Toilet Paper and Cancer

The Coronovirus (Covid-19) pandemic is bringing out the best and worst in us as a society.

One of the problems is that some of us are buying huge quantities of items from supermarkets and hoarding them (or still selling them on the black markets for huge mark-up prices).

I recently had a patient who was diagnosed with breast cancer – which had spread to her brain. This was managed with steroids and radiotherapy to the brain lesions.

She was then started on tablets which block the hormones driving the breast cancer. The plan was to start her on a CDK4/6 modulating tablet along with the hormone blocker. I had planned to start her on Abemaciclib – which is the few medications which cross into the blood-brain barrier. The biggest problem being that these tablets can cause severe diarrhoea for the first few weeks.

The dilemma then being that this poor patient did not have enough supply of toilet paper – as they could not source it from any of the supermarkets.

We contacted the local supermarket and the manager was so helpful. He kept aside one box of toilet rolls for the patient. Also helped rebuild my faith in society.

She was then started on Letrozole and Abemaciclib. She is doing well as of now.

This was the first time the lack of toilet paper actually affected my decision making for patient care!!

Think about people around you. Care.

Oncologist with Breast Cancer – The Guardian

Great article by Dr Victoria Lavin in The Guardian describing her struggle with breast cancer, while training in Oncology in the UK. She describes the people who truly made a difference during her treatment and the lessons she learnt. Amazing.

Guardian – Oncology doctor and cancer

Serena Williams sings for Breast Cancer detection

  • Text and images taken from ABC Australia

Serena Williams for Breast Cancer detection

Tennis star Serena Williams has released a video of herself singing Australian rock classic I Touch Myself on Instagram as part of a Breast Cancer Network Australia initiative to remind women to check their breasts regularly.

In an Instagram post, Williams said the video was created as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month to honour “celebrated diva” and The Divinyls lead singer Chrissy Amphlett, who died from breast cancer in 2013.

“Yes, this put me out of my comfort zone, but I wanted to do it because it’s an issue that affects all women of all colours, all around the world,” Williams said.

The I Touch Myself project was first launched by Breast Cancer Nework Australia in 2014 following the death of Amphlett, at age 53, with fellow Australian singers Olivia Newton-John, Kate Ceberano and Sarah McLeod singing the song in a video to promote the early detection of breast cancer.

The campaign was sparked by Amphlett’s hope the song would inspire women to perform annual breast examinations.

Breast Cancer Network Australia and a women’s lingerie company have also released a snakeskin-print bra named after Amphlett called The Chrissy, which features the words “I Touch Myself” printed on the inside to remind women to regularly examine their breasts.

All profits from the sale of the bra will be donated to Breast Cancer Network Australia.

The Divinyls were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2006 before splitting in 2007.