The ‘LightTouch’: Why Our Readers Are Awesome, or, the Newest Development in Early Cervical Disease Detection

photo of woman light touch undergoing cervical cancer screening symptoms pictures

Sometimes, new technology is released that is utterly superfluous. Sometimes it’s entertaining. And occasionally, it’s really damned useful!

A reader of Zelda Lily sent us an email yesterday wanting to share with you all that he has been involved with the thus-far quite successful development of a non-invasive cervical cancer scanner. It is being tested under the name “LightTouch,” and thus far has done …

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Is Gardasil a Business Failure?

vintage retro photo of gardasil ad prevents cervical cancer pictures

You are probably all aware of the new-ish vaccine Gardasil. If not, here’s a brief summary: the vaccine was designed to combat some prevalent strains of HPV, some of which are known to lead to a variety of cancers in the reproductive system as well as genital warts, namely in women. The FDA heartily recommends the vaccine, citing the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which recommends vaccination before girls reach adolescence. The vaccine hasn’t been without controversy, though. Aside of the debate regarding the large expense and its arguably limited scope, many have questioned whether it’s absolutely necessary to expose young girls to the risk of any side effects from the vaccine.

Now the miracle drug that can literally prevent cancer seems to be in a bit of financial trouble. CNNMoney.com gives a summary of the current financial letdown:

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New Hampshire Firefighter Sarah Fox Not Alone in Breast Cancer Battle

Sometimes the most tragic of circumstances can bring out the absolute best in people. So it is with a New Hampshire firefighter who has fought valiantly against cancer … and the family, friends, co-workers, and community members far and wide that have joined in her struggle.

It’s really easy to lose sight of what’s really important sometimes, and honestly it’s even easier to get caught up in life’s unpleasantries. Taking the time to say, “Wow, how amazing is it that this community joined together to support a comparatively young woman stricken with a horrible disease?” sadly takes a backseat to discussions on the Ground Zero Mosque or Guinness Book of World Records-worthy horses or athletes behaving badly or whatever.

I was truly touched to learn of the support offered to Portsmouth firefighter Sarah Fox by her brave co-workers. The Portsmouth Fire Fighters Charitable Organization does many great things, but their pinnacle as far as I’m concerned is their work on the Sarah Fox Cancer Fund.

From their website:

Portsmouth Firefighter Sarah Fox was diagnosed with breast cancer on October 9, 2007. At the time she was also 36 ½ weeks pregnant with twins. Twelve hours after her diagnosis the twins were born making a family of seven. While it wasn’t easy, Sarah fought through the many challenges and treatments that cancer brings and beat the odds returning to work in January 2009.

Just over a year later Sarah developed a pain in her hip which was discovered to be cancer. Sarah, her husband Matt, and their 5 children and extended family are faced with the fight against cancer once again.

Wow. At what should have been one of the happiest times of her life, Sarah Fox found out that she faced a potentially terminal illness. She fought the disease aggressively, appeared to win the battle, only to find out that her body’s war with this horrible disease had only begun.

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Japanese Women Toast Their Own Health: Life Expectancy Increases Again

Japanese women have enjoyed the longest life expectancy in the world for more than two decades, according to newly-released government figures. In 2009, women in Japan could expect to live to a record average of 86.4 years – up almost five months from the previous year.

Experts attribute the extraordinary longevity of Japanese women to a traditional low-fat diet of fish, rice, simmered vegetables and soy products, easy access to healthcare and a comparatively high standard of living in old age. Eriko Maeda, a Japanese woman of 69, echoes these sentiments, accrediting her health in old age to her lifestyle and saying that:

‘I never eat meat and I avoid fried food… with the occasional exception. I eat lots of oily fish, like mackerel and sardines, I’ve never smoked and I hardly ever drink.’

Maeda can expect to live for another two decades and, if she is typical, Japanese women will continue to outlive the rest of us. Diet aside, there is no shortage of possibilities to explain the life expectancy rates in Japan. The Japanese Health Ministry cites improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, cardiac disorders and strokes, the country’s biggest killers, as part explanation of the upward trend. Universal health insurance, achieved …

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