Pancreatic cancer is a deadly disease that presents unique challenges for researchers. Clinical trials at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) are testing immunotherapy, medicines that stimulate the patient’s immune system, to boost the effects of standard chemotherapy drugs in treating pancreatic cancer.
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For many of us, 2017’s New Year’s resolutions echo past resolutions we didn’t quite manage to keep. If your goals for 2017 include exercising more, eating better and cutting back on smoking or drinking, the experts at Huntsman Cancer Institute have some information that could help inspire success: these changes are also an integral part of protecting yourself against cancer.
When it comes to treating thyroid cancer, less can be more. The adage certainly proved true for Lisa Anderson. After the mother of one was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer, doctors at Huntsman Cancer Institute assessed her risk to decide which treatment would be most effective for her.
Sara learned she had a rare form of gastrointestinal cancer at the age of 37. She told her family and just a few weeks later, her brother had a check-up. His doctors found he had stage 4 colon cancer. Surprised and shaken by the coinciding diagnoses, Sara and her family turned to Samantha Greenberg, a genetic counselor at Huntsman Cancer Institute for answers.
Why do 10,000 fish live at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI)? It’s not because the cancer researchers wanted company. Zebrafish help them investigate more effective ways to treat childhood brain cancers.
A drug typically used to treat depression and anxiety can significantly reduce joint pain in postmenopausal women being treated for early stage breast cancer, according to new SWOG research to be presented Friday at a special plenary presentation at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
When treatment for leukemia killed most of John Maack’s white blood cells, he relied on the staff at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) to protect him against infection.
Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, when melanoma is caught early, there’s a 5-year survival rate of about 97%. Once the cancer spreads to other organs, the survival rate drops to 15–20%.
Diane Fouts thought she had a bad cold. It was the spring of 2015, and she had a cough that just wouldn’t go away. She went to see her doctor, who ordered a CT scan. The results were far more serious than a cold. Diane had lung cancer. She is not a smoker; in fact, she has never smoked.
Like any major illness, cancer affects more than the body. It wreaks havoc on the lives and emotions of patients and their families. Ask Judi Evans, who was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer and told she had just six months to live. “My daughter and I looked at each other, and we said ‘no, we're not accepting that.’ So we immediately came to Huntsman Cancer Institute.”
Sometimes a therapy not often associated with cancer care can make a huge difference in a patient’s recovery. Massage therapy at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) complements standard cancer treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy. One patient says it’s improving his quality of life dramatically.
People use phones for just about everything these days—reading emails, checking the weather, or catching up on news. Researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) want to add extended patient care to that list. They’re testing a telehealth system called “Symptom Care at Home” to help keep patients as healthy as possible during cancer treatment. Kathi Mooney, PhD, co-leader of Cancer Control and Population Sciences at HCI, says the idea behind the program is that cancer patients’ symptoms don’t happen only while they are at the doctor’s office. Dr. Mooney has spent 15 years trying to improve patient care through a relatively simple technology—the telephone.
It's a familiar struggle to anyone dealing with cancer; the treatments that get rid of the disease can also have serious side effects. Doctors at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) are working to reduce the negative effects of cancer treatment by pinpointing radiation therapy within a millimeter of where the cancer resides. Karen Curtis has a family history of cancer. The disease took the lives of her mother and sister. When she was diagnosed with cervical cancer last February, she assumed she didn't have much time to live. "The first time I found out I didn't cry, I didn't have any emotions about it," she says. "But, then you start going through it and you start losing your hair, and you start losing everything, it's like you're losing your dignity."
Lilli Hartvigsen remembers the moment her three-year-old son Ethan was diagnosed with cancer. “On November 7th, three weeks after he had an MRI, they told us it was lymphoma,” she says. It began as a limp and quickly became a parent’s worst nightmare. “They actually did a bone scan, and it was all over his bones,” Lilli explains, “Stage 4 cancer. It was terrible.”
Doctors at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) are discovering some treatments that work for one type of cancer may also work for another, if it has similar mutations, or genetic changes. Genetic changes, or mutations, change some normal cells in the body into cancer cells which can grow and multiply. There are more than 100 types of cancer, which means many different ways to treat cancer are needed. Most cancers are named for the part of the body where they started.
Cancer isn’t the first hardship dealt to Carrie Grindle-Lyons. In 2008, she delivered a baby boy at 22 weeks. He was stillborn. Her doctor asked her not to try getting pregnant again right away because she had fibroids in her uterus. They were removed with surgery that left her uterus in place. A year after she lost her baby, Carrie went in for a checkup. What doctors found devastated her. “The fibroids grew back, and they found out I had endometrial cancer,” she says.
To say Annie Budhathoki, DAOM, L.Ac., was skeptical of acupuncture would be an understatement. “I thought acupuncture was the devil’s work,” she says. Then she was in a horrific accident. After more than two years of surgeries and recovery, she still had to walk with a cane. She turned to acupuncture as a last resort to relieve the pain in her leg, and quickly became a believer. After three sessions she was able to walk, cane-free.
Thousands of lives could be saved by a simple vaccination to protect against Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Yet only 51% of teens receive the vaccine each year. Every year more than four thousand people die from cancers related to HPV. It's upsetting, it's really upsetting,” says Deanna Kepka, PhD, MPH, a population scientist at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI). “If you ask any cancer survivor whether they would have taken an opportunity to get a vaccine that prevented their cancer, they would say yes.”
More than 1,000 young women have helped Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) researchers with a study to pinpoint factors that affect the risk of breast cancer.
Every week, a special visitor appears at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI). His job? To cheer up patients fighting cancer and their family members. His name is Misio, and he’s a therapy dog with Intermountain Therapy Animals. Kathy McNulty, a volunteer with the organization, is Misio’s escort. Kathy says Misio has only been coming to HCI for a few months, but she can already see the difference he’s making for patients and their families. “Over and over, I’ve seen tears turn to smiles,” she says. “Misio takes their minds off the procedures.”
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