From peer pressure to peer support

Easing the burden of hereditary colorectal cancer

colorectal cancer

Members of the Myers family share a hereditary high risk for colorectal cancer.

Learning to fit in and conform with other children is a rite of passage for most of us, but when someone is living with a genetic disorder and the life-long threat of cancer, those formative years can be fairly tough. Just ask Kevin Myers. He has an inherited genetic disorder that results in a very high risk for colorectal cancer. It is called familial adenomatous polyposis, or FAP.

“I was seven or eight years old when I became aware that my dad’s mom and brother had died from this cancer, and my dad was frequently having pre-cancerous polyps scraped out of his Continue reading

Understanding liver cancer and liver metastases

Former President Jimmy Carter recently was diagnosed with advanced cancer after having liver surgery.

Theodore Welling III, M.D., Neehar Parikh, M.D., and Tracy Licari, PA-C, discuss a patient in the U-M Multidisciplinary Liver Tumor Clinic.

Theodore Welling III, M.D., Neehar Parikh, M.D., and Tracy Licari, PA-C, discuss a patient in the U-M Multidisciplinary Liver Tumor Clinic.

While we don’t know the origin or extent of his cancer, it’s possible that the cancer had spread to his liver from another part of the body. We sat down with the directors of the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Liver Tumor Program, Neehar Parikh, M.D., medical director, and Theodore Welling III, M.D., surgical director, to learn more about liver cancer and liver metastases.

What does it mean when cancer is found in the liver but it’s not liver cancer? What’s the difference?
It means that the cancer is a secondary (not primary) liver cancer which is the result of spread from Continue reading

Plant-based foods and cancer

Nature gives us a treasure trove of health protectors in the foods we eat. In fact, plant-based foods can stimulate the immune system, decrease or slow the growth of cancer cells and prevent the DNA damage than can lead to cancer. In this video, cancer nutritionist Danielle Karsies, M.S., R.D., CSO discusses plant-based foods and their potential for reducing your cancer risk.

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What you should know about sarcoma

en Español

sarcomaSarcoma is not a well-known cancer. Unlike breast or prostate cancer, many people have never heard of this cancer until they or someone they know is diagnosed. July is Sarcoma Awareness Month, and the following are some facts about this disease.

  • Sarcoma is rare – it accounts for only 1% of all cancers diagnosed in adults.
  • Sarcoma is more common in children and young adults, accounting for approximately 15% of cancers seen in children.
  • Sarcoma commonly occurs in the extremities like the legs and arms, but can also arise in the abdomen and hips.
  • There are two main types of sarcoma: Bone and soft tissue. Soft tissue is the more common, and it can arise in the muscle, cartilage, fat, tendons and nerves.
  • Soft tissue sarcomas are named according to the tissue from which they arise. There are approximately 50 sub-types of sarcoma.
  • Most people that develop sarcoma don’t have a known risk factor, but risk factors include previous radiation therapy, certain genetic syndromes and exposure to dioxins that are used in herbicides and insecticides.
  • Signs and symptoms include a lump on the body that is usually painless, or abdominal pain that doesn’t go away.
  • There is no regular screening that is done for sarcoma like there is for breast, prostate or colon cancer.

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You’re invited to a garden party celebrating women’s health!

women's healthThe Community Outreach Program of the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center has teamed up with the Ann Arbor chapter of The Links, Inc., for a Garden Party celebrating women’s health. This free event takes place Sunday, July 19 from 2:30-4:30 p.m. at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens in Ann Arbor.

Guest speakers include:

  • Sofia Merajver, M.D., Ph.D., of the U-M Breast and Ovarian Risk Evaluation Clinic
  • Aisha Langford, Ph.D., MPH, who will speak on cancer prevention
  • Colleen Greene, senior wellness coordinator at MHealthy, who will speak on what physical activity can do for you.

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Breast density and breast cancer risk

breast density

In Michigan, a new law went into effect on June 1 requiring that mammography service providers inform patients if they have dense breast tissue on screening mammography. Michigan is the 23rd state to enact a law like this. So what exactly is breast density and what does it mean if you have dense breasts?

We talked to Renee Pinsky, M.D., an assistant professor of radiology at the University of Michigan whose specialty is breast imaging. Dr. Pinsky was involved in helping to shape Michigan’s dense breast notification law.

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