EBM and Clinical Support Librarians@UCHC

A blog for medical students, faculty and librarians about their use of evidence based medicine, clinical literature, Web 2.0, sources and search strategies

Tag Archives: MD

News, Public Health, Disease Prevention: World Cancer Day – Feb 4 2010 and a Very Special Cat

Today is World Cancer Day 2010 – Feb 4 2010

International Union Against Cancer (UICC) is the principal sponsor for World Cancer Day and is responsible for organizing the annual World Cancer Campaign and World Cancer Summit (held every two years).

The theme for the 2010 campaign is “Cancer can be prevented too”.  The public health message promotes practical lifestyle choices or modifications to lower the risk of  developing cancer, such as avoiding tobacco use, limiting alcohol consumption or exposure to the sun’s rays (or tanning booths), maintaining a healthy weight and take preventative measures against cancer-causing infections.

World Cancer Day began in 2006, and is held every year on Feb 4th.

Here are some additional facts about the International Union Against Cancer (UICC), from their “About” page:

In 1933, cancer researchers recognized the need to share knowledge and expertise globally and so founded the International Union Against Cancer (UICC). Since then, UICC has grown to embrace organizations engaged in all aspects of cancer prevention and control: voluntary cancer societies, research and treatment centres, public health authorities, patient support networks andadvocacy groups, and ministries of health “.

UICC works closely with the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), and the Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT), and has consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council. It offers corporate partners a unique opportunity to demonstrate social responsibility on a global scale. Every two years, UICC brings together key stakeholders in a World Cancer Summit. ”

Text Source: http://www.uicc.org/ – All rights reserved – Copyright 2010

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It probably isn’t correct to say that any cat has a “mission” in life… other than eating, looking for tuna, seeking out sunny spots, sleeping, batting balls around or searching for insects to chew on.  But anyone who has ever lived with a feline knows how comforting a warm, purring cat can be in times of trouble or stress.

This month, the press has picked up on the story of one spotted cat from Providence, RI  that does seem to have a purpose and meaning in his behaviors, as documented by David Dosa, MD.

Dr. Dosa is an associate professor of medicine at Brown University and a gerontologist at Steere House Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Providence. Oscar is a therapy cat and lives at the facility on the third floor where there is a 41-bed unit for patients with dementia. The staff has noticed that, over time, Oscar has purposely chosen to enter rooms  of patients who are near death and will stay with them until they’ve passed on.

The doctor has written a book about the cat, entitled “Making Rounds with Oscar: The Extraordinary Gift of An Ordinary Cat” which was published by Hyperion Books on Feb 2 2010.  Earlier, an essay he wrote about the cat was published the New England Journal of Medicine in July 2007.

In the Medical Subject Headings List (MeSH) I found that the term “animal assisted therapy” was added to PubMed only recently (in 2010).  Link here to a group of recent citations found on Medline about therapeutic human-animal relationships.

Reporters from The Providence Journal visited with Dr. Dosa and Oscar recently, and the video link is here (Jan 31 2010). Some of the other news videos about this story are regrettably sensationalistic, even calling him the furry “angel of death” or other silly stuff.

And today, I learned that Oscar now has a Facebook page!


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