Does it work? “Anti-radiation” pill “flying off” drugstore shelves.

What is potassium iodide (KI)?

Actually a salt of stable iodine—a substance our bodies need in order to produce thyroid hormones—KI is a tablet or liquid medicine that protects the thyroid from absorbing radioactive iodine, which is released into the air following a nuclear event.  It is able to block radioactive iodine because the thyroid recognizes both KI and radioactive iodine as the same substance. KI “fills up” the organ with its daily iodine quota, thus blocking the radioactive version from being absorbed. For this reason, people are generally advised to take KI as soon as the possibility of radiation contamination is known, before the damage can occur. Without such protection, the thyroid gland would quickly absorb the radioactive iodine, an internal injury that often results in thyroid cancer.

However, KI protects only the thyroid. It does not prevent radioactive iodine from entering the body through breathing, or by eating contaminated food. KI also does not protect other parts of the body besides the thyroid, and it cannot protect even the thyroid from other radioactive materials besides iodine. Nor can it reverse damage once the thyroid has been exposed to radioactive iodine. One dose of KI is effective for 24 hours.

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Dirty Little Secret: Selling Your Egg Cells To Fertility Clinics Can Be (Very) Hazardous To Health.

A few years ago, Alexandra, a doctorate student, decided that selling her eggs to a fertility clinic was the perfect way to get an extra $3,000 she needed to pay for her tuition.

But then “things went south,” she recalls in “Eggsploitation,” a new documentary on the health hazards of paid egg donation. Alexandra and two other women, identified only by their first names, say their experiences with egg donation led to hospitalizations, ovary loss, stroke and possibly cancer.

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Bishop who contended with Obama and Notre Dame being treated for cancer.


The retired bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend says he will undergo radiation treatments for prostate cancer.  The Rev. John M. D’Arcy is 78 and retired in January 2010 one year ago and was succeeded by Bishop Kevin Rhoades.

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This Week’s Ask Alice: How To Help A Friend Who Has Been Diagnosed With A Terminal Illness.

Send A Question To Alice

She’ll answer as many questions as possible,
right here, every Thursday.

Email responses will also be provided, as time permits.

Phil Asks: Have you ever been at a loss for words when a close friend has been given bad news? And what would you do after they receive bitter news that they have a year to live?

A close friend who I worked with this past Holiday period, discovered she has cancer. So what is the correct cancer etiquette? Or is there such a thing?

With the news of terminal cancer only a few days old, I still need to know:

· When to speak, when to be silent?

· What to say, what not to say?

· How to listen, and how to listen some more?

Alice Responds: Your compassionate letter about a friend who has been diagnosed with cancer, touched my heart.

On December 29, our daughter, Heather, completed her fourth round of chemotherapy. Now she awaits her second stem cell transplant, for which an adult donor must be found.

Since her original diagnosis of Hodgkins Disease in February of 2007, Heather has patiently endured the mistakes of people who speak before they think, about her challenging situation.

Although I’m not Miss Manners, I’d like to share a few tips from Heather’s experiences in the hope that we all can be more sensitive to our friends in need.


DON’T PROBE. Don’t ask life-or-death questions regarding the prognosis or outcome of a friend’s illness.

DON’T OFFER UNSOLICITED ADVICE. Don’t pressure your friend to find another doctor or go to a different hospital. Your friend’s decision involves many variables such as medical insurance or lack of insurance. In most cases, she is receiving care from a doctor she trusts.

DON’T BE A CREPE-HANGER. If your uncle died from cancer, don’t tell your friend about your late uncle’s demise.Also, your friend doesn’t need to hear your theory about why she became ill. She needs your support, not criticism.

DO ASK, “HOW ARE YOU FEELING?” This simple question offers your friend an opportunity to share every detail of her illness or steer the conversation in a different direction if she’s not in the mood for a lengthy chat.

DO LISTEN. Our sick friends need consolers and empathetic listeners. If they want our advice, they will ask for it.

