There are several different companies now offering Multi-Cancer Early detection tests. The test I am writing about today is the Galleri test by GRAIL. This test works by looking for methylation patterns on cell-free DNA in blood samples. The test generates one of two possible results: “Cancer Signal Detected,” or “Cancer Signal Not Detected.”
“But I am greedy for life. I do too much of everything all the time. Suddenly one day my heart will fail. The Iron Crab will get me as it got my father. But I am not afraid of The Crab. At least I shall have died from an honourable disease. Perhaps they will put on my tombstone ‘This Man Died from Living Too Much’.”
— Fleming, Ian. From Russia with Love (James Bond Book 5)
In 1978, a pathologist performing a routine autopsy made a remarkable discovery — A 76 year old woman without any sign of atherosclerosis.
What’s so remarkable about this?
I’d like to approach my end with tranquility and dignity, to exert my will up until my last breath, to leave a legacy of strength and pride rather than fear and self-pity.
I am doubtful that if I were faced with my own mortality at this moment that I would live up to such grand expectations, which is why I wanted to highlight two inspiring stories that were in the news this week.
The oversimplification of cardiovascular disease risk assessment—in which LDL-cholesterol is often the primary diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic target—leads to effective treatment of some people, but the ineffective treatment of others.
For this reason, though it’s very hard to do, I believe we should try to avoid applying guidelines without attention to the particularities of each individual patient.
Read this article to see how I’m thinking about Covid-19 vaccine boosters.
Vaccines are working — they are very effective at preventing severe Covid-19. What else can we do?
It’s possible to envision a future version of ourselves as a more robust, vigorous, and resilient person, and then to bring that person into reality.
This is the case of a 31 year old woman who decided to lose weight and improve her health by restricting her diet to whole foods and by restricting her carbohydrate intake. The article follows her weight and blood work for roughly one year.
My opinion is that the proper role for physicians in diagnostic testing is to make professional recommendations, not to be gatekeepers. Fortunately, you’re no longer dependent upon physicians to order lab work. Direct-to-consumer labs are available at affordable prices, and there is an increasing array of options.
Jeff Henigson was diagnosed with brain cancer at the age of fifteen. He was told the cancer would kill him within a few years. Thirty-five years later, Jeff’s miraculous and fascinating survival story was published online. After his story became public, he was contacted by a neuropathologist.