Joyce Kulhawik and the Daffodils

One week before her wedding in 1979, Joyce Kulhawik noticed a suspicious mole on her thigh. A biopsy showed it was a malignant melanoma. She walked down the aisle with her leg in seventeen stitches, which her husband removed on their honeymoon. Nine years later, while practicing yoga, Kulhawik experienced a high temperature, chills, and abdominal pain. Doctors gave her antibiotics and two weeks later decided to operate on her appendix. Instead of appendicitis, they discovered a tumor on her...

Genetic Medicine Blessing or Curse

In Genetic Medicine Powerful Opportunities for Good and Greed, Michael Dalzell says that while genetic treatments could spawn incredible improvements in health care, they also raise complex questions. He explains The theory of genetic diagnosis and treatment turns the practice of Western medicine inside out literally. Instead of starting with disease and searching for its origin, genomics begins with a genetic variation and relies on treatments that manipulate it, often before the gene can...

Olympic Swimmer Lives with Cancer

In late spring of 2008, just a week before the Olympic trials, U.S. swimmer Eric Shanteau learned that he had testicular cancer. I was sort of like, 'This isn't real. There's no way this is happening to me right now,' Shanteau said. You're trying to get ready for the Olympics, and you just get this huge bomb dropped on you. When doctors determined his cancer had not spread, the twenty-four-year-old athlete went to the trials and made the team. He decided to put off surgery until after he had...

Screening Tests for Cancer

Many people are alive today because they observed the warning signs of cancer or discovered suspicious areas through self-examination and reported these to their doctors. Others are alive because of cancer-screening procedures that are practiced routinely in many countries. Screening for cancer across a healthy population can identify individuals who have the disease but do not as yet have symptoms in other words, looking for cancer before it shows any signs. The World Health Organization says...

Tyler Walton and Harry Potter

At the age of five, Tyler Walton was diagnosed with leukemia. With treatment, the cancer went into remission. But when he was eight he had a relapse, and the leukemia came back worse than before. He had a stroke, a perforated bowel, and fungus in his lungs and his brain. For almost a year, he didn't walk and had to be fed through a tube. Finally, after a bone marrow transplant from his little sister, he began to recover. When a local newspaper announced an essay contest, Tyler wrote about his...