As Linda Evangelists announces second cancer diagnosis and a new artificial intelligence tool identifies cancer diagnoses, this is what’s happening in the oncology space this week.
Jimmy Buffet’s sister revealed cancer diagnosis short after her brothers.
Laurie Buffett McGuane, sister of late singer Jimmy Buffet, revealed that she received a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer shortly after her brother was diagnosed with a rare skin cancer about four years ago, according to CNN.
Now cancer-free, McGuane explained to PEOPLE that their diagnoses brought the siblings closer together throughout their treatments.
“Jimmy and I became closer because of our cancers. We talked before and after our scans. We shared a club that nobody wants to join. I am thunderstruck that Jimmy didn’t make it,” McGuane told PEOPLE.
“I rode my horse during my treatments and tried to continue with my life the same way Jimmy has done. He brought joy to so many. I am very emotional now. When Jimmy was in the world, I felt safe,” said McGuane.
McGuane posted a picture on her Instagram of Buffet after he died, and explained how family was by his side.
“We talked about our childhood where only siblings can relate. I told him I’ve known him longer than anyone on the planet. He smiled with those twinkling blue eyes and squeezed my hand,” McGuane wrote on Instagram.
Supermodel, Linda Evangelista, announced her breast cancer diagnosis.
Linda Evangelista, aged 58, revealed that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer twice in the span of five years: once in 2018 and the second in 2022.
“It was detected in my annual mammogram. The margins were not good, and due to other health factors, without hesitation, because I wanted to put everything behind me and not to have to deal with this, I opted for a bilateral mastectomy, thinking I was good and set for life. Breast cancer was not going to kill me,” Evangelista explained in WSJ. Magazine’s Fall Men’s Style issue.
After her first diagnosis in 2018, she had returned to the doctor in 2022 after feeling a lump on her breast, resulting in a diagnosis shortly after that.
“I just went into this mode that I know how to do — just do what you’ve got to do and get through it. And that’s what I did,” Evangelista added.
Evangelista refers to herself as a “survivor on standby.” She refuses to keep her diagnosis quiet anymore.
“I’ve kept it quiet. Only a handful of people knew. And I’m just not one of those people who has to share everything,” she told the outlet.
“I know I have one foot in the grave, but I’m totally in celebration mode. I’ve come through some horrible health issues. I’m at a place where I’m so happy celebrating my book, my life. I’m so happy to be alive. Anything that comes now is bonus,” Evangelista explained.
Microsoft and Paige to create the largest AI system for cancer identification.
Microsoft and Paige, a company that develops artificial intelligence (AI) products for pathologists, are teaming up to create the world’s largest AI system for identifying cancer, Microsoft announced this past Thursday.
This system can detect common and rare cancers that are traditionally hard to diagnose. Researchers are hoping that this new AI system will improve the risk of shortened staff and caseloads that are beginning to increase.
“You don’t have cancer until the pathologist says so. That’s the critical step in the whole medical edifice,” Thomas Fuchs, co-founder and chief scientist at Paige, told CNBC in an interview.
Paige also received FDA approval for their tool called FullFocus, which scans digital images on a screen for pathologists, rather than relying on a microscope.
AI has become a secondary tool for pathologists, because it is extremely costly and can be difficult for smaller health systems.
A swimmer who raise money for charity received a cancer diagnosis.
George Sushkoff, a participant in dozens of swimming events to raise money for cancer charities, received a stage 2 colon cancer diagnosis.
Growing up, Shushkoff loved the water and spent most of his time swimming.
"I grew up a lot around the water. I think I had my first wet suit at 8 years old. Water skiing, body surfing. There was an ad in the paper for a local swim team. My parents said, 'What do you think about trying this out?' I said, ‘yeah, it sounds like fun,’" Sushkoff said to CBS 6 News.
Shushkoff advocated for charities and began to swim in events like Swim Across America, which raises money for the Massey Cancer Center. Shushkoff participates for his friends who have received cancer diagnoses.
"I remember being there, listening to the researchers talk," he said. "There was a friend of mine speaking who was a breast cancer survivor. I remembered just thinking well, it's great that it helped her but I'm just going to be helping other people,” Shushkoff stated in a press release.
Shortly after this, Shushkoff received his own cancer diagnosis after undergoing a routine screening.
"It's a shock," he said. "I was never expecting that,” Shushkoff explained.
Shushkoff was unable to give up his swimming, as he was participating four times a week. Swim Across America then reached out to him and helped him get a second opinion on his diagnosis.
Shushkoff still remains active, but has decreased his swimming since the diagnosis.
“I'm hoping people will be inspired to keep life as normal as possible," he said. "Stay active. Seek out your friends, lean on your friends, your family. You're going to need that. You're not going to be alone. I don't feel like I'm alone in this whole process.”
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