Cancer Comic Strip

My name is Suzan St Maur and I've had cancer twice. I find that humor helps me get through my cancer, and from what I understand it helps many others too. This blog is dedicated not to information about the disease, but to cancer warriors and their relatives/friends who just want some cheering chuckles. By all means share your funny stories and jokes with us - email them to suze @ (If you want to know more about me see my profile on here or

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Beautiful broccoli...

Here in the UK everyone has become wildly excited about the anti-cancer potential of broccoli, or at least of eating it. I quote from a recent post on the BBC news website...

Cancer team make 'super-broccoli'

Scientists are developing a "super-broccoli" which they hope will help people ward off cancer.
Broccoli has anti-cancer properties but an Institute of Food Research study has found some people's genetic make-up may minimise the protection they get.

IFR scientists say creating broccoli containing more of the key chemical - sulforaphane - may counter this effect.

They hope it will be ready in three years but recommend eating lots of different green vegetables until then.

Lead researcher Professor Richard Mithen said the key appeared to be a gene called GSTM1, which about half the population don't have.

He said: "Some individuals, who lack the gene, appear to get less cancer protection from broccoli than those who have the gene.

"Our studies suggest that this may be because, if you lack the gene, you cannot retain any sulforaphane inside your body. It is all excreted within a few hours.

"However, if you consume larger portions of broccoli, or broccoli with higher levels of sulforaphane, such as the 'super-broccoli', you may be able to retain as much sulforaphane in your body as those who have the gene.... (etc.)

One thing that intrigues me is that in creating this wonderful new "super-broccoli," are the scientists by any chance using genetic engineering? And, er, hasn't that created some angst among other groups of cancer warriors?

Ah well, I suppose I had better get down to my local store here in our English village and buy up their stock of fresh broccoli for dinner tonight. In the meantime I leave you with this short piece of dialogue overheard in the store recently...

Customer: Worcester sauce crisps please
Shopkeeper: Sorry can't, it's off the shelves, cancer scare.
Customer: Oh right, Chinese Chicken Wings?
Shopkeeper: Ah that's the same, Cancer scare
Customer: Hamburger Relish?
Shopkeeper: Cancer scare
Customer: Sausage and Mash?
Shopkeeper: Cancer scare
Customer: Cottage Pie?
Shopkeeper: Yes, wait, Cancer scare.
Customer: So they're all off the shelves because of a Cancer scare?
Shopkeeper: Yes
Customer: (sigh) Just give me a pack of cigarettes then.
Shopkeeper: Certainly. £4.50 please.
Customer: Thanks.


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