Monday, February 27, 2012

Moving Into Unfamilar Territories

Last night, I decided to stay up to support Liverpool FC versus Cardiff in the Carling Cup final. The game started at 12 midnight local time. But since I did not have a sports TV channel, I followed the proceedings with BBC sports live text. This is the first time I "watched" a football game from text commentary on my smartphone and then listening to some music on my earphone in the background while lying on the bed. The screen refreshes every two minutes. The game sounds exciting, as least from my own imagination as I read the text. But my frustrations grew when Liverpool could not get the winner goal during regular time despite having so many chances to score. I tend to think Liverpool does not play well with lower teams thinking it would be easy meat. So it went into extra time and I thought Liverpool has sealed their victory in the 108 minute goal. Somehow the current Liverpool team seems to go defensive when they are leading, even with a solitary goal. Cardiff responded with an equaliser in the 117 minute with only three minutes remaining in the game. I thought I should have slept instead of staying up to follow the game. Wasted my time. So it went into penalties. Following the penalties was also frustrating as Liverpool missed the first two penalties out of five. I thought game over. But in football, you never know especially when penalties are used to decide which team wins. Cardiff missed three penalties and finally Liverpool won, their first silverware since 2006. Hurray! I can now go to sleep.

Aspirin and Cancer
I have also been taking a medication for about two weeks now. It's Aspirin. There are some side effects like thinning of blood and causing stomach ulcers. Anyway, I am taking a low dose and also drinking lots of fluids. Like all medications I take, I will monitor my body reaction and will stop if the benefit is less that the risk that I am taking. Why Aspirin?

It’s long been known that a daily intake of aspirin could cut your risk of cancer dramatically. And though it’s long been known, science hasn’t ever really been able to say why until just recently when Australian scientists discovered how these anti-inflammatory drugs actually prevent tumors from spreading. The scientific breakthrough comes courtesy of researchers at Melbourne’s Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. Tumors secrete proteins and compounds called growth factors which attract blood and lymphatic vessels to their neighborhood, allowing the cancer to catch a ride and spread to other parts of the body. These growth factors also encourage lymphatic vessels — or “supply lines” — to widen, which also helps the cancer spread. Aspirin, belong to a group of anti-inflammatory drugs that reverses the widening of the supply line and make it hard for the tumor to spread — at the end of the day that’s what kills people.

In a study called "Aspirin and cancer: has aspirin been overlooked as an adjuvant therapy?" published by British Journal of Cancer (2011) 105, 1107–1113. doi:10.1038/bjc.2011.289 in 16 August 2011 can be summarised as follows:

Aspirin inhibits the enzyme cyclooxygenase (Cox), and there is a significant body of epidemiological evidence demonstrating that regular aspirin use is associated with a decreased incidence of developing cancer. Interest focussed on selective Cox-2 inhibitors both as cancer prevention agents and as therapeutic agents in patients with proven malignancy until concerns were raised about their toxicity profile. Aspirin has several additional mechanisms of action that may contribute to its anti-cancer effect. It also influences cellular processes such as apoptosis and angiogenesis that are crucial for the development and growth of malignancies. Evidence suggests that these effects can occur through Cox-independent pathways questioning the rationale of focussing on Cox-2 inhibition alone as an anti-cancer strategy. Randomised studies with aspirin primarily designed to prevent cardiovascular disease have demonstrated a reduction in cancer deaths with long-term follow-up. Concerns about toxicity, particularly serious haemorrhage, have limited the use of aspirin as a cancer prevention agent, but recent epidemiological evidence demonstrating regular aspirin use after a diagnosis of cancer improves outcomes suggests that it may have a role in the adjuvant setting where the risk:benefit ratio will be different.


  1. I like the new post, very refreshing ,
    Enjoy 'watching' football lo


  2. Hi Chang,

    Whatever you do, it will be part of your therapy. By diverting your mind away from the routine stuff, your mind is refreshed. Just like while one is studying for the exam, a break from the study, will rejuvinate the brain power.

    Maybe you should find ways to "relax" a little bit.

    Take care.