Tag Archives: pancreatic cancer

5 surprising signs of cancer

Charlotte Libov reports for NewsMax Health, Dec. 18, 2012, that a top cancer surgeon says we mistakenly focus on pain as a sign of cancer. Instead, tip-offs to common types of cancer are generally not pain, but other signs, such as a new cough or a new lump on the body. Sometimes, pain occurs only after the cancer has spread.

Vadim Gushchin, M.D., a cancer surgeon at Baltimore’s Mercy Medical Center’s Institute for Cancer Care, says to watch out for symptoms like the five listed below. If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, but you’ve never experienced them before, although the likelihood is that you don’t cancer, you should get checked out by a doctor as soon as possible.

1. Sudden Shortness of Breath

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, responsible for nearly 158,700 deaths a year. Sudden shortness of breath, wheezing, fatigue, and trouble swallowing are sometimes signs of early lung cancer. Coughing up blood-tinged phlegm is a symptom that should get immediate attention. While coughing is the number one symptom of lung cancer, the problem is that nearly all smokers cough. And, although they are in the minority, people who have never smoked, especially those exposed to second-hand smoke or radon, can get lung cancer as well.  Smokers should undergo regular low-dose lung CT screening to catch any possible cancers as early as possible.

2. Unexplained Tiredness

Colon cancer, the second leading cause of cancer deaths, kills 50,000 people a year, or one person every 9.3 minutes, and it kills men and women equally. Symptoms include changes in the stool and bathroom habits, and fatigue. Because tumors bleed, the loss of blood can cause weakness and tiredness. People who smoke, drink alcohol excessively, and those who eat a diet high in red meat and low in fruits, vegetables, and whole grain are at a higher risk.

3. Sudden Waist Size Gain

Difficulty fastening clothing over a waistline that’s suddenly expanded may not be a sign of overindulgence, but bloating, which can be an early symptom of ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer kills more women each year than any other reproductive cancer, in part because early symptoms tend to be vague. However, bloating of a swollen belly, along with difficulty eating, feeling full quickly, abnormal menstrual cycles, gas, or pelvic or lower abdominal pain can be signals of the disease.

4. Yellowing of the Skin

Pancreatic cancer, a particularly deadly cancer, typically spreads with few symptoms. This is why, although fewer than 44,000 develop it each year, pancreatic cancer ranks as the nation’s fourth leading cancer killer. One signal is a yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes. As pancreatic cancer grows, it may block the bile duct that carries bile from the liver to the duodenum. This causes jaundice, which in turn leads to skin yellowing. Other symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, and abdominal pain.

5. Itchy Breasts

Most women dread finding a lump in their breast because it is the classic sign of breast cancer. But the first symptom of inflammatory breast cancer, a less common form of the disease, is an irritated, itchy breast.


Why Jobs Resigned From Apple

Last Wednesday came news that Steve Jobs — inventor, co-founder and CEO of Apple Inc., who revolutionized the computer industry — tendered his resignation.

Those who’ve followed news about Jobs know that he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2004. He took several unannounced and announced leaves of absence — in 2004 to undergo a pancreaticoduodenectomy to remove the tumor, and in 2009 for a liver transplant. After each absence, Jobs returned to resume leadership of Apple and unveil innovative products such as the iPod, iPhone, and iPad.

In his resignation letter, Jobs said the day finally came when he could no longer perform his duties. That could only mean that he is dying.

TMZ took these shocking pictures two days after Jobs’ resignation:

photos by TMZ.com

I’ve been troubled by the Apple logo (see below) and wondered if the bitten apple is an allusion to Genesis’ account of the temptation and disobedience of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden:

Then I discovered that the apple logo is not the original design. Here’s the original Apple logo, which unambiguously is a reference to scientist Isaac Newton:

A Democrat donor and friend of Bill Clinton and Al Gore, Jobs is a Buddhist, which means he believes in reincarnation, unless this is his last incarnation, after which he’ll reach Nirvana and Buddhahood, released finally from the curséd karmic wheel of birth and rebirth.

Buddhists subscribe to a moral code, of which I especially like compassion and the proscription against inflicting suffering upon other living creatures by eating their meat — an ethical injunction by which the Dalai Lama curiously does not abide. For Buddhists, life essentially is meaningless. If it’s about anything, it’s about suffering and how to transcend that suffering by becoming emotionally detached. They do not believe in and do not have a personal relationship with God, even less that God so loves us that He sent His only Son to be born human and to suffer and die for us.

Speaking for myself, I so much prefer that God is a personal God, who gratuitously and inexplicably loves me despite my wretchedness, whom I can go to with my fears and entreaties like a child to her father, and whom I fiercely love with my entire being — my whole heart, my whole soul, and my whole mind.

Jobs will leave behind a wife and four children, the oldest of whom is from a pre-marital relationship. Only 56 years old, Jobs’ impending passing is a reminder to us of our own mortality and how we should best live our lives on this mortal coil so that we can give a good accounting of it before our Creator.