Saturday, April 16, 2011

Teal Out

Sam Houston State University's Colleges Against Cancer, a student club affiliated with the American Cancer Society, sponsored a SHSU "Teal Out" baseball game to promote SARCOMA awareness and raise money for the ACS.  We were invited to attend, and Joel threw out the first pitch. Between innings the announcer read facts about sarcoma, and they had information about sarcoma at the entrances. The shirts that they sold were teal. The writing said, "Teal We Find a Cure. 2011. In memory of Maura de Souza"
It was pretty cool.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Proton Therapy

MD Anderson asked me to post a link to the video below, about a boy who survived cancer through the use of proton therapy. But first, here is a little blurb I found on their website about the use of proton therapy on sarcomas.

Sarcomas are rare, malignant tumors found almost anywhere in the body in both children and adults. Because most sarcomas are quite rare, many oncologists may have treated few patients with these tumors, if any. MD Anderson Cancer Center treats more sarcoma patients than any other cancer hospital, enabling physicians to build on their expertise in an ongoing effort to discover new therapies and diagnostic methods. This same experience in dealing with sarcomas extends to MD Anderson’s Proton Therapy Center and the development of proton therapy treatment for many types of sarcomas.  Most often, proton therapy is used in combination with other types of treatment for sarcomas. Surgery is the most common treatment for soft tissue sarcomas. Radiation as a stand-alone treatment for sarcoma is not as common but can be used for patients who are not healthy enough for surgery or to ease pain and other symptoms of disease
Sarcomas can be treated with it, but not Maura's unfortunately; her tumors were both too big and too numerous. Plus, I don't think it's used yet to treat all types of sarcomas, and since her sarcoma defied type, not a chance. Maybe it will be different in a few years. 
It makes me happy to hear of others surviving cancer, especially kids--I feel like their victory is also mine. But, to be honest, it also saddens me as I wish it could have been so for Maura.