Friday, June 3, 2016

The scourge of the XXI century: the survivors

The scourge of the XXI century: the survivors
Take Pierre Gagnon.  Pierre is one of those men (Photo: François Roy, La Presse)
Pierre is one of those men who go through life pedaling, jogging and eating healthy foods. No Smoking, Amateur red wine. Then one day, seven years ago, he was diagnosed with colon cancer, stage 3. Yes, if you smoke, you risk lung cancer. The link is clear. But we do not know what causes most cancers. What pushes a cell to become insane, to multiply uncontrollably and turn into a crab. Every year in Quebec, 45,000 Quebecers are affected by a cancer diagnosis; 20,000 die. Since 2006, cancer is the leading cause of death in the country.

In short, agonizing lottery. But there is still more distressing. There Lottery healing. Take Pierre Gagnon. Pierre is one of those men who go through life pedaling, jogging and eating healthy foods. No Smoking, Amateur red wine. Then one day, seven years ago, he was diagnosed with colon cancer, stage 3.

What causes colon cancer? We do not know. What is known is that it is one of the deadliest cancers: second cause of cancer death in Canada. survival rate after five years: 62%. Better than for pancreatic cancer (6%) and esophagus (14%), poorer than in the case of thyroid cancer (98%) and testes (96%).

It was Pierre me summary lottery chemotherapy when I asked him why, in his opinion, he had beaten cancer. Jogging, Peter? All-Bran?

Peter's answer, I fear, will disappoint you: "Luck."

A cell luck, if you want. It is 5-FU or fluorouracil, who saved him. 5-FU, once metabolized, stops (I summarize excessive here) mitosis (cell reproduction), murdering suddenly whack the cells that cause cancer. But, sometimes, the cancer cells thwart chemotherapy. Pierre Gagnon talks about luck. Me too. I know that scientists do not like the word "luck". But there is a mystery in the resistance - or not - of cancer cells to chemotherapy.

This mystery is summarized well in metastasis, truths about cancer of French cancer Laurent Schwartz: "Cancer cells are malignant in both senses of the word. Attacked, they quickly find new parades, develop various resistances to other disposal techniques. "

But for Peter, that's clear. Its survival, he has a cell lucky shot. 5-FU was able to kill his evil: "In my case, the chemistry worked. Science has worked. That's all." I hear you! I can hear you scream that attitude changes everything, that positivism can move mountains (and tumors). Lance Armstrong, as Saku Koivu wanted them, and they have beaten cancer.

Perhaps. But science, she says the opposite. She says that positivism probably alter the outcome of the battle. Josée Savard, professor of psychology and researcher in psycho-oncology at Laval University, said even that positivism, for cancer patients, can become a tyranny. Better to adopt realistic thinking to avoid sinking deeper into depression (1).

Obviously, to sing the virtues of positivism against cancer, we hear only the survivors. Those who are dead are not here to say that they, too, during the battle, they were positive to the bone. Its six months of chemo, Pierre pulled a book that is full of humor and humanity: 5-FU. Page 34: "CANCER I typed on my computer keyboard, then I responded. I learned that I am in grade 3 disease, which has four. I also found the 10 most common clichés, including this one: "A positive mind and constructive thinking can cure cancer." I closed my ordino. This week alone, at least 10 people have told me this statement, believing it hard as iron. "

At the lottery healing, Pierre Gagnon has drawn the correct number: Poison 5-FU has interacted with his body. Sometimes this is not the case: the patient's DNA does not metabolize the poison. Cancer cells continue their deleterious ride.

"There continues Pierre, thousands of examples of guys like eating well and that chemistry did not work. And thousands of smokers, pizza eaters, for which it worked"

Pierre Gagnon attributes his survival to luck, period. Do not talk to him even courage. In 5-FU, he describes himself as a coward. In an interview, he said that courage, he found the third floor of the CHUL in Quebec City. Upstairs children with cancer. This is the third floor, I think, he designed genocidal desires to proponents of "Total Biology" zozos those who say that your cancer is the result of a problem, for example, in the early childhood.

"I think Juliet standing in the park, in the third. Very small. Full radiotherapy marks. She did what she, for cancer? She was mean to his mother? "

Pierre did not know, but he played, somehow, my original anxiety about crab.

"You know, Peter, colon cancer, is what killed my father.

- How old was he?

- 54 years.

- Will you go have a colonoscopy?

- I just ... 38 years

- I had 43.

- ...

- You should go."

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