Thursday, January 07, 2010


Multiple myeloma or myelomatosis, both are different names for the same cancer illness, though sometimes defined as different stages of the cancer development.

My mother got a myeloma in her head - not in the brain, but in the cavity behind the nose, the so-called rhinopharynx (label 6 in the picture above). It is a rather peculiar place to have, and not to say to find, a tumor. My mother only discovered it when she went to an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist after being bothered by symptoms of a blocked nose for over a month. That was last spring. At first the specialists thought they could treat it effectively by an intense radiation therapy through the summer, but unfortunately the tumor was made of harder stuff. Now my mother has had surgery to remove most of the tumor and she is currently going through several rounds of tough chemotherapy to kill the remaining myeloma cells.

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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Carcinogenic cereals

The favourite breakfast of me and my family, namely muesli and cereals with oats, just got a hard accusation by recent research: Oats contain the carcinogenic compound acrylamide. It is not a natural occuring substance in oats, but the processing of the oats to increase shelftime to the standard of approximately one year, includes heating to high temperatures which causes the acrylamide formation.

The good news is, cereals and oatmeal are not the worst offenders in this case. The top acrylamide-rich foods are french fries and potato chips. However, it is estimated that 25% of the average consumer daily intake of acrylamide is from coffee consumption. You may also be unwittingly generating acrylamide in your own preparation of foods. Be careful not to overfry your potatoes, leave them nice and golden instead of dark brown or burnt.

Read more:
Politiken covers the oatmeal story (in Danish)
Survey data on acrylamide in food by US FDA
Top twenty acrylamide-rich foods by Dr Ben Kim

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