cancer

Genetics and cancer: why testing can aid prevention

Mar 11, 2017
lorna / Flickr

No one wants to talk about cancer. A disease that has taken the lives of so many, even the word itself has an ominous connotation. But as much as we don’t want to talk about it, new genetic technology suggests that starting the conversation about your family’s cancer history might be in everyone’s best interest.

In her new book, "A Cancer in the Family: Take Control of your Genetic Inheritance," Dr. Theodora Ross addresses how our family’s medical history plays a role in our health. To shed some light on the genetics of cancer, as well as genetic counseling, Ross spoke with “Take Care” to explain the importance of knowing your family history. Ross, a cancer geneticist, is director of University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center’s cancer genetics program.

Cancer and your family

Mar 10, 2017

Cancer is a scary word and people are often reluctant to talk about. That can make it difficult to find out about your family history of the disease. And even if you do know that many of your relatives have had cancer, would you get tested for it yourself? This week on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take Care," hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with Dr. Theodora Ross, who directs the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center's Cancer Genetics Program.

An injured athlete with cartilage damage used to try anti-inflammatory medicine, a brace or steroid injections. If those methods didn’t help, the athlete often had to live with pain. 

Today, some orthopedic surgeons offer cartilage preservation and restoration options. Dr. Todd Battaglia explains which types of injuries can be helped by a relatively new technique of transferring cartilage from one area of the body to another, or of transplanting cartilage from a deceased donor. He also tells how, in some cases, cartilage can be stimulated to regrow.

This week: treating eating disorders and more

Nov 30, 2016

This Sunday on "HealthLink on Air," radiation oncologist Dr. Michael Mix explains how stereotactic radiation can shorten treatment for some cancer patients. Plus, social worker Kathleen Deters-Hayes goes over treatment options for people with eating disorders.

Join us this Sunday, December 4 at 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. for "HealthLink on Air" on WRVO.

This week: empathy, childhood cancer, holiday hazards

Nov 17, 2016

Establishing empathy for a patient can be tough for doctors under increasing time pressure. Yet empathy -- being able to see the world as the patient does -- can benefit both the patient and the doctor, says Dr. Louise Prince, an emergency physician at Upstate University Hospital.

Mecklenburg County / Flickr

The idea of cancer can make many of us uncomfortable, and with that discomfort can come uncertainty, and fears about our own mortality. But when a friend or relative is facing a diagnosis of cancer, that's when they need the most understanding and support.

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Mindy Greenstein, a cancer survivor herself, gives some advice on how to talk to someone who has cancer. Greenstein is a clinical psychologist, psycho-oncologist, and a consultant in the Department of Psychiatry at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. She's also the author of the book “The House on Crash Corner and Other Unavoidable Calamities.”

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Surrounded by dozens of central New York firefighters in Syracuse on Wednesday, Sen. Charles Schumer launched a push to create a national firefighter cancer registry.  

The idea is to get a closer look at a cancer risk Schumer said can be double that of others because of exposure to toxic chemicals.

It used to be a badge of honor for a firefighter to come back to the station with a dirty, charred uniform. No more, according to Syracuse firefighter Mike Valenti.

Not every breast lump is cancerous, but "unless we do imaging and, at times, even a biopsy, we won't know that it's not cancer," explains Upstate University Hospital's Dr. Sam Benjamin, a medical oncologist who specializes in chemotherapy and cancer care.

Rising costs make cancer fight feel unaffordable

Sep 24, 2016
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A cancer diagnosis can be a “catastrophic event,” according to Dr. Greg Knight of the Levine Cancer Institute in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The disease itself is terrifying to face; however, Knight says patients are avoiding the reality because they are unsure how they will be able to afford treatments, medications and the impact the disease has on day-to-day life.

This week on “Take Care,” Knight, a clinical oncologist, shares the findings of his group’s study, titled “Financial Toxicity in Adults with Cancer, Adverse Outcomes and Potential,” as well as how the costs have changed and how patients can approach paying those costs.

