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cancer

The DEQ PFAS Investigation Map near Rockford, MI
From Google map provided by Wolverine Worldwide

Rates of cancer in Kent County where industrial chemicals have been found in the groundwater are not higher than they are in other parts of the state. That's according to a report state and county officials released on Tuesday.

State capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The Michigan House passed a bill along party lines last week that would change how state courts deal with asbestos-related cancer cases.

Supporters of the Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Claims Transparency Act would prevent “double-dipping” among some plaintiffs. Currently, victims of asbestos exposure can file claims in state courts against solvent asbestos companies, and an asbestos bankruptcy trust for insolvent companies.

fungi growing on cheerio
Courtesy of Robert Cichewicz

Could a fungus from the bottom of the Great Lakes hold a cure for cancer?

The final answer is still far in the distance, but a team of scientists believes there is promise in newly discovered Great Lakes fungi.

The DEQ PFAS Investigation Map near Rockford, MI
From Google map provided by Wolverine Worldwide

Residents in Kent County might have to wait a bit longer before they know all of the health effects of the chemicals in their groundwater.

A study about the effects of PFAS exposure is being delayed while Kent County officials get help from federal health experts.

petri dish
mostly*harmless / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

A new study by researchers from the University of Michigan and China shows that a common gut bacteria interferes with chemotherapy in colon cancer and leads to resistance and recurrence of the disease.

The bacteria, Fusobacterium nucleatum, keeps the cells in a state known as autophagy, which prevents the normal cell death process induced by the chemotherapy drugs. With autophagy activated, the cancer becomes resistant to chemotherapy.

The University of Michigan's Comprehensive Cancer Center
cancer.med.umich.edu

The phrase "you have cancer" might be one of the most terrifying collections of words a person can hear in their lifetime.

Many readers have heard that phrase spoken to them, or  have had a close friend or relative experience it. The level of anxiety and other psychological issues that accompany a cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming for many people.

To help combat that, there is now a subspecialty of oncology. It’s called psycho-oncology.

David Stanley is the author of "Melanoma: It Started with a Freckle"
Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

There are few things scarier than hearing your doctor say, “You have cancer.”

David Stanley heard those words.  

He was diagnosed with melanoma. What did he do? He survived, and wrote a book to share the experience and serve as a warning. 

The University of Michigan Health System
The University of Michigan

When a child gets sick, there are few scarier words in the English language for a parent than cancer.

Once that word comes out of a doctor’s mouth, there are lots questions to be asked, and even more decisions to be made. Few of them are easy.

One of those difficult questions is whether you want your child to be a part of a clinical trial.

Laura Sedig, a pediatric hematology/oncology fellow at the University of Michigan, joined Stateside to talk about clinical trials for childhood cancer and the options for parents faced with making this difficult decision.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan firefighters came in from across the state this week to rally in Lansing,  trying to force lawmakers to finally put some actual money in the First Responder's Fund.

It doesn't seem like it should be that hard, since the Legislature created that fund more than a year ago to cover firefighters who get job-related cancer.

www.defense.gov

When Michigan firefighters get work-related cancer, they’re supposed to be covered by the state. But that’s not happening. 

Because more than a year after lawmakers created a cancer-coverage fund for firefighters, they still haven't put any money in it. 

Report: Michigan could do more to prevent cancer

Aug 6, 2015
No Smoking sign
capl@washjeff.edu / Creative Commons

 A new report suggests Michigan could do more to curb cancer, including raising the tobacco tax and increasing funding to tobacco prevention programs. 

The report is from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. The organization has created a report for each state, which looks at nine public policy areas. 

Chris Goldberg / Flickr http://ow.ly/NtcRu

THIS STORY WAS UPDATED AT 2:06 pm on 6/15/15

Under legislation introduced in the Michigan House, health insurance policies would be required to cover wigs for children who lose their hair due to illness.

The wigs would be classified as prosthetics, and the law would require they be covered at the same rate as other prosthetics. 

CDC

It doesn't matter where you live in the United States; the leading cause of death is heart disease, followed closely by cancer.

But there are more than 113 causes of death listed in the The International Classification of Diseases, and any one of those can end up on someone's death certificate. 

That means there are a lot of state-by-state distinctions hidden in the bigger numbers.

flickr user The National Guard / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

This week we've been talking about the higher cancer risk that firefighters face.

