When are biopsies important in detecting kidney cancer?

kidney cancermCancerPartner sat down recently with Khaled S. Hafez, M.D., a surgeon and associate professor of urology, to discuss how kidney cancer is detected and the role biopsies play.

mCancerPartner: What are the symptoms of kidney cancer?

Dr. Hafez: The three symptoms that normally indicate kidney cancer are pain in the abdomen, blood in the urine and a mass, or growth, in the side. But how physicians find kidney cancer has changed in recent years. Today, most kidney cancer is found accidently, before the symptoms Continue reading

U-M Cancer Center to offer free throat cancer screenings April 26

throat cancerThroat cancer can take away your voice, your jaw and your ability to swallow food, but it also can be treated if caught early enough.

What are the risk factors for throat cancer?

  • Smoking
  • Chewing tobacco
  • Drinking alcohol

What are the symptoms of throat cancer?

  • Trouble swallowing food
  • Mouth and/or throat soreness
  • A persistent hoarseness
  • Neck lump(s) Continue reading

New test better predicts prostate cancer

More than 1 million men will undergo a prostate biopsy this year, but only about one-fifth of those biopsies will result in a prostate cancer diagnosis.

The reason is that the traditional prostate cancer screening test - a blood test to measure prostate specific antigen, or PSA – does not give doctors a complete picture.

A new test developed at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center improves upon PSA. It adds two more markers that might indicate prostate cancer. Studies have shown the urine-based test, called Mi-Prostate Score, is far more accurate than PSA alone. Continue reading

Reducing the risk of ovarian cancer with preventive oophorectomy

cervicalcancer.fwFor many people, if they have heard about genetic testing for hereditary cancer syndromes at all, most will relate to BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetic testing and its relationship to hereditary breast cancer. Media also contribute to the overall knowledge; often emphasis in reporting BRCA1 and BRCA2 stories is placed on reducing breast cancer risk. However, there is another cancer risk associated with carrying a BRCA gene mutation that may not be the first to be addressed – an increased risk for ovarian cancer.
Women who carry a mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2 have a lifetime risk for breast Continue reading

Put out the stogie: cigar smoking and cancer

cigars.fwCigarette smoking in the United States has decreased 34% since 2000. However, the rate of cigar smoking has increased 124% in that same timeframe. Cigar culture is huge, and marketing over the last decade and a half has increased the popularity. There are cigar bars, shops, magazines and even cigar festivals. Cigars come in many shapes and sizes: robusto, Churchill, Corona, cigarillos, and cheroots to name a few.

There’s a certain mystique to cigar smoking, and we even associate famous personalities with cigars, like George Burns, Bill Cosby and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Continue reading

Are your genetics putting you at risk for colorectal cancer?

cancer geneticsColorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, trailing only lung cancer in the number of deaths each year. The American Cancer Society estimates 50,310 people will die from colorectal cancer in 2014 alone. Unlike lung cancer, however, there are ways to successfully screen for and prevent this common disease.

In conjunction with Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, I have outlined some factors health care providers consider in assessing an individual’s risk for colorectal cancer and determining the best approaches for screening and prevention.

Screening = Prevention

Colon cancer screening has been very effective in reducing the number of colorectal cancer diagnoses and deaths in the United Continue reading