The cost of treating cancer

Sep 23, 2016
kbrookes / Flickr

Treating cancer is only half the battle. For many patients, paying for that treatment can be just as difficult. This week on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take Care," hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with Dr. Greg Knight of the Levine Cancer Institute/Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. Dr. Knight’s study "Financial Toxicity in Adults with Cancer: Adverse Outcomes and Potential," was presented at the 2016 American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

There’s a new sound at the New York State Fair in Syracuse this year. The Upstate Medical University booth in the Science and Industry Building offers cancer survivors a chance to ring a bell to mark their accomplishment.

Nine-year old Madeleine Pointer was the first to ring the bell, a seven-year survivor of kidney cancer.

"It’s exciting to be the first to ring it,” Pointer said. 

Matt Capogreco of the Upstate Cancer Center said the bell sends a message.

According to Dr. Kaushal Nanavati, a person’s wellness depends not just on managing his or her diseases, but on getting into a routine that brings contentment and peace. Nanavati is a family practitioner and medical director of integrative therapy at Upstate Medical University.

Christopher Brown / Flickr

If you were asked what the best place for your cell phone is, you might say your pocket. But a recent study has shown keeping your cell phone on your person may be connected to certain types of cancer.

This week on “Take Care,” journalist Dina Fine Maron shares the findings of this study. Maron’s article, “Major Cell Phone Radiation Study Reignites Cancer Questions,” appeared in Scientific Americanin May 2016. Maron is an award winning journalist, the health and medicine editor for Scientific American, and is a contributor to the publication's podcasts and Instant Egghead video series.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Rep. Richard Hanna (R-Barneveld) is calling on Congress to pass a bill to help address and reduce the links between firefighting and cancer.

At the Mexico Volunteer Fire Department Tuesday, Hanna said it's increasingly difficult to find men and women who are willing to risk their lives by becoming firefighters. The danger, long hours and cost of training involved can be an impediment for many, but he said even worse than that is the threat of cancer.

Why some might keep their cancer a secret

Mar 19, 2016
Nesbitt_Photo/Flickr and Kaylyn Izzo

There are a number of diseases known to man that are incurable, some more serious than others. But if you had a serious incurable disease, would you want everyone around you to know? Or would you want to keep it to yourself?

These are questions many of us don’t have to think about, but for someone diagnosed with cancer, it may be something they put some serious thought into. This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Mindy Greenstein discusses some of the problems cancer can cause “from both sides of the hospital bed.” Greenstein is a clinical psychologist and author, a consultant in the department of psychiatry at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and is a cancer survivor herself.

Cancer: To share or keep secret?

Mar 18, 2016

Some cancer patients choose to be open and public about their diagnosis and treatment. But others prefer to keep their struggle with the disease a secret from anyone but their closest family and friends. This week on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take Care," hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with Dr. Mindy Greenstein, a psycho-oncologist who is also a cancer survivor herself. They discuss the pros and cons of both decisions
 

This week: prostate cancer, rehabilitation and fracking

Jan 8, 2016

Men with prostate cancer are often advised to hold off on radical treatment to see whether they can maintain a normal life while a doctor monitors the disease.

Emergency physicians and nurse practitioners from Upstate University Hospital offer a new service that is centuries old: house calls.

Dr. Christian Knutsen created the service, called “Upstate at Home,” after recognizing how many people become ill or injured, don’t require a trip to the hospital and don’t want to leave their home.

Ovarian cancer causes & risk factors

Sep 11, 2015

September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. While it may not get much attention as breast cancer, ovarian cancer is the deadliest of the gynecological cancers. This week on WRVO's health and wellness show “Take Care,” hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with oncologist Dr. Martee Hensley of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center about the risk factors for ovarian cancer and prevention measures. Dr. Hensley’s practice focuses on the care of women with gynecologic cancers.

Regular exercise in the teen years lays the foundation for a longer, healthier life, says a newly released long-term study.

