Friday, 10 February 2012

Thank you Dr Li

This will only be a brief post (I promise) as I just wanted to share with you all something I have found out this week. My Dad is currently reading a book about the history of cancer (sounds fun eh?!) (The Emperor of all Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee) and he thought I would find one chapter very interesting.. I did!

We have found out about a doctor in the late 50s, early 60s (can't quite remember) who discovered the first ever chemo cure for adult cancer while treating a patient with a choriocarcinoma. The patient had a high hcg level and the doctor (Dr Li) realised very quickly that if he administered methotrexate (a chemotherapy drug) the tumours declined. However, he kept on giving the drug so the hcg hormone level would gradually decrease. The hcg was what they call a tumour marker. He continued the treatment until the hcg level hit normal and the patient was cured. Yet he was accused of experimenting on patients and sacked! Today though this has been hailed as the first ever cure of adult cancer through chemotherapy.

I have mentioned before how odd/weird/random/out there my tumour was, yet it seemed to behave like a germ cell tumour (ie a choriocarcinoma). Chorio's are normally in the womb and associated with a pregnancy - my tumour was incredibly awkward and had nothing to do with this and showed up in my bowel, yet still producing a high hcg. I still find the whole thing rather confusing.

Anywho, all I wanted to say was that I found this rather interesting and I guess I have a lot to thank Dr Li for. What a smart guy! (Also, how on EARTH do you figure something like that out?! BLOWS MY MIND).

Other than the above, I do not have much else to report. The staples are out of my tummy and I have another scar to add to my collection. I also turn 26 tomorrow and am already sick of 'old lady' jokes. How on earth am I this old?!

1 comment:

  1. Look at it this way: for every year you're getting older... you'll still never be as old as me. xx