Archive for November, 2011

Locating the Cancer in the Prostate

November 22, 2011

From what I understand, prostate cancer is different from most other cancers in that the exact location of the tumor(s) is not known. Apparently, x-rays, CT scans and MRIs are unable to identify prostate cancer cells inside the prostate. Biopsies of tissue core samples extracted from the prostate are needed to determine whether cancer is present or not in the samples. Biopsies do not determine the locations and extent of all the tumors in the prostate. As a result, treatments have tended to treat the entire gland by either removing it entirely or radiating the whole thing to make sure they get it all. The only sure way to determine the exact extent of the cancer is to biopsy the whole thing but that requires removing it from the body first. Someday, there may be some alternatives.

At least two teams of scientists, one in Belgium, the other at UCLA, are working on systems that use computer software to combine data from MRI scans and ultrasounds to map the locations of cancer inside the prostate gland.

The UCLA research team fuses data from a real-time 3-dimensional ultrasound with MRI data during a biopsy to reasonably accurately determine the location and size of prostate cancer tumors within the prostate and, thus, identify the best places to take core samples. It is expected that this technique will be especially beneficial for patients of advanced age with small tumors that will not grow fast enough to ever be life threatening. It is also expected to be useful for patients such as myself who have had high PSAs and a previous negative biopsy.

A Belgian company has developed a product called HistoScanning that couples ultrasound with “advanced tissue characterization algorithms to visualize the position and extent of tissue suspected of being malignant in the prostate gland.” According to the manufacturer, “Prostate HistoScanningoffers the simplicity of ultrasound and results that are comparable to MRI in a format that can be made available to all patients in the physician’s office.”

Of course, it will be some time before either of these options become available for use in the U. S.

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The 1911 Carlisle Upset of Harvard – Part 2

November 17, 2011

Carlisle received the opening kick off and moved the ball quickly to Harvard’s end of the field but were unable to push the ball across the goal line. They turned the ball over on downs at the Harvard 2-yard line. On their second possession, the Indians bogged down well into Harvard territory and Jim Thorpe kicked a field goal from the 15-yard line to open scoring for the game. Harvard soon countered when Hollister drop-kicked a field goal of his own to tie the score. There was no further scoring in the first quarter. In the second quarter, Carlisle rushed the ball to Harvard’s 40-yard line but could get no further on this drive. Thorpe then kicked his second field goal of the game from 47 yards out. Unfortunately for the Indians, they would later fumble the ball and a Harvard player, Hollister, recovered it on the 50-yard line. On the next play, Reynolds broke through the Indians’ line and, after the Indians thought he was down, popped to his feet and ran for a Harvard touchdown and 9-6 lead at halftime. Note that touchdowns were worth 5 points and the goal after 1 point while field goals counted 3 points at that time.

After a series of line plunges late in the third quarter, Alex Arcasa pushed the ball over for Carlisle’s only touchdown of the day. Thorpe kicked the point after. Thorpe also kicked another field goal to close out scoring for that quarter. Harvard put in its fresh first team for the fourth quarter and made good yardage at first, but the Indian line eventually held. Thorpe kicked his fourth field goal of the day to complete Carlisle’s scoring. Harvard would get its second touchdown for the day when Storer blocked Thorpe’s punt from the 36-yard line, recovered the ball, and ran it in for a touchdown. Fisher completed the scoring for the day at 18-15 by kicking the point after touchdown. Carlisle almost had a touchdown of their own in a similar fashion but, instead of falling on the ball, several players attempted to pick it up and run with it. A Harvard player eventually fell on the ball behind his goal line for a touchback.

Possum Powell excelled at line plunging throughout the day while Gus Welch, Arcasa and the badly injured Thorpe ran around the ends. The Carlisle line, without Captain Sam Bird for the whole game and Bill Newashe for most of it, outplayed the Crimson line making the backs’ gains possible.

This game has been rated as one of the greatest college football games of all times by experts.

The Dangers of Awarding Honors Prematurely

November 15, 2011

Current events interrupt the scheduled blog for today. The Big Ten Conference announced that they are removing Joe Paterno’s name from the conference championship trophy. I haven’t made my mind up regarding Paterno’s involvement, if any, in Penn State’s cover up of the crimes committed on its premises to young boys, but I do see the folly in bestowing honors on coaches still in the midst of their careers. If the evidence eventually exonerates Paterno, will the Big Ten return his name to the trophy? What will Penn State do about the statue of Joe Paterno that stands in front of Beaver Stadium.? Penn State would not have to make a decision regarding the statue if they had waited to put up a monument dedicated to him.

A few years ago, the National Football Foundation (NFF) interrupted the counting of votes on ballots submitted by voting members of the NFF to determine which coaches would be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame to select two coaches for induction who were not on the ballot because they were not eligible for induction because of the rules in place at that time. The NFF quickly changed the rules in a tortured way to make Bobby Bowden and Joe Paterno eligible, disregarded the ballots that had been cast, and selected Bowden and Paterno for the upcoming induction. That might have been Lone Star Dietz’s chance to be inducted but we will never know that because all the votes for him and the other candidates on the ballot were ignored.

Because of their premature action, the NFF now has to decide to strip Paterno of their honor as has the Big Ten Conference or to let him remain in the hall in spite of what happened while he was actively coaching. If the NFF had simply followed their own rules, the NFF would not have a decision to make.

100th Anniversary of carlisle’s Great victory

November 12, 2011

100 years ago on November 11, 1911, Carlisle achieved perhaps its greatest victory when the Indians defeated the Harvard Crimson 18-15 at Cambridge. This game is also considered to be Jim Thorpe’s greatest and one of the best games ever played in the annals of football.

Newspaper articles in the days leading up to the game, reported that Harvard Coach Percy Haughton planned to start his second team to wear down the Indians, who were known to make few substitutions, and put his first team in later in the game to finish off the exhausted Indians. So confidant in his strategy was Haughton that he didn’t bother attending the game. Instead, he spent the day in New Haven, CT scouting Yale for the upcoming rivalry game. Warner was confident about his team’s chances even though he said Captain Sampson Bird and tackle Bill Newashe would probably be unable to play because of injuries but he said nothing about Jim Thorpe’s leg and ankle.

Prior to the game, Warner bandaged his star tailback’s leg and swollen right ankle so that he could play, even if he couldn’t run at full speed and cut to escape would-be tacklers. Warner kept Thorpe’s condition a secret as part of his game strategy. Knowing that Harvard would be keying on his All America halfback, Warner used him mostly as a decoy who blocked for the person who was actually carrying the ball. A well-run single-wing offense, with all its fakes, makes it difficult to determine who has the ball. Guessing that Thorpe had it wasn’t a winning strategy for Harvard’s defense that day. Newashe was able to start but couldn’t finish the game as Hugh Wheelock substituted for him later in the game. Thorpe was eventually replaced by Eloy Sousa but not until his damage was done.

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