What We’re Reading: 07/14/23

Image courtesy of the New Yorker. Illustrated by Benedikt Luft
Image courtesy of the New Yorker. Illustrated by Benedikt Luft

A few highlights from around the web that made it into our feeds this week.

A Gaping Hole in Cancer Therapy Trials

By all measures, older people are at the highest risk for cancer, yet they are significantly underrepresented in cancer drug trials. In the U.S., approximately 42 percent of people with cancer are over the age of 70 but comprise less than 25 percent of trial participants. And of those participants, many are healthy with few common comorbidities, like diabetes, heart or kidney issues. The gap extends across the spectrum of cancers and cancer treatments, leaving physicians to tweak dosages and recommendations for seniors without any formal guidance. Further, these studies generally tend to focus on survival and don’t account for many quality-of-life concerns older folks face. An important read on a critical issue. (From theatlantic.com)

The truth about inflammation: all you need to know about 2023’s hottest health topic, from causes to cures

So much is speculated, declared, known, and, yes, still unknown about the role inflammation plays in our health and in our lives. It’s a vast biological phenomenon, and because of that, money-making schemes abound in the wellness industry, from diets to supplements. But inflammation is a vital part of our body’s immune response, and it’s affecting us in new and harmful ways. Sometimes we need it, and sometimes it can lead to chronic issues. So what is it exactly, why do we hear so much about inflammation now, and what should we do about it?
(From theguardian.com)

The Paradox of Listening to Our Bodies

“Scientists call our ability to feel what’s happening inside our bodies interoception.” It’s a feeling that can draw from all five senses, orienting us in space and giving us that inner sense of what’s happening inside. Both a messenger for bodily processes and a form of unconscious communication, interoception is a key part of being alive. But what about the part of it that responds to events, stimuli, history, trauma? This article explores the concept of “going with our guts” and all the ways it may guide or mislead us. A fascinating read.   (From thenewyorker.com)

And before you go, a poem for summer: 

Gratitude List

by Laura Foley

Praise be this morning for sleeping late,
the sandy sheets, the ocean air,
the midnight storm that blew its waters in.
Praise be the morning swim, mid-tide,
the clear sands underneath our feet,
the dogs who leap into the waves,
their fur, sticky with salt,
the ball we throw again and again.
Praise be the green tea with honey,
the bread we dip in finest olive oil,
the eggs we fry. Praise be the reeds,
gold and pink in the summer light,
the sand between our toes,
our swimsuits, flapping in the breeze.

Also, check out The Culture Consult:

Subscribe to Healthpoints and never miss an update