Cancer Awareness, Research, Prevention & Education


Vol. 6: Summer 2023

Presented By

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Welcome to C.A.R.P.E. DIEM

A collaborative effort to raise cancer awareness

 -Brett Hartigan, Monica Hill, Sara Svendsen-

Welcome back to C.A.R.P.E. Diem, your favorite outlet for cancer news, broken down. This summer we turn to our resident explorer, Dr. Nicholas L’Shave, as he looks to discover the secrets of cancer hidden in the mystery of nature! No matter if it is the belly of a whale, the content of a new grail, or fleeing from the Y-Chromosome of a male, Dr. L’ Shave will always prevail!

C.A.R.P.E. Diem has it all this quarter so keep reading.


An Entry In the Journal Of Dr. Nicholas L’Shave:

The Quest for the Holy Grail

Legends (detailed medical studies) tell us of a Holy Grail (not that one) that could hold the key to the early detection of cancer. I have been searching high and low for signs of grail. Deciphering ancient hieroglyphics, fleeing giant rolling boulders, dodging those tiny little darts that always come out of the walls, you know, really putting the work in. After all that, my research indicates that the “Grail” in question is actually a blood test with an uncanny ability to predict tumors before they even begin to form! A discovery of this magnitude could completely change the way cancer is diagnosed and treated.

During my travels and adventures, my main aspiration was to learn all I could about the origin and capabilities of the grail test. For starters, unlike the original Holy Grail, this one was developed in 2021 by the Indian Medical firm, Epigenergs Biotech. This grail was created to be unique compared to its earlier counterparts. To accurately explain the difference between the old tests and the grail, we will first have to take a more in-depth look into the nature of a tumor. 

Every cell begins the same way, as a stem cell, and it takes about 1 billion of these microscopic cancer cells to form a single tumor. When a tumor forms, it goes through a disturbing process called metastasizing, which is when a tumor sheds cancer cells into the bloodstream to seed tumors in other organs. Each new tumor that forms is in possession of certain revealing biomarkers. Previous iterations of cancer blood tests were designed to look for fully fledged tumor cells already present in the body, which often meant it was too late for treatment. What makes the grail different is its ability to pin-point stem cells with cancer indicating biomarkers, which allows for a more preemptive treatment plan. Not only can the grail accurately predict cancer before stage 1 it can also decipher what type of cancer is forming and its current location.

Despite searching in places like primordial caves, underwater temples, and mystical pyramids my organization has been unsuccessful in our search for the grail. Evidence was found in the last place any adventurer would expect… in the pages of a highly convoluted medical journal. While this may seem less exciting than my usual expeditions, the results discovered in this journal were more than enough to raise my spirits. In a trial of 1,000 participants split up between 500 non-cancer patients and 500 cancer patients, the grail was able to accurately predict the formation of tumors across 25 different types of cancer including breast, lung and colorectal. Even more astonishing, was the fact that this trial did not yield any kind of false results. It even detected a predisposition for cancer in several of the non-cancer participants.

This blood test was given the name “Holy Grail” by its discoverers for its remarkable potential. Before the grail, detecting cancer was not an easy process. Normally, a patient would undergo a number of tests, scans, and clinical appointments. The grail is just a single blood test with the ability to detect cancer even before its first stages, making it a superior alternative. The widespread application of this test could forever revolutionize the way we treat cancer. Today, the grail is being utilized in hospitals all throughout the United Kingdom with high hopes of bringing it stateside soon. The potential for this test is promising and, before long, could solidify its spot in history alongside its famous predecessor.

To learn more about the holy grail findings published in the Journal of Stem Cells, click here.

Footnotes In the Journal Of Dr. L’Shave:

The Wonder Whales

During one of my many explorations, I came across a group of scientists on the northern tip of Alaska studying some of the world's naturally cancer-resistant creatures, Bowhead Whales. As we watched one of the largest mammals on the planet's surface from the ocean I could not help but think of them as a sort of paradox. Despite their size and the overwhelming amount of cells they possess, very few of these majestic creatures ever succumb to cancer. Why is that?

The following article explains how these whales have developed a cancer-resistant superpower!

Learn about how a team of DNA-repairing genes could soon be revolutionizing the way we fight cancer.

