Saturday August 18, 2018

Cancer Patients Turn Incredible Photographers

Camera develops confidence in cancer patients

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Cancer Patients Turns Incredible Photographers
Cancer Patients Turns Incredible Photographers. Pixabay
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Student photographer and one of a cancer patients Madeline Morales takes her camera everywhere she goes. She is always looking for something interesting to shoot.

“I try to look at things with a lot of light; a lot of what draws me is positivity – something that means love or happiness,” said Morales.

At 15 years of age, she has lived through experiences most teens have not had to deal with. She has faced cancer, chemotherapy and radiation, but she stays optimistic and tries to find beauty through her camera lens. Today, she will see something most people will never see in their lifetime.

“It makes me feel excited, a little bit nervous,” said Morales, whose photos were on display at a gallery show in Los Angeles.

“I think with photography and having that faith in God has really helped me a lot to staying positive and being motivated to want to keep fighting this disease,” she said.

Cancer patient
Breast Cancer patient

 

Morales was one of 23 students who shared their experiences with cancer through photos at the Pablove Foundation’s gallery show of its advanced photography class. The foundation aims to improve the lives of children living with the disease through its Shutterbugs photography program. The Pablove Foundation also provides money for underfunded pediatric cancer research. Proceeds from the students’ prints will go toward pediatric cancer research grants.

The Pablove Shutterbugs program offers photography classes in eight cities across the United States.

“Being in these classes with other people that completely understand their experience and can be a community with them has been really impactful and has really made them feel a lot more comfortable in what they’ve been through and where they’re going with it,” said Ashley Blakeney, program manager of Pablove Shutterbugs.

She said the photography classes give students living with cancer a sense of community at a time when they often feel isolated in their experience. Photography also helps build confidence, said Blakeney.

“Pavlove Shutterbugs serve as a distraction for these students while they’re going through their treatment because it literally is an out of hospital experience first and foremost,” she said, adding, “Because they are able to build this skill set and to be the really great photographers that they are. They’re incredible. It gives them something to brag about in a sense that they can now say “I am an artist. I am a photographer. I have this voice, and I have this story to tell” and they’re able to do that through their images.”
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Another student photographer featured in the gallery show is Bayu Lukman.

Photographer developing confidence in cancer patients
Photographer developing confidence in cancer patients

 

“Most of my photos’ themes focused on hope,” said Lukman

Lukman was diagnosed with cancer after graduating from elementary school. He described the devastating emotional side of living through cancer and its treatments of chemotherapy and radiation.

“You kind of get really depressed and you don’t want to live anymore.” Lukman continued, “You need to stay optimistic and push yourself through.”

With photography, many young students see the world through the lens of optimism, where their identity is not dictated by cancer.

“There’s more to us than just having cancer, that we have more of a story to tell besides cancer. We want people to see what we see even if it’s through the lens,” said Morales.

Also read:Toothpaste ingredient promote colon cancer

“Pablove helped me understand more about the struggles of cancer and has given me a small chance to actually assist in the world a bit with photography, I’d say, to express my story and allow it to hopefully to reach other kids so they understand how to deal with it hopefully,” said Lukman. (VOA)

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Decoded: How Cancer Cells Cripple Immune System

Anti-PD1 therapy blocks interaction between PD-1 -- a protein on the surface of T-cells -- and PD-L1, PD-1's counterpart molecule on tumour cells, thus reinvigorating T-cells and allowing them to unleash killing power on the tumour

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The research offers a paradigm-shifting picture of how cancers take a systemic approach to suppressing the immune system. Pixabay

Researchers have found that cancer cells send out biological “drones” to fight the immune system and survive.

The study showed that cancer cells release “drones” — small vesicles called exosomes circulating in the blood and armed with proteins called PD-L1 that cause T-cells to tire before they have a chance to reach the tumour.

The research offers a paradigm-shifting picture of how cancers take a systemic approach to suppressing the immune system.

In addition, it also points to a new way to predict which cancer patients will respond to anti-PD1 therapy that disrupts immune suppression to fight tumours.

“Immunotherapies are life-saving for many patients with metastatic melanoma, but about 70 per cent of these patients don’t respond,” said Guo Wei, Professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

“These treatments are costly and have toxic side effects so it would be very helpful to know which patients are going to respond,” Wei added.

Cancer
Representational image. Pixabay

Anti-PD1 therapy blocks interaction between PD-1 — a protein on the surface of T-cells — and PD-L1, PD-1’s counterpart molecule on tumour cells, thus reinvigorating T-cells and allowing them to unleash killing power on the tumour.

In the study, published in the journal Nature, the team found that exosomes from human melanoma cells also carried PD-L1 on their surface. Exosomal PD-L1 can directly bind to and inhibit T-cell functions.

Identification of the exosomal PD-L1 secreted by tumour cells provides a major update to the immune checkpoint mechanism, and offers novel insight into tumour immune evasion.

Also Read: SPF30 Sunscreens may Delay Onset of Skin Cancer

According to the researchers, exosomes are tiny lipid-encapsulated vesicles with a diameter less than 1/100 of a red blood cell.

Since a single tumour cell is able to secrete many copies of exosomes, the interaction between the PD-L1 exosomes and T-cells provides a systemic and highly effective means to suppress anti-tumour immunity in the whole body. This may explain why cancer patients might have weakened immune system, they noted. (IANS)