DO SPEAK WORDS OF LOVE. “I love you,” “I’m praying for you,” “I’m here for you.” Love is the universal language of the heart. Before you phone or visit, pray that the Holy Spirit gives you loving words to speak to your friend.

DO CALL TO SAY HELLO. Some people never call a sick friend because they don’t know what to say. “Hello” is the proper greeting. Then let your friend lead the conversation, and you follow.

DO SEND CARDS. Cards that say, “Thinking of you,” or “Here’s a hug,” are always appreciated. Flowers or a box of her favorite cookies work well, too.

Heather’s strong faith, positive attitude, and zest for life make her an inspiration to everyone who knows her.

No one would have guessed that the woman wearing an elegant black gown with stilettos, at the Eve of the Eve Party, at Union Station, had endured 3 1/2 hours of chemotherapy the previous afternoon.

Throughout her treatments, Heather teaches her 6th graders every day and takes courses to complete her administration degree at night. Her loving husband, Mike, shares her abiding faith in God.

Clearly, Heather’s illness is a test of our faith. But I believe in miracles!!!

On Thanksgiving Day our dear friend, Fr. Walter, anointed Heather. Many people are praying for her healing.

Heather is in the care of an excellent earthly oncologist. Moreover, her eternal oncologist is almighty and awesome! I have complete confidence in God’s power to heal my precious daughter and anticipate the day when I’ll proclaim Heather’s healing in this column!

Although your friend was told she has one year to live, her oncologist is simply guessing. Only God knows the exact length of your friend’s life, and He isn’t telling. Meanwhile, there’s always hope for your friend. Never underestimate the power of prayer, the fabric from which miracles are fashioned.

An excellent book about “how people prevail in the face of illness” is, “The Anatomy of Hope” by Jerome Groopman, M.D. With love and prayers, you can be a beacon of hope that will brighten your friend’s life.

Thank you for caring about your friend. We will remember to keep both you and her in our daily prayers. Please keep me updated about her health.

In Christ’s love,


Further evidence that suffering is often, a gift from God

Father John Powell,
a professor at Loyola University in Chicago,
writes about a student in his Theology class:

I heard that Tommy had terminal cancer.
Before I could search him out, he came to see me.

When he walked into my office,
his body was very badly wasted
and the long hair had all fallen out
as a result of chemotherapy.

But his eyes were bright and his voice was firm…

‘Tommy, I’ve thought about you so often; I hear you are sick,’ I blurted out.

‘Oh, yes, very sick. I have cancer in both lungs. It’s a matter of weeks…’

Read the whole story

Submitted by Doria2

Noted atheist author and speaker Christopher Hitchens diagnosed with cancer of esophagus. (Trip to Lourdes recommended, by me.)

Author, journalist and public intellectual Christopher Hitchens announced Wednesday that he will undergo treatment for cancer of the esophagus, thereby cutting short his current book tour.

Hitchens made the announcement via a statement posted on Vanity Fair’s website, a publication for which he regularly contributes.

“I have been advised by my physician that I must undergo a course of chemotherapy on my esophagus. This advice seems persuasive to me. I regret having had to cancel so many engagements at such short notice,” Hitchens said.

Editor’s note: Let’s all pray for Mr. Hitchens’ prompt and complete recovery … since unlike Christopher … we Christians acknowledge the fact that God is indeed great.

Saint Perigrine – Patron Saint of those who suffer from cancer, AIDS, skin diseases

St. Peregrine’s cancerous leg was miraculously healed
by Jesus during a mystical vision

Prayer to Saint Perigrine

Dear St. Peregrine, I need your help. I feel so uncertain of my life right now. This serious illness makes me long for a sign of God’s love.

Help me to imitate your enduring faith when you faced the ugliness of cancer and surgery. Allow me to trust the Lord the way you did in this moment of distress.

I want to be healed, but right now I ask God for the strength to bear the cross in my life. I seek the power to proclaim God’s presence in my life despite the hardship, anguish and fear I now experience.

O Glorious St. Peregrine, be an inspiration to me and petitioner of those needed graces from our loving Father.


More about St. Peregrine