Brain Cancer

Brain cancer has been in the news a lot lately. My father had the fastest-acting kind, and it killed him within two years of diagnosis, after his initial seizures. He had, as most people do, near-immediate surgery, followed by chemotherapy, radiation treatment, and then more surgery.

This form of cancer is meant to be rare (1 in 300,000 or fewer get it) but it is increasing, due to "environmental factors", that I believe will one day be traced, if not to mobile telephony, then other aspects of our contemporary techno-saturated world. This week, fashion genius Yves Saint Laurent died of brain cancer, and Ted Kennedy went in for surgery to remove his tumour, which is apparently of the more aggressive variety.

Researchers now suggest they have discovered a virus that may cause the disease, and have developed a vaccine that could halt the spread of brain cancer - and already extends life by another year or more. 33% more life, faced with brain cancer, is the sort of near-miracle that we prayed for - and didn't receive.

It saddens me that my Dad isn't around to benefit from this new discovery, but I am very excited by the prospects that this could happen, in our lifetime - a potential cure for one of the most cruel, and intimate, of all cancers - the one that eats the seat of reason, of emotion, of memory, of self.
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