Exercise physiologist Carol Sames, PhD, director of Upstate’s Vitality Fitness Program, helps explain the massive study of Chinese women on this week’s show. She cites its drawbacks and agrees with the idea that people should be encouraged to establish healthy exercise and other habits when young.

Also on the show: whether dyslexia creates a learning disability, and how a person's job could lead to cancer.

Yale Rosen / Flickr

Lung cancer is considered the leading cause of cancer deaths among both men and women. How can it be prevented and who is more likely to get it?

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Martin Edelman talks about what can cause lung cancer and who can develop it. Edelman is head of the Solid Tumor Oncology Department at the University of Maryland’s Greenebaum Cancer Center.

Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States and the result of factors that may include hormone levels, genetics, medications and one’s environment, according to Dr. Ramsay Farah, division chief of dermatology at Upstate Medical University.

On this week’s show, Farah explains how medications to fight acne have improved and how early treatment helps avoid scarring.

Also tune in for discussion on prostate cancer medications, water safety and stroke care. Plus, Deirdre Neilen shares a poem from The Healing Muse, Upstate's literary journal.

Cancer and its treatments can leave patients feeling nauseated, tired and deconditioned. But research shows that exercise during treatment can help them feel better and even function better.

“The goal of physical therapy is to assist the patient with cancer maintain their quality of life by managing the physical effects of the disease and/or its treatment,” said Cassi Terpening, who has a doctorate in physical therapy. She explains the most appropriate types of exercises on this week’s show.

Upstate Cancer Center medical director, Dr. Leslie Kohman, talks about advances in cancer prevention that have taken place over the years; plus how surgery, radiation and chemotherapy treatments have changed and improved. Debbie Stack tells about an upcoming cancer documentary that will air on PBS and is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “The Emperor of All Maladies.”

Syracuse University professor R. David Lankes joins us to speak about his treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma; more specifically, the type of patient he was striving to be.

His novel, "The Boring Patient," chronicles his time in the hospital.

"In the hospital, or during chemotherapy, I want to be the charming man who only requires a vitals check or a scheduled chemo dose," Lankes writes. "You don't wan to be interesting in most medical settings. Interesting means complications, and that is bad."

Advances in the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer begins in laboratories. This week, we'll get an inside look at four different labs currently searching for answers.

First, a lab that explores how to determine which drugs will work best in each patient. Then, scientists Christopher Turner and Nicholas Deakin detail their search for ways to halt the spread of cancer. Next, how to better protect bone from radiation therapy during cancer treatments. And lastly, the best way to inhibit estrogen, which can trigger breast cancer in women after menopause.

Men diagnosed with advanced bladder cancer often face surgery to remove their diseased bladders and replace them with external bags. But some patients are candidates for a novel operation in which a replacement bladder is created from a length of their own intestine.

Allan Sustare, 63, of DeWitt has led a normal, active life since his surgery two years ago. “I count myself luckier than anybody I know,” he said.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

A ceremony in Syracuse Friday launched the new face of cancer treatment in central New York. The Upstate Cancer Center is ready for patients, and assistant director Dick Kilburg says its innovative design merges nature and advanced cancer-fighting technology.  
 

"Basically what we’re doing with this facility is bringing all the services under one roof, and being able to offer patients what they deserve in this community," Kilburg said. "All the extra services that a cancer center should be offering.”

This week: cancer care and nutritional issues

Jul 10, 2014

Medical director Dr. Leslie Kohman and others provide a preview of the Upstate Medical University Cancer Center, including advanced technologies, and services available for the youngest patients with cancer and blood disorders.

Then, registered dietitian Maria Erdman addresses nutritional issues that cancer patients may face.

Signs and symptoms of thyroid disease

Jun 22, 2014
IAEA ImageBank / Flickr

You’ve heard of the thyroid, but how much do you really know about it? 

This week on "Take Care,"  Dr. David Cooper explains the functions of the thyroid and the various diseases that it can harbor.  Cooper is the director of the Thyroid Clinic and professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Click 'Read More' to hear our interview with Dr. David Cooper.

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