And the good news about all this is that Michigan passed a new law this year, creating a fund to cover firefighters if they get certain kinds of cancer on the job.

But there are two problems.

First, female firefighters feel they're being unfairly left out, because while the law covers prostate and testicular cancer, it doesn't cover breast cancer.

Flickr user Internet Archive Book Images / Flickr

This week marks the 117 year anniversary of the first radiation treatment for cancer. Emil Grubbe is credited for his work on the case when he was still in medical school.

University of Michigan physician and medical historian Dr. Howard Markel says Grubbe was still a student when he discovered that huge doses of radiation may be able to kill cells. This discovery came after he severely burned his hand by using an early x-ray on it multiple times over a short duration. The technology had only been invented a few months prior and little was known about the consequences of the high doses of radiation involved.

Dr. Julie Silver.
juliesilvermd.com

In the battle against cancer, patients and physicians can pull out all the stops – surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy.

If all goes as planned, the patient goes into remission and gets back to his or her life.

But what about the physical toll of all of these cancer therapies? Some treatments are inherently toxic.

Dr. Julie Silver is a physician, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, and a breast cancer survivor. She's come up with a program of cancer rehabilitation and “pre-habilitation.”

Listen to our conversation with Dr. Julie Silver below.


A lot of attention is showered on health concerns such as heart disease and cancer. There's much less attention and effort being directed to something that is the cause of more than half of all hospital deaths: sepsis. Sepsis accounts for more deaths than prostate cancer, breast cancer and AIDS combined.  Dr Jack Iwashyna  is an associate professor in the Pulmonary and Critical Care Division of the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan - and Marianne Udow-Phillips directs the Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation.  Hear our interview with them below. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Terminally ill patients in Michigan may soon have a new avenue to pursue unproven treatments.

The State House Health Policy committee Tuesday approved "right-to-try" legislation. The state Senate has already approved the legislation, which tries to give patients a better chance of getting drugs or medical devices that show promise, but have not been fully tested.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan state lawmakers need to do more to help protect people from cancer. That’s the finding of a new study by the American Cancer Society.

The American Cancer Society says 58,610 people in Michigan will be diagnosed with cancer this year;  20,800 will die.

Nationwide, the society estimates 1.6 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer in 2014, and 580,000 will die from the disease. 

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network’s annual “How Do You Measure Up” report says Michigan state lawmakers should be doing more to reduce cancer risks.

nationalwritersseries.org / nationalwritersseries.org

A cancer diagnosis, either for yourself or for a loved one, is an incredibly frightening experience. When Greg Holmes received the diagnosis of a very rare and highly fatal cancer, he and his wife Katherine Roth found themselves trying to find hope in what seemed like a hopeless situation.

They’ve shared their journey in the memoir The Good Fight: A Story of Cancer, Love, and Triumph.

Below is an excerpt from the book where Katherine gives the news to her husband that he has cancer.

“I hesitated as one does when facing a huge precipice. I knew that telling Greg would make it real and send us free falling into a nightmare. I longed to hold back and return to our innocence, but reality pushed me forward. I asked Greg if he was sitting down and then I jumped. I don’t remember how I told him or the words I chose, but each one felt cruel. Each word was irretrievable, shattering our world and life as we knew it. Nothing remained except the harsh wind-swept shoreline of our tentative future.”

Greg Holmes and Katherine Roth joined Stateside to talk about their book and share their experience.

*Listen to the full interview with Greg Holmes and Katherine Roth above.

wikimedia commons

The number of younger men diagnosed with late-stage prostate cancer has been rising sharply over the past two decades.

Prostate cancer has generally been associated with aging. But researchers at the University of Michigan say it's time to rethink that.

Dr. Kathleen Cooney is professor of internal medicine and urology at the university. She said there could also be a genetic factor that makes some men more susceptible to the disease earlier in their lives.

Amy Temple / The Center for Public Integrity

Arsenic is nearly synonymous with poison. But most people don't realize that they consume small amounts of it in the food they eat and the water they drink.

Recent research suggests even small levels of arsenic may be harmful. In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been prepared to say since 2008 that arsenic is 17 times more toxic as a carcinogen than the agency now reports.

