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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Testicular cancer: Early detection is key

As I was writing something recently on clinical updates, I came across one type of cancer that is not CAL_testicularcancer2015brought up very often, testicular cancer. I remembered the story a friend of mine shared about her husband, age 30-ish that had been complaining of pain in his testicular region ever since his young daughter jumped on him…OUCH!!

He went for a checkup and sure enough, he had testicular cancer. He underwent surgery, and did not need chemotherapy or other treatment as his cancer was contained in one testicle. This was many, many years ago, and he continues to enjoy his life and functions just fine without any complaints from his wife. We are in our 50s now, thank goodness that he went to get checked out. Continue reading