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Activating circadian clock reduces brain cancer without side effects in mice (acs.org)
103 points by sndean 43 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 23 comments



Pretty sure I have cancer. Context: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15889203

FWIW I also have narcolepsy, which took until adulthood to diagnose and had far more devastating effects on my life: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10984478

Didn't want to make this about me, but the coincidence between sleep problems and cancer is interesting enough that it seemed worth chiming in.


I developed narcolepsy in my teens and I can absolutely relate to how you feel. Everyone just thought I was lazy, malingering or, in the case of my general physician, depressed. It took years before I could even see a neurologist, after which an official diagnosis was quickly made.

If you're not already on sodium oxybate (Xyrem), I can't recommend it enough; it's the only thing that puts me in a sound, restorative sleep for more than a few hours.

I'm in the UK where prescriptions for Xyrem are almost impossible to obtain. Fortunately, the precursors for its active ingredient, GHB, are inexpensive and easy to acquire, so I just synthesize it myself. Technically it's illegal, but it would take an especially brave magistrate to convict me for having to overcome deficiencies in the NHS.


I'd suggest trying baclofen if you haven't. It doesn't work for everyone but it does work in some cases for both narcolepsy and circiadian issues and if it does work for you it is one of the better sleep drugs available (even if not usually considered as a sleep drug).


What do you mean synthesize? If you're starting from GHB, then you just titrate up with NaOH to ~neutral?


He’s saying GHB is virtually synonymous with Xyrem and GHB isn’t hard to make.


Regarding the possible cancer : "The secondary reason is an unhealthy fear of needles and a desire to live without a colostomy bag." you @ https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15889203

You can always decide to call it quits the day after, so don't let this stop you. Even if you have it, it may totally disappear. The money issue, I understand.

To be sure, you need a $10+mil net-worth in USA, then whatever happens, you can go to Mayo Clinic and pay cash.


Sorry to hear that. Your story just made it more real how bad the health care system is in the US. It's hard to believe that the most powerful nation in the world has this kind of exploitative and greedy health care system.

Did you follow up on the advise in the other thread[1], i.e. going to ER to at least get a diagnosis? Or speak to a social worker?

Did they reject you?

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15889552


It probably isn't cancer, I have ulcerative colitis which bleeds but you need that colonoscopy. An er will diagnose you, blood in stool is an emergency.

I'm in the same boat as you mentally, I have extreme anxiety and I'm on 4 meds just for that.

Btw, ACA has subsidies, they'll pay a lot of your monthly premium.


How's your appetite?

"I know I need to see a psychiatrist or a therapist to help me get over these irrational fears, but you guessed it: I can't afford to."

I happen to have fear for needles just like you. It makes me light headed that I almost faint, I literally cringe, I can't see such scenes in movies, etc.

A good year ago I was due for a dentist treatment (my last wisdom tooth (I'm in mid 30s), and removing an abscess which was there for about 7 years). So I went for an intake, and the dental surgeon suggested oxazepam (4x 10 mg, 1 before sleep, 1 when waking up, then 2 right before the medical procedure which has to occur in the morning), and was quite reassuring that we would succeed. I had to go twice, once for each issue however it went great both times. I slept like a rose! I was jolly. No fear whatsoever. While on the drug I was actually excited to get the treatment! I could also barely walk, so if you follow this route I recommend a driver or taxi. I don't know how expensive it is in the USA but my insurance didn't cover it here in NL. I think the drug cost like 30 EUR, but I forgot the exact amount. That's quite doable compared to a psychologist, right? And these positive experiences also give me more hope that I can do it without the drug. Just to put it in perspective: the treatment before that cost 600 EUR for full sedation (via a mask) which was partly covered by insurance because of a letter from my psychiatrist. I did get two complications from the oxazepam treatment treatment: due to Iboprofen usage I got ulcers (took 2 months till I got rid of it, took meds after 2 weeks), and the other problem is that the scars from the operation seem to cause a little white pus every other day but its stable and nothing near the level it used to be. I was disappointed that the post treatment _only_ looked at the place the abscess was and not its surroundings even though I did report the problem. All in all, I'm happy I went this route though.

My mother also had narcolepsy. Turned out she had sleep apnea. Her basic insurance covered a mask she has to wear during the night. I forgot the name.


I am sure people are willing to help you if you give them a way to donate - have you thought about setting something like that up? HN is a big enough community that even a small donation by a few users could cover the 3-4k expenses you will have to pay for your exams.


I appreciate that, but... When I pass beggars on the street, I've rarely given money to them, even back when I could afford to. It would be a bit hypocritical to do the same thing.

Everyone has problems. They don't define me. The main issue is that staying anonymous wouldn't go over well, and I don't want to be known as that guy with ass cancer.

A strange thing happened in the dota2 community. Dota 2 is a competitive game, and as such, it has casters (sports commenters). One very good caster is Sheever, but she was usually looked down upon as less talented than the other casters. Sheever had her moments, and she was pretty solid, but it's important to have an accurate perspective of your own work.

