cancer | KERA News

cancer

Editor's note: This story was updated at 2:45 p.m. to include more information.

James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo will be awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discoveries which led to the development of a revolution in cancer treatment — therapies that work by harnessing the body's own immune system.

When it comes to cancer survival, the United States is sharply divided by race. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the cancer death rate for African-Americans is 25 percent higher than whites, and Hispanics and Latinos are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer at a late, and more dangerous, stage of the disease.

Your doctor probably nags you to schedule cancer screening tests like mammograms and colonoscopies. These tests, after all, can be life-saving, and most doctors want to make sure you get them done.

But when it comes to explaining the ways that certain screenings can cause you harm, your doctor may not be doing such a good job.

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The American Cancer Society recommends you should begin screening for colon cancer at an earlier age. For a long time, that was 50. Now, it’s 45.

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Recent studies suggest even moderate consumption of coffee – one to four cups a day – may reduce the odds of colon cancer developing or recurring.

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Ovarian cancer affects about 1 percent of women, but it has a high mortality rate — about 14,000 deaths each year. Still, new guidelines recommend women who are not at high risk for the disease should avoid screening for it.

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A new FDA-approved cell therapy holds promise for treating a form of blood cancer called multiple meyeloma. UT Southwestern Medical Center will soon begin clinical trials of CAR-T therapy to find out if it can succeed where older treatments have failed.

Texas Falling Behind In HPV Vaccinations, Study Says

Nov 29, 2017
Courtesy University of Texas System Office of Health Affairs

Texans are falling behind the rest of the country in getting vaccinated against the most common sexually transmitted infection — making them more vulnerable to several types of cancer, a new study says.

Stephanie Kuo / KERA News

Cancer patients face special challenges in addition to the disease — like complications from chemotherapy and weakened immune systems.

Hospitals are recognizing that cancer patients need special emergency care, too.

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A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel ushered in a new era for cancer treatment last week. The panel unanimously recommended the approval of the first treatment to fight acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a common blood cancer in children – with a patient’s own cells.

Gina Caro, 12, drapes a protective arm around her 9-year-old brother, Joshua, as they sit on a curb waiting for a bus to take him to camp. This is Joshua’s first time going away to camp, and he’s a little nervous.

When asked if he’s excited, Joshua shyly replies, “I don’t know.”

But Camp Grey Dove is geared specifically toward children like him.

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Tonsils serve as sort of a filter in your body. Chances are many of you have had them removed, but two recent studies differ on when and if that’s necessary. 

Louis DeLuca / The Dallas Morning News

Update: Jeffrey Weiss died Oct. 25, 2017. He was 62. Read his obituary from The Dallas Morning News. 

Death is inevitable, but few are willing to confront it publicly. Jeffrey Weiss has been a reporter for 35 years, and he’s in the middle of writing the story of his life – a series about his own brain tumor.

A program that helped women in rural parts of Texas navigate the state’s complicated health care system is being phased-out next year.  That’s even though a new study out of UT Austin shows the program helped increase breast and cervical cancer screenings in those areas.

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A biopsy involves removing tissue to find out if you have a disease or the extent of it. The FDA recently approved a less-invasive “liquid” biopsy for a certain form of lung cancer. But the possibilities are far greater.  

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Fever, sneezing, a rash are obvious signals something may be physically wrong. But the body also sends “silent” signs you may ignore - signs of something far more serious. Here are six of them, according to Dr. Sentayehu Kassa, lead staff physician at Parkland Hospital's Vickery Health Center. 

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About 50,000 people are diagnosed with some form of head and neck cancer each year, most often older men. But research indicates an increase among younger people - partly because of an rise in cases of the HPV virus.

Elyse Barnard

Meet Hallie: for much of her young life, the 7-year-old Denton 2nd grader, has been looking for something you can’t buy in a store: She’s searching for someone who could save her life. There’s a chance you could help.

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An agency within the World Health Organization recently concluded eating processed or cured meats like bacon or hot dogs – as well as red meat – can lead to colon cancer.

The Director of the Master of Clinical Nutrition--Coordinated Program at UT Southwestern Medical Center says not quite. Dr. Jo Ann Carson has researched ties between food and cancer for decades. In this edition of "Vital Signs," she explains why the report did not surprise her.

Texas Has Beef With WHO Over Report That Links Meat To Cancer Risk

Oct 27, 2015
Kay Ledbetter / Texas Tribune

Processed meats such as bacon and hot dogs cause cancer in humans, according to the World Health Organization — but consumers shouldn't worry about it, according to Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller.

The World Health Organization has deemed that processed meats — such as bacon, sausages and hot dogs — can cause cancer.

In addition, the WHO says red meats including beef, pork, veal and lamb are "probably carcinogenic" to people.

UT-Southwestern Medical Center

There’s some big news coming out Friday from UT-Southwestern Medical Center: It’s been named a comprehensive cancer center.

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About 17,000 people are diagnosed with cancer that began in or next to the brain every year in the United States. These are called primary brain cancers.

iba-worldwide.com

Beginning late 2015, North Texas cancer patients won’t have to leave town to get proton beam therapy. It’s an advanced form of radiation treatment using energized particles or protons to destroy cancerous cells.

Dr. Andrew Lee is medical director of The Texas Center for Proton Therapy. He launched a similar operation at M-D Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Dr. Lee talked about proton therapy for our consumer health series Vital Signs.

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If you haven't battled cancer or suffered through it with a loved one, odds are you will. One in three women and nearly one in two men face it directly. Cancer's torturous history of promised cures, setbacks and hope renewed is laid out in an upcoming six-hour Ken Burns film series called Cancer: The Emperor Of All Maladies. 

Cobler family

For all the breakthroughs in cancer care over the last few decades, sometimes the best treatment just doesn’t work. That’s what happened to 6-year-old Jude Cobler of Plano. 

Anne Weston, LRI, CRUK

Cancer of the pancreas – an organ that lies behind the lower part of your stomach - accounts for only two percent of cancers diagnosed in the U.S. each year. But it’s the fifth-leading cause of cancer deaths in this country. 

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

Usually its IV poles being wheeled down hospital hallways. Today, it’s a harp.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

New technology out of Texas is making it harder for criminals to cover their tracks. A University of North Texas chemistry professor has created a device for the U.S. Department of Justice to analyze the tiny particles of inks, paints, and other materials criminals use to create counterfeit documents. It’s called a nanomanipulator.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

A robot named da Vinci was born a decade and a half ago. And since then, doctors have used the system to perform more than a million surgeries worldwide. It has revolutionized the way surgeons remove tumors. The next big leap? Da Vinci’s cousins nipping out those tumors before they become a problem.

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