A Day in the Life

Pancreatic Cancer: A Way to Cope

Through the use of online cancer blogs, I have found that those affected by pancreatic cancer are able to find support for their physical and emotional health. While this may appear as a no brainer, I had no idea that such passion and effort went into sustaining these communities. Pancreatic cancer, one of the most deadly forms of cancer, kills an average of 96% of those diseased within 5 years, and even with a disease as unforgivable as this, patients have still been able to find coping mechanisms through the use of online blogs. These online communities give the patient an opportunity to heal or grieve through an experience shared with fellow pancreatic cancer patients.

            “Blogs create a narrative expression that can help diminish the side effects of the illness”, according to “Toward a Theory of Online Communication”, (http://bit.ly/J3H4ZV) .I personally have spent the last several months puzzled as to how support can be shown over the Internet, but as time progressed, I realized that this accessible tool is what is most convenient for patients scattered across the globe. One has the opportunity to share his or her story with those going through the same scenario. On “Cancer Compass”, (http://bit.ly/JzvAKD) an online cancer blog, I found a specific example of this when I stumbled upon a recent post. A family just recently had a father pass away from cancer at the age of 52. The blog is filled with over 38 comments from fellow bloggers. 38 different supportive and caring comments, all for a man that none of them had ever met. Through the use of these cancer blogs, patients have the opportunity to remain in touch with those experiencing the same things as they are, thus giving them the opportunity to better cope and handle the disease.

            In my opinion, a more important benefit of these pancreatic cancer blogs is the support it gives to patients in the aspect of physical and emotional health. To begin, in the aspect of physical health, online blogs share “data on the disease, tests, treatments, and the science behind these treatments”, thus giving the patient a better idea of what is occurring within their bodies as they battle the disease, and perhaps, what the best way of treating the disease. (According to a scholarly article titled “Cancer Survivors” http://bit.ly/JJcpBc ). While a patient is receiving information about his/her specific case, it always provides comfort to find someone experiencing the same reality online. Another additional positive of these online blogs is that patients are able to reveal things that they would not normally discuss in a face-to-face setting. This may seem like an insignificant positive, but the ability to openly discuss the cancer online allows the patient the opportunity to not feel embarrassed about how it feels to lose their hair, or to feel such and such emotion as a reaction to such and such treatment. Patients may find help for their physical health through the use of online blogs.

            Secondly, pancreatic cancer patients can find support for their emotional state of being through cancer blogs. Initially, I thought that emotional aspect would be difficult to find over the net. But, cancer blogs allow patients to give and receive emotional and informational support to and from fellow ill patients. This gives the patient an opportunity to open up to other patients, for while the help of close family members or friends may be helpful, it is still difficult for the families to related to the disease specifically. Also, patients have the opportunity to share their hopes, fears, obstacles, and successes online. In my months watching these blogs, I have found that it truly is “all about the little things”. A successful week of chemo, or a small shrink in a tumor can make a world of difference to a patient, and the ability to share their day-to-day struggles online allows the patients to be expressive. Another example from the online community I followed described the success story of a 50-year-old man who finally was able to defeat the disease. An overwhelming amount of comments streamed onto his blog, all offering him congratulatory comments, and encouragement. With the help of cancer blogs, patients are able to find the emotional support they desire in their day-to-day battle against cancer.

            The new arrival of cancer blogs online initially started small, but soon exploded into an online community full of stories of grief, support, and hope. Patients have the opportunity to share their story on these communities, as well as receive the support they need from fellow pancreatic cancer patients. Over these past few months, I have found that with the assistance of online blogs, the world’s deadliest cancer may be battled not only through medicine, but through the power of the web.

Collegiate Wrestling

Carl, well done on your presentation!

I know very little about college wresting, DI-DIII, but it sounds like a very interesting community is behind this sport! I knew that the NCAA has websites about rankings and such, but i didnt know you posted information on forums about other wrestlers! But i guess that is just the equivalent as getting stats from other teams. My question is, Is there more of a community in DI or DIII?

Way to be!

Fat Acceptance

Elle, well done on your presentation!

Ive always thought that this project, (for exmaple, one along the lines of dove) was a wonderful idea for society, for our view of body image is just plain wrong. What i didn’t know was, how many forums there were surrounding this idea. I knew there was a movement to stop this idea of BMI and such, but i didnt know it was on such a large scale. You mentioned something about how different BMI’s are a poor way of measuring how healthy an individual is. Is that true?

Thanks for the great presentation!

Aaron’s Presentation

Aaron, well done!

I was impressed with your presentation, for i had no idea there was such a community about pole vaulting, especially in the aspect of Youtube. Do people really go to that website to work with each other on improving their form and such?

