Thursday, November 17, 2011

Smoking, Liquor or Myeloma.....

So much has been written lately, on Multiple Myeloma websites, about potential breakthroughs into the mystery of MM. The cause of this incurable type of cancer is unknown, but it has been mentioned that it "could be" caused by Pesticides, Herbicides, Petroleum based products, Wood Dust, and/or Agent Orange. (My honey has been exposed to all except Agent Orange.)

Of course, no one really knows the reason for MM......but it has also been stated (by New Zealand researchers) that people raised on Livestock farms may be more susceptible to blood cancers (of which Multiple Myeloma is one).  (My honey wasn't "raised" on a livestock farm; but he was a livestock farmer. So, are our daughters in danger?)

And then there's Dr. Bradner, of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, who helped to create a hybrid molecule which has been named JQ1.  This molecule is thought to attack the cancer cells and make them become normal (I'm paraphrasing and stating this in layman's terms). Mice (not sure if they were The Three Blind, or not) were injected with Myeloma cells and then the hybrid Molecule. The mice that were injected lived, mice that were not injected with the Molecule JQ1, died. Dr. Bradner shared his findings with 40 labs, in the US, and 30 in Europe - many of them pharmaceutical companies. Hopefully, this will soon be turned into a pill and can be tested in humans. Amazing! The possibility of an oral drug which will make a cancer cell think it's a normal cell!
(The transcript of Dr. Bradner's talk can be found on the right-hand side of the page.

Vaxil, a drug company in Israel, is in the process of developing a vaccine and testing it against MM. This vaccine is supposed to treat cancer, and keep it from returning. Of course, this will have to be approved in the US by the FDA, and go through clinical trials here in the USA.  Admittedly, it's a long way out........but perhaps there will be hope for someone, somewhere down the line.

Rhubarb, a plant typically grown in cooler climates (Midwestern and Northern states in the spring) has a compound Bipterostilbene which seems to significantly inhibit proliferation of myeloma cells and has been said to EXTERMINATE myeloma cells.

The plant stalk, which is very tart, is the only edible portion since the leaves are toxic. Usually, the stalk is combined with strawberries (Strawberry Rhubarb Pie or Strawberry Rhubarb Jam). The Chinese have used rhubarb, for centuries, as a laxative. I wonder how prevalent Multiple Myeloma is among their people?

A Florida State University Researcher has discovered that eating dried plums (prunes) helps to prevent fractures and osteoporosis.

The testing was performed on two groups of postmenopausal women, but eating this fruit can't hurt MM men, either. And, it was believed that eating the fruit even reversed some of the bone loss. My honey isn't much of a "prune fan" but think of the "other" benefits (no laxatives needed)!

My favorite article was on the website where it was stated that smoking and drinking liquor appears to "reduce" the risk of Multiple Myeloma. Thankfully, since I don't smoke (and don't intend to start) it seems that liquor has the greatest benefit. My honey has always been a teetotaler, so everything I said in the first paragraph just goes down the drain. It wasn't the pesticides or herbicides or wood dust or petroleum based products (paints and paint thinners) - it was his not drinking that caused it!  I'm now sure if he'd taken a snort every now and then, we wouldn't be facing this problem!! Of course, this study didn't reveal how many of the smokers ended up with lung cancer, or how many of the drinkers became alcoholics. They just didn't have Multiple Myeloma!

Molecules, Vaccines, Rhubarb Pie, Prunes, Liquor......if it isn't one thing, it's another. Just never know what may be coming down the pike and what might work. But please excuse me while I put my computer away and go get my glass of wine. If liquor works, I'm sure wine does, too!!


  1. Lifting my margarita or my strawberry daiquiri - some of us have to stay healthy to take care of them. ;-)

  2. Tim was exposed to all of them too except agent orange. Being a wood floor contractor,
    he has had occupational exposure to wood dust and all those petroleum based stains and finishes too. Though it is horrible to think he could have avoided this if he'd protected himself, it gives me hope that it won't be inherited by our daughter, at least. He smoked for a few years and did/does drink on occasion(more when he was a young, single dude.)
    I have always been convinced that the upward swing in MM cases and the increase in younger folks being dx'ed with it is caused by chemicals. I think pesticides is probably the hardest to avoid what with it being in our food and everyone wanting their lawn to look perfect. I refuse to use that stuff on my property but almost everyone around us does. Makes me crazy. Can't even walk my dog without being contaminated. Think I'll start sneaking rhubard past my sweetie. I love it. Just had it in jam this morning.

  3. I love Rhubarb, and Bob will eat the Strawberry Rhubarb jam (if we can get it), but he isn't crazy about the pie. Now, just gotta' get him to eating prunes!!

  4. Billy eats prunes daily on the recommendation of Dr. B.

  5. Sis,
    Bob's been exposed to Agent Orange, too. It was the military name for defoliant, as in cotton!

  6. Sandra: Okay.....ask Dr. B why he suggested that Billy eat prunes? Is it for a laxative, or for the bones?

  7. Lil Bro (aka "Walking Encyclopedia"), he's been exposed to EVERYTHING under the sun!!
    Guess one didn't have to be in a war to be exposed to that. Thanks for the info!!

    Love you,

  8. My 43 year-old SIL had never been knowingly exposed to any of the above listed items, never lived near or on any agricultural lands, never worked with chemicals... competed in triathalons, competitive swimmer, biker, outdoors activities of all kinds... and then came the year when he had repetitive sinus infections, back aches and nearly died before they found the MM. I don't think the researchers really do know how to explain it when younger and younger people are coming up with it.
    I am thankful that after two STCs of his own that a relative's cells have done the trick in arresting it.