Cancer in Context

Obamacare and Cancer – top doctor sees no maligancy

November 12, 2013

With the Obamacare rhetoric flying, the president of the nation’s leading cancer doctors’  group says worried cancer patients may be unnecessarily concerned. He has come to the view that Obamacare will be a boon for cancer patients, and a high-profile advocate for the controversial new national health care policy.

Lung cancer carries unfair stigma that other cancers don’t

November 6, 2013

The pink frosting on the stack of brownies at the hospital coffee shop last week was another reminder that October was breast cancer awareness month. Pink was everywhere. I wondered aloud to the barista what color the brownies would be for November, the month designated for lung cancer victims. She shrugged, and said nothing except that I owed a couple dollars for my coffee. 

Foods that are thought to be the best for fighting cancer

November 1, 2013


A good source of fiber and vitamin C. Most of the antioxidant power they provide comes from phytonutrients, or photochemicals, including Quercetin, a flavonoid that shows anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. 

Food for thought: Will almonds be part of a cancer-fighting arsenal one day?

October 30, 2013

A recent PET scan revealed cancer growth in one of my lymph nodes, a setback that means I get more chemotherapy.

You big, beautiful dog, you!

October 2, 2013

The day I got my cancer diagnosis was the day I relaxed my strict rule against allowing my dog Biko up onto my bed. A beautiful 6-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback whose coat has a reddish tint and whose eyes are a rich brown, Biko nestled his 95-pound body next to me. He seemed to appreciate the luxurious linens, plush pillows and other creature comforts formerly denied him.

MD Anderson Cancer Center: Grand Central Station with fewer words, more emotions

September 26, 2013

It’s noon and the lobby in the main building of the MD Anderson Cancer Center is buzzing. My appointment is over and I’ve got nothing to do. Houston’s heat is too much for a walk outside, so I linger.

Surgeons worry women are too quick to remove their breasts at any sign of cancer

September 25, 2013

Dr. Julie Park, a plastic surgeon specializing in breast reconstruction following cancer surgery, believes too many women with a cancer diagnosis are deciding too quickly to have both their breasts removed.

Got cancer? There’s help out there, you just have to find it

September 19, 2013

In my last post, I told you how to research cancer centers. The skyrocketing costs of cancer care has raised the alarm of patient advocates and oncologists, especially as a growing number of U.S. families end up declaring bankruptcy over unpaid bills. One recent study showed that people with cancer were more than 2.5 times more likely to declare bankruptcy than people without cancer. But there are many ways to reduce the costs, even for patients who decide to travel for care.

Finding the best hospitals to treat your cancer

September 13, 2013

I was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer earlier this year and have been in treatment since. I felt a thrill in July when my hometown doctor in Illinois told me that my cancer was in remission. But the thrill was gone just a few weeks later when I was told by my main doctor at Houston’s MD Anderson that I had a second tumor on my rib that needed treatment with radiation.

There’s a park where I go to find hope

August 28, 2013

HOUSTON (Reuters) – During one of my cancer treatment sessions in Houston, I came upon a beautiful sculpture garden and fountain, called Survivors Park, which I visit regularly to renew my belief that I can beat this awful disease.