Lilli Hartvigsen remembers the moment her three-year-old son Ethan was diagnosed with cancer. “On November 7th, three weeks after he had an MRI, they told us it was lymphoma,” she says. It began as a limp and quickly became a parent’s worst nightmare. “They actually did a bone scan, and it was all over his bones,” Lilli explains, “Stage 4 cancer. It was terrible.”
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Cindy Shepherd hasn't missed a yearly mammogram since her sister was diagnosed with breast cancer about 16 years ago. Shepherd didn't need a reminder to keep that appointment after watching her sister go through a lumpectomy, chemotherapy and radiation. But she got one anyway five years ago when her mother, too, was diagnosed with breast cancer, the disease so advanced she had to have a double mastectomy. In Utah, breast cancer is the leading cause of female cancer death: In 2012, there were 115.5 cases of breast cancer and 20.5 breast cancer deaths per 100,000 women, according to the state Department of Health.
SALT LAKE CITY—Researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah announced today the results of a study that found that circumstances in childhood, such as parental occupation at birth and neighborhood income, may be associated with different risks of certain cancers later in life. HCI researchers and collaborators at Rutgers University in New Jersey and Temple University Health System in Philadelphia analyzed cancer risk and socioeconomic status (SES) of Baby Boomers (for this study, those born during 1945 – 1959,) in two Utah counties.
From the Americas, through Africa to Australia, countries that have mandated the fortification of flour with folic acid have seen huge reductions in the number of children developing neural tube defects while in the womb. So what is Europe waiting for? Adrian Burton investigates.
Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) and University of Utah Health Care (UUHC) know it's important for all community members to understand breast cancer, screenings and prevention. Today they share the top things you can do to help lower your rise of breast cancer.
Doctors at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) are discovering some treatments that work for one type of cancer may also work for another, if it has similar mutations, or genetic changes. Genetic changes, or mutations, change some normal cells in the body into cancer cells which can grow and multiply. There are more than 100 types of cancer, which means many different ways to treat cancer are needed. Most cancers are named for the part of the body where they started.
There's something about Utah's uncluttered landscape and expansive blue sky that gives Mary Beckerle a sense of mental space. It helps her think, she says, and fuels her desire to explore both mentally and physically. It's the reason the New Jersey native came to the Beehive State in the 1980s to teach at the University of Utah. Thirty years later, she's found herself in the Huntsman Cancer Institute's corner office as its CEO, with wall-to-wall windows overlooking the geography she loves so much.
Cancer isn’t the first hardship dealt to Carrie Grindle-Lyons. In 2008, she delivered a baby boy at 22 weeks. He was stillborn. Her doctor asked her not to try getting pregnant again right away because she had fibroids in her uterus. They were removed with surgery that left her uterus in place. A year after she lost her baby, Carrie went in for a checkup. What doctors found devastated her. “The fibroids grew back, and they found out I had endometrial cancer,” she says.
To say Annie Budhathoki, DAOM, L.Ac., was skeptical of acupuncture would be an understatement. “I thought acupuncture was the devil’s work,” she says. Then she was in a horrific accident. After more than two years of surgeries and recovery, she still had to walk with a cane. She turned to acupuncture as a last resort to relieve the pain in her leg, and quickly became a believer. After three sessions she was able to walk, cane-free.
SALT LAKE CITY—Officials at University of Utah Health Care (UUHC) today announced that Ben Tanner, Huntsman Cancer Institute’s (HCI) current director of clinical operations and chief operating officer (COO) has been named the cancer hospital’s executive director, replacing Ray Lynch, who is retiring after 13 years of service. Tanner will assume his duties immediately.
Lisa Callister walked into LDS Hospital in 2012 for a routine colonoscopy. She walked out knowing a tumor had been growing unchecked in her colon for about six years. She battled for more than a year as colon cancer ravaged her body. Doctors had to remove the entire organ. But the ordeal might have been avoided, Callister said, if she had previously known that she had Lynch Syndrome, an inherited disorder that increases the risk of many cancers. The gene runs in her family, but Callister, her sister, Emily Scalley, and their siblings had not been tested.
SALT LAKE CITY—Jody Rosenblatt, Ph.D., a cell biologist at Huntsman Cancer Institute and an associate professor of oncological sciences at the University of Utah has been selected as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Faculty Scholar, HHMI announced today: https://www.hhmi.org/news/philanthropies-announce-selection-faculty-scholars. The award provides $1 million to fund her research over the course of five years.
Thousands of lives could be saved by a simple vaccination to protect against Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Yet only 51% of teens receive the vaccine each year. Every year more than four thousand people die from cancers related to HPV. It's upsetting, it's really upsetting,” says Deanna Kepka, PhD, MPH, a population scientist at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI). “If you ask any cancer survivor whether they would have taken an opportunity to get a vaccine that prevented their cancer, they would say yes.”
Researchers recently revealed in a Nature Genetics paper that they had identified a new gene linked to ALS, a neurodegenerative condition also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The July announcement was a milestone in the fight against ALS, which affects about 30,000 Americans, and a historic moment in financing disease research.
To look at 52-year-old Mark Wilson, actively keeping up with the high school baseball players he coaches, you'd never know that cancer is tearing his body apart. “It's a sarcoma,” Wilson said. “I was diagnosed with it in October of 1999." He has survived thanks to a strong disposition as well as the strong work of his doctors and nurses.
Improving Cancer Prevention and Care among Underserved Individuals Focus of New Huntsman Center for HOPE
SALT LAKE CITY—Officials at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah today announced the creation of a new center to be housed in the soon-to-be-completed expansion of HCI’s research enterprise, the Primary Children’s and Families’ Cancer Research Center. The new center will be called the Huntsman Center for Health Outcomes and Population Equity (HOPE) and will focus on discovering new ways to prevent and treat cancer among underserved populations, including individuals living in poverty and residents of rural (between 6.1 and 99.9 persons/sq. mile) and frontier (<6.1 persons/sq. mile) areas.
Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah is launching a unique program, called HCI-Total Cancer Care, which will follow patients through cancer screenings, treatments, and into good health throughout their lives. The program, which is borne out of HCI’s membership in the Oncology Research Information Exchange Network (ORIEN), utilizes patient data to help match patients to clinical trials and treatment developments happening across the country, offering never-before-seen access to cutting edge innovations in cancer care, while tracking a patient’s health throughout his or her lifetime.
People who are overweight or obese are at higher risk for more cancers than previously thought, says a report published in the New England Journal of Medicine today. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) brought together a group of 21 researchers from around the world to look at more than 1,000 studies linking excess body fat and cancer. Neli Ulrich, PhD, senior director of Population Sciences at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah, was a member of the group. Ulrich is a cancer researcher who studies lifestyle and biologic factors in cancer prevention and cancer prognosis.
Every week, a special visitor appears at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI). His job? To cheer up patients fighting cancer and their family members. His name is Misio, and he’s a therapy dog with Intermountain Therapy Animals. Kathy McNulty, a volunteer with the organization, is Misio’s escort. Kathy says Misio has only been coming to HCI for a few months, but she can already see the difference he’s making for patients and their families. “Over and over, I’ve seen tears turn to smiles,” she says. “Misio takes their minds off the procedures.”
Surgery is part of cancer treatment plans in many cases. While surgery is an important part of treatment, recovery from surgery has a major impact on overall health. Strong for Surgery is a program that focuses on making small changes in health before surgery. Making these changes, even just before surgery, can make a big difference in recovery.
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