Women are especially vulnerable. EPA scientists have concluded that if 100,000 women consumed the legal limit of arsenic each day, 730 of them eventually would get lung or bladder cancer.

The EPA, however, hasn’t been able to make its findings official, an action that could trigger stricter drinking water standards. The roadblock: a single paragraph inserted into a committee report by a member of Congress, an investigation by the Center for Public Integrity found.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan firefighters are a step closer to getting help paying for treatment of a serious illness they may contract on the job.

The state Senate this week overwhelmingly approved a bill to create a $15 million fund to cover the medical costs firefighters incur when they fall sick with cancer.

The fund would compensate insurance companies that cover firefighters who make claims for treatment of bladder, skin, brain and a half dozen other forms of cancer. 

The broad view of the giant colon.
American Cancer Society

That one got our attention too.

The press release from the University of Michigan News Service starts with "here's your chance:"

The University of Michigan Health System will partner with the American Cancer Society to bring a 32-foot-long, 14-foot-high giant replica of the colon to Briarwood Mall, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. March 22, to raise awareness  of colorectal cancer.

What does such a thing look like? We asked for a few photos.

U of M physicians will also be on hand to answer any questions visitors might have.

Detroit's Police Chief for the day is nine year old Jayvon Felton - a fourth grader who is fighting leukemia, but one day hopes to fight crime as a Detroit Police Officer.

This morning Jayvon made his way to work by helicopter, taking a ride from Coleman A. Young International Airport, over Belle Isle, Comerica Park and the Ambassador Bridge. Upon his arrival, he was greeted by a group of Detroit Police Officers, Felton's classmates from Roberto Clemente Academy, and Detroit Police Chief James Craig.

http://uofmhealthblogs.org

A new organization in Ypsilanti that promotes cancer awareness for Native Americans is struggling to stay afloat.

Shoshana Beth Phillips is executive director of Heritage of Healing. It incorporates native traditions and activities into its services, and supports families with a parent dealing with cancer. (Phillips is originally from the Omaha Nation of Nebraska and was diagnosed with bone marrow cancer seven years ago.) 

On today's show, we took a look at key election results from around the state, from marijuana to gay rights. How did you vote?  And what's the take away from Election 2013?

Then, we spoke with Michigan singer-songwriter Stewart Franke as he takes us inside his battle with leukemia.

And, we talked Michigan beer. A new film looks at the craft beer scene in our state.

First on the show, it has been quite a journey for a candidate who got booted off the primary ballot, was going to fold his tent and walk away, then was urged to mount a write-in campaign, swept the primary and today, is the new Mayor-Elect of Detroit.

Mike Duggan has become Detroit's first white mayor in 40 years, beating Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon.

Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek has covered the Duggan campaign and was at the victory party last night. She joined us today.

Twitter

Whenever you talk about the key players in Michigan's music scene, one of the names that inevitably comes up is that of Stewart Francke.

Born in Saginaw, he's made his home, raised his family and built his music career in Metro Detroit.

Writer and critic Jim McFarlin calls Stewart Francke "Detroit's workingman's troubadour," a title he's earned and maintained over decades of making his music.

But today we are going to hear about another journey Stewart Francke has been on, a journey into the world of cancer. A journey that began when he was diagnosed with leukemia that forced Stew and his family and circle of friends to join together to wage a ferocious battle.

He's now telling the story of his cancer battle in his e-book from Untreed Reads. The title says it all, "What Don't Kill Me Just Makes Me Strong."

Stewart Francke joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Being handed a diagnosis of cancer is a life-shattering experience.

Every single patient has his or her story of coping with cancer, fighting cancer, and there is infinite wisdom in each of these stories.

Alex Kip has one of those stories. He was 22 when he was diagnosed with non hodgkins lymphoma.

The U of M musical theatre graduate has turned his cancer battle into a play, "My Other Voice" is now running at the Arthur Miller Theatre through this weekend.

Alex Kip joined us in the studio.

Listen to the audio above.

NCI

Michigan's cancer profile can cause unease, especially if you live or work near polluted waterways or land. Federal health data show that where you live might determine whether you will get cancer and what type.

Journalist Norm Sinclair looked at the "cancer hot spots" in Michigan for the August issue of DBusiness magazine, and he joined us today from Oakland County.

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