Well done.

michaelealyfans:

The 2011 Lustgarten Foundation Pacreatic Cancer Research Walk in NYC. 100% of donations go to pancreatic cancer research. Donate here: http://www.lustgarten.org/supportcurepc 

(via michaelealyfans-deactivated2013)

positive-press-daily:

 Scientists find gene that inhibits pancreas cancer spread

Scientists have identified a gene that slows the spread of pancreatic cancer tumours, paving the way for targeted treatment of one of the deadliest forms of the disease, according to a published paper.
After discovering the gene dubbed USP9X at work in a study of pancreatic cancer in mice, the international research team found it also played a role in humans.
“We looked in human tumour specimens and we found that it was missing in a fraction of patients — the patients that did very poorly … the people who died the fastest,” researcher David Tuveson told AFP.
“Patients that had a low level of the gene expressed … they died very quickly after their operation and the patients who at the end of their life had lots of metastasis (spreading of the cancer), they had also a very low level of this protein.”
The existence of the gene, which is found in all of our cells but goes missing in some tumours, was known before but not its role as a cancer suppressor, said Tuveson. Three other pancreatic tumour suppressor genes are known to exist, but this is the one whose absence “probably causes metastasis — that is what kills people with pancreas cancer”, said the scientist.
The discovery meant that “we can wake up the gene by using drugs” known as epigenetic modulators, he added.
“Our observation allows us to potentially treat people that have lost this gene in the pancreas tumours. It allows us to offer a therapy for the patients that actually have the worst prognosis.”
Tuveson said these kinds of drugs had already been developed, “but people haven’t figured out where exactly they would be useful”.
“We are proposing that these drugs would be useful in this subset of pancreas cancer patients.”
Pancreatic cancer kills about 96 per cent of its victims within five years of diagnosis, one of the lowest cancer survival rates. Early diagnosis is difficult, so the disease is often discovered only after it has already spread. 


This is a newly found aspect in Pancreatic Cancer research. Reasearchers have found that if one is without a specific gene, titled USP9X, then the chances of one dying quicker after being diagnosed is increased. Supposedly, the gene assists in early detection of the disease, as well as the likelihood of success against the disease if one possesses it. 
Another step forward for the Pancreatic Cancer Community!

positive-press-daily:

Scientists find gene that inhibits pancreas cancer spread

Scientists have identified a gene that slows the spread of pancreatic cancer tumours, paving the way for targeted treatment of one of the deadliest forms of the disease, according to a published paper.

After discovering the gene dubbed USP9X at work in a study of pancreatic cancer in mice, the international research team found it also played a role in humans.

“We looked in human tumour specimens and we found that it was missing in a fraction of patients — the patients that did very poorly … the people who died the fastest,” researcher David Tuveson told AFP.

“Patients that had a low level of the gene expressed … they died very quickly after their operation and the patients who at the end of their life had lots of metastasis (spreading of the cancer), they had also a very low level of this protein.”

The existence of the gene, which is found in all of our cells but goes missing in some tumours, was known before but not its role as a cancer suppressor, said Tuveson. Three other pancreatic tumour suppressor genes are known to exist, but this is the one whose absence “probably causes metastasis — that is what kills people with pancreas cancer”, said the scientist.

The discovery meant that “we can wake up the gene by using drugs” known as epigenetic modulators, he added.

“Our observation allows us to potentially treat people that have lost this gene in the pancreas tumours. It allows us to offer a therapy for the patients that actually have the worst prognosis.”

Tuveson said these kinds of drugs had already been developed, “but people haven’t figured out where exactly they would be useful”.

“We are proposing that these drugs would be useful in this subset of pancreas cancer patients.”

Pancreatic cancer kills about 96 per cent of its victims within five years of diagnosis, one of the lowest cancer survival rates. Early diagnosis is difficult, so the disease is often discovered only after it has already spread. 

This is a newly found aspect in Pancreatic Cancer research. Reasearchers have found that if one is without a specific gene, titled USP9X, then the chances of one dying quicker after being diagnosed is increased. Supposedly, the gene assists in early detection of the disease, as well as the likelihood of success against the disease if one possesses it. 

Another step forward for the Pancreatic Cancer Community!

(via exclusively-positive-press)

Ben’s Presentation

Good job, Ben!

I have never seen the show How I Met Your Mother, but I have heard nothing but great things about its comedic ways. I had no idea there was such a community surrounding this show, for I guess i had no idea that this show was so popular! My question for you is, why do people go to these online blogs? is it for more of a purpose then just asking questions or making predictions?

Lydia’s Presentation

I enjoyed your presentation, Lydia!

I knew very little about the Peace Corp, having only heard of it from speakers in school. I had no idea it was such a wide spread program that was global. What sparked your interest in doing this topic? Also, how does one go about becoming involved in the peace corp? Is it an intensive program? Or is it just volunteering in various countries around the globe?

Swan’s Presentation

Swan- Well done presentation!

I have a few friends back home who are heavily involved in the Young Life community, so it was really cool to see that this program is a country wide event! I enjoyed the video the most in your presentation-the camp sites seem absolutely ridiculous, and in the best way possible. My question is, what exactly happens at these camps? I know they are Christian Outreach programs, but what type of activities do you do at the camps?