Uterine sarcoma – a little known cancer

uterine sarcSomeone called the Cancer AnswerLine™ recently with questions about uterine sarcoma and I spend some time talking with her. This is a fairly rare condition which comprises only 2%-5% of all uterine cancers. Since July is Sarcoma Awareness Month, what better time than now to share these notes?

What is uterine sarcoma?

Sarcoma is a term used to describe a whole family of cancers that arise in the body’s connective tissues, which include, fat, muscle, blood vessels, deep skin tissues, Continue reading

The PSA and beyond: An update on prostate cancer biomarkers

prostate cancer biomarkersThere is perhaps no hotter topic in prostate cancer treatment today than the use of prostate cancer biomarkers. To learn more about them, mCancerPartner posed a few questions to Todd Morgan, M.D., a surgeon in the U-M Multidisciplinary Urologic Oncology Clinic.

mCancerPartner: First, Dr. Morgan, can you provide a basic definition of a cancer biomarker?

Dr. Morgan: A biomarker is any type of indicator that can be found in blood, urine or tissue that can be used to identify or Continue reading

Screening may boost liver cancer survival rates

liver cancer screeningScreening isn’t necessarily effective for all cancers, but primary liver cancer is one type of cancer where those at high risk, such as persons with hepatitis B or C or cirrhosis, may benefit from screening (the use of tests to look for the presence of disease before symptoms appear). Primary liver cancer, also known as hepatoma or hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common form of liver cancer in adults according to the American Cancer Society.

Screening for HCC can begin as young as 40 and involves measuring alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) blood levels and Continue reading

Revisiting your genetics – is one appointment enough?

genetics“I already went to see a genetic counselor and I was negative. So I don’t need to think about genetics anymore, right?” Actually, reconnecting with your genetic counselor every once in a while is a good idea. The field of genetic science is an ever-changing field. New discoveries are made all the time that can help us better understand the influence of genetics on a person’s health. For many people it is a huge relief when they revisit a genetics clinic and have testing that does not identify any mutations.

Why would anyone want to go back?

Continue reading

Making the case for lung cancer screening

U-M radiologist involved in national effort to gain Medicare coverage for lung cancer CT screening

Ella A. Kazerooni, M.D., director of cardiothoracic radiology at the University of Michigan Health System

Ella A. Kazerooni, M.D., director of cardiothoracic radiology at the University of Michigan Health System

An op-ed piece published in the Wall Street Journal asks a provocative question: “If you could save thousands of lives, would you do it?”

The article was co-written by Ella A. Kazerooni, M.D., director of cardiothoracic radiology at the University of Michigan Health System. It goes on to urge Medicare to cover lung cancer screening.

The National Lung Screening Trial, a large-scale clinical trial funded by the National Cancer Institute, found that among 53,000 heavy smokers at high risk of lung cancer, CT screening demonstrated a 20% reduction in lung cancer deaths. The results led to the Continue reading

Sugar and cancer: does sugar increase cancer risk?

sweetsYou may have heard that sugar feeds cancer and to avoid all foods and beverages that contain sugar, but is this really necessary? Following such a restriction can significantly reduce your intake of foods that are rich in nutrients that have been shown to fight cancer such as fruits and whole grains. In addition, eating enough calories during cancer treatment can be difficult. Adding new, restrictive dietary changes can often lead to more stress which can also compromise your immune system. The following information is what the research shows in relation to sugar and cancer and how to incorporate healthy eating based on these findings.

Not all sugars are created equal

While most fruits do have a high sugar content, they are also rich in nutrients that are known to be cancer protective. Milk is another food that sometimes gets excluded due to its sugar content, but it too, is rich in important nutrients such as protein, which is in high demand during cancer treatment, and calcium. These nutrition powerhouses should not be grouped with other high sugar foods such as candy, cookies, and cakes. These Continue reading