Why oh Y?

Sometimes to answer life's difficult questions we have to investigate the nature of things. In this particular case, we are exploring the nature of human biology. Generally, humans are differentiated at the biological level by the X and Y- Chromosome. Now I fully recognize that a little chromosome does not dictate who we are or what we identify as, but for the sake of introducing this next article, I will be referring to individuals with a Y-Chromosome as “men”. 

Colorectal and Bladder cancer have always been more aggressive among men and for years researchers and doctors attributed this to lifestyle. Recently, new studies have begun to emerge that detail different ways that genetics, and the loss of the Y-Chromosome in cells, may actually be the real culprit for why these forms of cancer are so common in men.

Click to read about how researchers are pinpointing the Y-Chromosome and learning about the different ways it can be both beneficial and dangerous when trying to fight certain forms of deadly cancers.

Happy Pride Month!

National LGBT Cancer Network, a No-Shave November Benefiting Foundation, is doing exceptional work in the cancer space. All people deserve equality, respect, and above all, safety.

If you or someone you know is in the LGBTQIA+ community and could benefit from cancer resources, check out the following links:


...does it even matter?

It seems like every time you turn around, there is something new that causes cancer; and medical opinions keep changing about what works and what doesn’t. Not only can it be exhausting, it makes you wonder…what’s the point of awareness, research, prevention, and education? Does it even matter?

The short answer is yes, it does matter.

The following story contains segments from an interview conducted by Harold Abrams through the National LGBT Cancer Network.

"Despite having symptoms of colorectal cancer for more than a year, Houston-based Paula Chambers Raney was misdiagnosed repeatedly and sent home by health care professionals. At just 44 years old, it was a harrowing emergency room visit that would change her life forever. In this Frankly conversation, Paula discusses the challenges of public healthcare, the importance of knowing your family medical history, and how the impact of cancer and treatment changed the dynamics of her relationship and sex life.

When were you first diagnosed and how did that come to be?

I had been sick for about a year and a half before and for sure misdiagnosed which I’ve come to find out is a familiar story. [In 2015] I spent a weekend in absolute torture with pain I’d never felt before. I was completely blocked and nothing was coming out of me, but blood. [My wife and I] went to an urgent care place. They told me I had eaten something red and sent me home with stomach medications. Come that Monday, the pain had become unbearable and I went to the emergency room. I was there for 13 hours and finally, seven doctors came into the room. I figured nothing good was going to come from that. They told me I had a massive tumor that had grown outside of the wall of my colon affecting areas of my liver, the surgery was going to take 14 – 16 hours, and they would take out part of my uterus, liver, and whatever else they found. I wasn’t going to have a lot of insides when they were done. There was nothing I could say, except “Ok, I want to live.” 

Were your providers sensitive to you being a part of the LGBTQ+ community?

Some respect you’re in a same-sex marriage or you’re gay; some don’t. When I would say I was in pain, especially with this colorectal cancer, some providers would say, “You people can take pain. Come on, toughen up.” Just blatant inappropriate things. [There was also] a doctor who sat me down and told me straight up, “I think you’re going to hell. I can’t treat you.” I said, “Thank you for telling me. I don’t want you to treat me.” (laughs) Unfortunately, you kinda get used to it. Sad but true. I was always just kind of taking my chances.

What have you learned about yourself during your cancer journey?

One of the main things I’ve learned is getting in touch with my body and mind, learning how to practice mindfulness and opening up to my spouse in an unfiltered way about how I’m feeling. I found support groups online and ended up talking to other gay women who had experienced this. My body is the temple and I love it because it’s the only one I got (laughs). I’ve learned to honor, respect and share it with the woman I love so dearly. It’s about being healthy and in love with myself. I really just have a feeling of gratitude."

Read the full interview between Paula and Harold here.

Hairy Fact: People with naturally red hair may require more anesthesia than average.

If you're a natural redhead with dyed hair, be sure to tell your medical team before you go under the knife!

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Disclaimer: This newsletter is not intended to provide medical advice. The content provided is for informational purposes only. No material in this newsletter is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Please seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions you may have regarding cancer or any other material mentioned in this newsletter.