An Oncology Nurse Brings Palliative Care to Rural Communities

An Oncology Nurse Brings Palliative Care to Rural Communities

Many oncology nurses say they naturally gravitated toward their profession, but that’s not quite the story of Marie Bakitas. “I didn’t go into oncology nursing willingly. I didn’t even go into being a nurse willingly,” laughs Bakitas, who has a long trail of nursing and palliative care credentials following her name. The longtime American Cancer Society grantee says her path was initially based on practical considerations, like professional opportunities. But while working with a bone marrow program at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire early in her career, she was…

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5 Questions with Melanoma Researcher Lisa Taneyhill

5 Questions with Melanoma Researcher Lisa Taneyhill

Melanoma is the least common though most serious form of skin cancer. Most of the time, it can be caught early and cured with surgery. But when it spreads to other parts of the body, known as metastasis, it’s difficult to treat. American Cancer Society grantee Lisa Anne Taneyhill, PhD, is conducting research that could one day improve outcomes for advanced melanoma. Her goal is to figure out what causes melanoma cells to break away from the original tumor and metastasize. To do this, she leads a team of scientists…

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Exercise Linked With Lower Risk of 13 Types of Cancer

Exercise Linked With Lower Risk of 13 Types of Cancer

You’ve heard for years that physical activity is important for your health. You may even know that exercise is important when it comes to cancer: It may lower cancer risk by helping control weight, reduce sex hormones or insulin, and strengthen the immune system; and it can boost quality of life during cancer treatment. Now, a new study from researchers at the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute links exercise with a lower risk of 13 specific types of cancer. That’s big news, because previous studies have investigated…

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Zebrafish Research Shows Promise for Melanoma, Brain Cancer, and More

Zebrafish Research Shows Promise for Melanoma, Brain Cancer, and More

Zebrafish, a type of minnow once prized as a hardy choice for beginner aquariums, are key players in the science world. These striped swimmers and their embryos are translucent, so researchers can observe what’s going on inside. In recent years they’ve become important for cancer research. American Cancer Society grantee Rodney Stewart, PhD, studies zebrafish to identify genes that help cancer cells spread and drugs that might be able to stop them. Using zebrafish with aggressive melanoma, Stewart recently laid the groundwork for a preventive medicine in people at high…

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Meet Rebecca Wates, Our First Crowdfunded Cancer Scientist

Meet Rebecca Wates, Our First Crowdfunded Cancer Scientist

The big announcement came over Skype. “I’m very excited this morning to be able to tell you that because of the generous donations to the Society, we’re able to fund your fellowship in ovarian cancer research,” said William Phelps, PhD, director of the preclinical and translational cancer research program at the American Cancer Society in Atlanta. Some 800 miles away in Kansas City, Rebecca Wates, PhD, flashed a huge smile and flung her arms to the sky. “Thank you! Yay!” she cheered as her colleagues clapped in the background. Earlier…

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Life Begins to Return to Normal for Breast Cancer Survivor

Life Begins to Return to Normal for Breast Cancer Survivor

Vicky Davis, 55, says she’s finally beginning to feel like herself again. She recently returned to her job working with children who have special needs, and she’s growing a support group of women in her community who’ve been diagnosed with cancer. She has only 3 more treatments of Herceptin (trastuzumab) – a targeted therapy drug – to treat her breast cancer and she’s anticipating breast reconstruction surgery in a few months. After that, she says, “I can go back to the life I once had.” Davis’ life was turned upside…

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Leukemia Survivor Gets Help in a Clinical Trial

Leukemia Survivor Gets Help in a Clinical Trial

In 1995, Mel Mann lived an active lifestyle and served all over the world in the Army infantry. But then he developed back pain that wouldn’t go away. An MRI revealed something suspicious with his bone marrow. After multiple blood tests and a marrow aspiration, 37-year-old Mann was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). His doctor told him he had only 3 years to live, unless he had a bone marrow transplant. “I was in shock, and I thought about my daughter, Patrice, who was 5 at the time,” Mann…

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How to Protect Yourself From the Flu During Cancer Treatment

How to Protect Yourself From the Flu During Cancer Treatment

Flu season begins in October, peaks during the winter, and can linger through May. The flu vaccine works best when you get it early in the season, but getting it any time is better than not at all. It is normal to have some achiness after the shot while your body develops its response. In about 2 weeks, you will be protected for the rest of the flu season. Even if the flu season’s virus differs from the ones used for the vaccine, protection can ease symptoms. Flu symptoms are…

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Junk DNA Research Leads to Lung Cancer Discovery

Junk DNA Research Leads to Lung Cancer Discovery

Your body’s blueprint, the human genome, consists of DNA that codes for proteins, which tells cells what to do. Laced between are other bits of genetic material that, until recently, had long been considered non-functioning. These bits are often referred to as “junk DNA.” “Just because a gene doesn’t make a protein, doesn’t make it junk,” says Mick D. Edmonds, PhD, an assistant professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine. In fact, he recently discovered a new, non-coding gene called microRNA-31 (miR-31) that may play a…

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What Every Woman Needs to Know About Ovarian Cancer

What Every Woman Needs to Know About Ovarian Cancer

SUNDAY, Sept. 2, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Women need to know the symptoms of ovarian cancer and see a doctor if they have them, an ob-gyn expert says. Ovarian cancer is the fifth-leading cause of death in American women, claiming more lives than any other cancer of the female reproductive system, according to the American Cancer Society. About 22,240 women in the United States will be diagnosed with the disease in 2018, and over 14,000 will die from it, according to the U.S. National Cancer Institute. September is Ovarian Cancer…

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