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Monthly Archives: September 2013

Breast cancer survivor posts time-lapse video of treatment

When Emily Helck began treatment for breast cancer, she decided to document each day with photos. At the end of a year, Helck put the images together in an emotional time-lapse video.

The video, which starts in September 2012, and ends a year later, manages to be both heartbreaking and life-affirming. The inevitable physical changes that come with cancer treatment appear early. But through it all, Helck’s bravery and openness remain a constant.

In a blog that accompanies the video, Helck, 29, explains that it’s odd to look back on the photos. “I feel, I don’t know, separate from this person somehow, even though the last photos are from just a few days ago. I feel like the girl in the photos made it through pretty unscathed, though the look on her face sometimes makes me sad.”

Speaking with Yahoo News over email, Helck said that she started taking the photos when she began chemo treatment.

“I’d had a double mastectomy a month before, and hadn’t documented anything. I felt like I lost something by not having visual reminders of that process. I can’t remember what it looked like when the surgeon removed my bandages for the first timein my memory, I’m watching myself from across the room. So with chemo, I wanted to make sure that didn’t happen. It started out just being about the hair loss and regrowth,but my body continued to change drastically too. I kind of wear my heart on my sleeve, so what’s going on emotionally is visible on my face. […]

By |September 30th, 2013|blogs|0 Comments

Lilly mulls options as Medicare shuns Alzheimer’s diagnostic

By Ransdell Pierson

(Reuters) – Eli Lilly and Co on Monday said the federal government has unfairly blocked patient access to its Amyvid diagnostic test for Alzheimer’s disease by denying reimbursement for such products, and said a requested new study of the test could create additional delay.

“We are committed to this space and aren’t letting this product go by the wayside,” Eric Dozier, senior director of Lilly’s Alzheimer’s business division, said in an interview.

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the agency that runs Medicare, on Friday determined that there was insufficient evidence that the type of radioactive imaging test “is reasonable and necessary” for diagnosing and helping treat dementia.

CMS said it would consider coverage for the test only in limited circumstances: for clinical trials that must be approved in advance by the agency.

Lilly said the decision denies appropriate patient access to the test, and conflicts with the National Alzheimer’s Plan, a sweeping effort to find an effective way to prevent or treat Alzheimer’s by 2025 and improve care of those already inflicted.

The radioactive drug is used with positron emission tomography, or PET, imaging to detect levels in the brain of beta amyloid, a protein that creates brain plaques believed to be a leading cause of the progressive memory-robbing disease.

It is meant to help indicate whether patients have Alzheimer’s or some other disease that causes symptoms of dementia.

Amyvid was approved in the United States in April 2012, and is the only such diagnostic […]

By |September 30th, 2013|blogs|0 Comments

After Breast Cancer Diagnosis, Doses of Humor and Humility Spark Hope

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A second biopsy for cancer in King’s left breast showed benign results.

FIRST PERSON | Breast cancer hit home for me when I found myself on the floor with my head wedged between a trash can and a wall. Very rock and roll.

I fainted after removing bandages covering the scars from my first surgery.

When I came to, I was pushing against the wall, grunting and crying. The whole time, my sympathetic dog was standing by, wagging his tail and licking me. Not so rock and roll.

There have been other strange days — a lifetime’s worth of strange, actually — since I was diagnosed with breast cancer on July 18, 2013. Fortunately, there was only one day when I woke with a trash can on my head.

As a 42-year-old woman living a healthy lifestyle with no family history of breast cancer, my diagnosis should have knocked me to the floor.

It did not. That came a few months later. See the previous Kelley vs. trash can/wall drama.

I am a positive person living with a not-so-positive diagnosis. I have done my best to laugh and learn since being told I have invasive ductal carcinoma and advanced ductal carcinoma […]

By |September 30th, 2013|blogs|0 Comments

Oncologists call for industry-led global fund to fight cancer

By Kate Kelland, Health and Science Correspondent

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – The world faces a rapidly growing burden of cancer which will overwhelm governments unless the medical and pharma industry takes the lead on a multi-billion dollar private-public fund, oncologists said on Monday.

In a report on how rates of cancer diagnosis and death are rising across the world while access to diagnosis and treatment is extremely patchy, experts described the economics of the problem as daunting and current financing models as broken.

“It is bad to have cancer, and worse to have cancer if you are poor,” said Professor Peter Boyle of France’s International Prevention Research Institute, a lead author on the “State of Oncology 2013” report.

“Many parts of the world are already unable to cope with the current situation and are totally unprepared for the future growth of the cancer problem,” he told a briefing during the European Cancer Congress in Amsterdam.

Boyle, who is also director of the Institute of Global Public Health at Strathclyde University, cited 2009 estimates by the Economist Intelligence Unit that it would cost $217 billion a year to bring cancer diagnosis, care and treatment in poor countries up to the standards of wealthy nations.

“There’s no single source of philanthropy, there’s no government, there’s no company, there’s no single institution that can afford that sort of investment,” he said.

“The current model of financing is broke. We need to fix it. We need radical solutions.”

According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, […]

By |September 30th, 2013|blogs|0 Comments

Breast Cancer calendar


Bosom Buddies, support and education program for breast cancer survivors and women at high risk, 7-8:30 p.m. Mondays, Women’s Center of Jacksonville, 5644 Colcord Ave. (904) 722-3000, ext. 224.



SenioRITAs Tennis Tournament to benefit The Rita Foundation, Oct. 1, 16 and 18-20. (904) 806-3613 or

■ Kick-off Party, 5:30-7 p.m. Tuesday, Pusser’s Caribbean Grille. $25, includes two drinks, hor d’oeuvres and a raffle.

■ Auction and Cocktail Party, 6 p.m. Oct. 16, Sawgrass Country Club. Includes light cuisine and a cash bar. $40, included in player registration fee.

■ Women’s Doubles Tennis Tournament, for women 40 and older, 8 a.m. Oct. 18-20, Sawgrass Country Club. $85, includes auction and party (not kickoff party on Oct. 1).

Breast Cancer support group, presented by Mayo’s Breast Clinic and the Pink Sisters and Friends, 6:30-8 p.m., Mayo Clinic, 4500 San Pablo Road, Stabile Building, 125N. (904) 953-0707.

Breast Cancer Support Group of St. Augustine, 7 p.m., Flagler Hospital, 400 Health Park Blvd., Suite 1010. (904) 501-7100 or



Bosom Buddies of Amelia Island, 5:30 p.m., Fernandina Beach Police Department, Lime St. (904) 225-0067.



Pink Ribbon Symposium, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., Thrasher-Horne Center for the Arts, St. Johns River Community College, 283 College Drive, Orange Park. Speakers are comedians Gwen Templeton and Roz McCoy on “Laughter is the Best Medicine,” an insight into how laughter can ease pain and help the cancer journey in an up-close and personal way. Includes a healthy, continental breakfast, discussions, a Meet the Experts panel, exhibits and a silent auction. Free. (904) 838-2950 or


OCT. 7

Bosom Buddies, support and education program for breast cancer survivors and women at high risk, 7-8:30 p.m. Mondays, Women’s Center of Jacksonville, 5644 Colcord Ave. (904) 722-3000, ext. 224.

Young Survivors Group, presented by the Bosom […]

By |September 29th, 2013|blogs|0 Comments