize this is merely one form of cancer, but don't we think Susan G Komen would be smiling at the news?  This is breast cancer, yes, and who among us has not, in one form or another, been touched by this specific type of cancer?  Friends and family alike are constantly in our thoughts and prayers as they fight this horrid disease.  I've watched my 85-year old grandmother face it down twice.  30 years ago it snuck up on her and was determined to be her mortal enemy.  Apparently, breast cancer did not realize the formidable foe it had in this lady.  She fought it - courageously and gracefully - and beat it.  Fast forward some 28 years later when, in one unlikely visit to the doctor, they found another lump.  After a biopsy, it was confirmed that, yet again, this killer was showing its' relentless side - it was back.  Yet again, after miles and miles of Walking for the Cure over the years, my grandmother would not let it win.  Her exact words (and part of the reason you really have to love this lady) aren't quite fit to print when asked how she felt about it.  "I kicked this sh** before, I'll kick it again!"  Admirable...and inspiring.  I full expect this lady to be mentioned by Willard Scott on the Today Show at some point.  She is not going to let it beat her...and neither should anyone else.  Until now, though, many did not have a choice.

When I read the comments online about this discovery, I noticed a few people that made a very good point.  They said this discovery will never make it to manufacturing.  They say the government will quash it long before it becomes available or, somewhere along the line it will be found to be ineffective.  Before anyone decries that notion, think about it with an open mind and see the whole picture.  While some are saying people will make a fortune off this cure, others are saying it will put too many people out of work. Seriously, this is an argument I have heard for years - the Cancer Society is big business and this disease is a big part of the employment picture.  We're not just talking about doctors fighting the disease.  Think about every aspect of it and what is involved.  While I consider it (as many others do, too, I'm sure) a sick, twisted notion that we would shelve a cure in the face of jobs.....think about it honestly.  How many people, truly, would be affected by a cure for cancer?  How many hospitals would close?  How many health-care workers would suddenly have to enter a different specialty?  Again, I know...and agree - we should think about the life-saving benefits here rather than the economy, right?  It's better to save people from dying than worry about those in this field of medicine, right?  We need to save lives, period...RIGHT?  At the risk of sounding (extremely) still put milk and cookies out for Santa, do ya?  Think this through completely and remember, as Steve Jobs pointed out just a few nights ago - Death is our ultimate destination.  While you find what I am saying unbelievable, remember to weigh the fact that, ultimately, we're all going to die...then tell me what you think our leaders will do.

If you ask me my personal opinion, I will tell you that I am still in favor of saving lives.  To think we would do anything other than that is morally repugnant to me.  I do, however, understand how others could feel the way they do.  I understand (and disagree with) how the decision could be reached to keep something like this from us.  As a matter of fact, the researchers stated in the article that the biggest problem they are facing right now is funding.  they cannot find funds to further this research.  Wait, what now?  Someone just spills the words, "Cure for cancer," and WE CAN'T FIND MONEY???  I'm sorry, but the money ought to be pouring in.  I can virtually guarantee that anyone ever touched by this disease will open their wallets.  I know, too, that any time anyone ever says, "Susan G Komen," or "anything for the cure," I will gladly donate...and that is simply to fight breast cancer.  I have seen too many friends and family members touched by many different forms of cancer.  It's time to stop the pain and suffering.  It's time to find a cure for all of these dreadful, horrible diseases.  In the absence of that, though, I will gladly settle for this one.  Give us a break and throw us one little victory in this never-ending fight....please.

Until next time...............

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