Then she publicly stated she had breast cancer, and everything changed. Overnight, everyone was super nice, to a ridiculous degree.

I saw similar things happen here, in two instances: 1. Randy Pausch, noted CMU professor who spoke at length about time management: http://www.post-gazette.com/breaking/2008/07/25/Randy-Pausch...

2. The person from HN who ultimately took his own life near the end. I cannot even remember his name... I feel like I owe him more than that.

Death is our shared destination.

The only thing I regret is not ever having enough money to scrape together to father a child... It's kind of the only thing my wife and I want out of life at the moment, but it's totally out of reach. And it's partly my fault. If I traded away all of my time and made my life all about work, I could do that. But then is what little time I have left still worth living?

It's complicated. I enjoy having the option of getting people to listen. People tend to pay more attention when someone is at the end of their life, out of respect. So I'm putting together some writings that I hope will provide at least mild amusement / interest for a week or so, for whoever stumbles on them.

There are worse fates. I get to live in a time when I can connect with you fine people. I really believe in this community, as cheesy as that sounds.

To put it one other way: if my work is not good enough to attract money, for one reason or another, then that says a lot about society. I'm a relatively smart and capable Lisp hacker. I would rather serve as an example of the kinds of problems people with narcolepsy have, which are not fully appreciated or understood. E.g. most people in my life berated me for being lazy, growing up, and most of my memories from that time period were not good. If people understood there was a medical basis for this, they probably would have been more understanding, and I could have carved out a little niche for myself somewhere more easily. I, too, didn't understand what was going on, and thought that most people were just much more motivated than I was, so I started to look down on myself.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMPzDiraNnA is worth internalizing. How you deal with problems determines the kind of person you are.


Very sorry to hear about your situation.

FWIW, i had been concealing cancer symptoms for 6 months (denial, was obviously a tumour) when i decided to see a doctor. All tests (physical, bloods, ultrasound) came back negative until I saw a specialist, who confirmed that it was a tumour. Fortunately I was able to visit this extremely expensive expert, because the doctors were not convinced that it was cancerous. Turns out it was an extremely aggressive, and rare in male youths, form of cancer called Embryonal Rhabdomysarcoma.

If I was in your shoes I would be dead by now. Fortunately I had (still have, actually) an employer who backed me during this time including providing generous financial support.

> 2. The person from HN who ultimately took his own life near the end. I cannot even remember his name... I feel like I owe him more than that.

Am really interested in finding out more about this, if you have more information.


2 > My guess is OP is referring to zeroMQ creator : Pieter Hintjens


I don't think you should blame yourself about beggars, it's not hypocritical. I don't usually give any money to beggars too, because most probably they are related to some crime groups (someone takes away most of donated money from them) and/or will just spend the money on booze and that's it. On the other hand, I've bought stuff I don't need from beggar-like old women here (babushkas), who just knit socks/hats etc and stand on the street trying to sell it and get some money (there were times in Russia when old folks had very low pensions after retirement). It's two different stories, when you give money to someone who'll just drink themselves to death or to someone who need a little help right now. So I wouldn't say it's hypocritical.


I sometimes think about how people with homes drink alcohol for pleasure and sadness.. and wonder how much more they'd drink if they were homeless, especially if they needed to stay warm, etc.

Alcohol isn't my coping mechanism of choice. I'm also not in other people's shoes based on what they might be able to access to get through a few hours or just a day.

Sparked from "..and/or will just spend the money on booze and that's it."


> because most probably they are related to some crime groups (someone takes away most of donated money from them)

Why is that "most probably"?

Btw, you can give other things than money to beggars as well. Bread or a cup of coffee, for example.


Because that's how it is here (Russia). It's wide spread scheme - crime groups "cover" some territory (usually where there's a lot of walk traffic) and take money from all the beggars which stay on that territory.

Here you can see how beggar gives money to his criminal supervisor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TrRI1QyQ8g

There's a lot of info about it on youtube, but it's mostly in Russian. Beggars in good places can get 2-3 average salaries per month and most of those money goes to criminals. It's really ugly criminal business. As an example - there's such thing as "renting" small babies - because women with babies can gather more money. They drug babies so they would lie still in the hand of beggar women. So giving money to beggars is often same as giving funds to criminals here.


Thanks for the info, it had not even occurred to me that you could possibly be from Russia. I'm curious, do you agree giving a bread to a homeless person (in general, or in Russia specifically) makes sense?


This is a tough post to reply to meaningfully without seeming gushing or trite, so I’ll leave it at a genuinely meant:

Good luck :)


The actual paper is paywalled. Can anyone tell what the sample size of the stud(ies) was?


It looks like between 4 and 9 per treatment group, depending on the experiment.


Doesn't that seem extremely small?


It does.. I didn’t notice that before posting the article here. But, possibly helping their case, at least some of the experiments were done on ears, so double the biological replicates.




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