avatar

Scams exposed: Site offers advice on phony cures

For as long as there is sickness, there will be snake-oil salesmen. It’s sad to think anyone would take advantage of people who are facing cancer, but it happens. That’s why the federal trade commission has established a new web site to help people spot cancer-related scams.

The site, www.ftc.gov/curious, offers sound advice for identifying and reporting bogus products that claim to cure cancer. Douglas Blayney, M.D., former medical director of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, said the single best thing you can do when questions arise about supplements or alternative treatments is talk to your health-care team.

“A lot of patients are reluctant to tell their doctors what supplements they’re taking, or they forget,” he said. “But it’s extremely important.”

Supplements may interfere with cancer treatment, diminishing a drug’s effects or making it toxic, he said. This is also true of prescription medications and legitimate nutritional supplements — which is why it’s essential to keep your health-care team informed. Continue reading

avatar

Sweet inspiration behind Gracie’s Fund for leukemia research

Gracie's battle with cancer inspired The Original Murdick’s Fudge of Mackinac Island to support Gracie's Fund for leukemia research at Mott Children's Hospital.

At age four, Gracie Irish was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

“My husband and I were in complete shock,” says Gracie’s mom, Amy Irish. “We were numb.”

After sharing news of Gracie’s diagnosis, friends of the Irish family recommended they visit C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital for treatment.  Acting on the recommendation, Gracie was airlifted from their hometown hospital to Mott by U-M’s Survival Flight crew.

Amy remembers this first interaction with U-M staff vividly.

“I was sobbing at this moment and a member of the flight crew immediately came over to reassure me,” she says. “He said, ‘don’t worry, she’s going to a great place – my own son was treated at Mott and is now a successful college student.’  It gave me a sense of hope from the very start.”

Continue reading

avatar

Bounty of the Mediterranean

Researchers have long noted that populations living along the Mediterranean Sea have lower risk of cancer, heart disease and stroke. The lower risk may be linked to the regional diet — one high in vegetables, whole grains, fruits, fish and olive oil. To better understand the potential benefits of a Mediterranean diet, Zora Djuric, Ph.D., a research professor of family medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School, has developed a study to examine the role of diet in preventing colon cancer. We talked with her to learn more about her research. Read the full Q&A in the latest issue of Thrive, the Cancer Center’s patient publication.

avatar

Men: Are you stubborn about your health?

Drive along I-94 or any other major interstate and you’re likely to encounter a bright, red billboard stating: “This year thousands of men will die from stubbornness.” According to the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the agency responsible for the billboards, men are 24% less likely than women to have visited a doctor within the past year. June is Men’s Health Awareness Month, so to help men get the information they need about preventive screening for cancer–a key part of any annual health regimen–the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center has put together an online guide.

Visit the guide to learn about current guidelines for prostate, colorectal, lung and skin cancer screenings as well as to link to more resources about men’s health.

 

avatar

WHO report links cell phones to cancer: Should you worry?

A branch of the World Health Organization, announced yesterday that it had added cell phones to a list of potential cancer-causing agents. The group, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, did not conduct any new research, but instead surveyed studies that had already examined the issue. So should you worry?

We talked with Larry Junck, M.D., a University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center neuro-oncologist. He said the worst danger posed by cell phones is driver distraction.

“There have been a number of scientific studies examining a possible relationship between cell phone use and brain tumors, and while none of them have been large enough to provide a final answer, it is reassuring that most of these studies have found no relationship,” Junck said.

Watch the video to learn more.

Have other questions? Would you like to discuss this? Post on our Discussion Board. Our Cancer AnswerLine nurses are available to address your concerns on mCancerTalk or at 1-800-865-1125.

avatar

Make your voice heard by joining Cancer Center’s Patient & Family Advisory Board

The University of Michigan ComprehensiveCancer Center is seeking people to serve on its new Cancer Patient & FamilyAdvisory Board and related committees. Leaders from the Cancer Center and the cancer inpatient units of University Hospital have joined with several U-M patients and family members to develop this new exciting initiative.

The board will be designed to give patients, families and other members of the community a stronger voice in programming and planning throughout the Cancer Centerand University Hospital. To learn more about the board and how to apply, visit mCancer.org/volunteer.