Group Health colon cancer kit with directions.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Mention colonoscopy and most people will make a face. Prepping for it is unpleasant, so much so that some people would rather avoid it altogether.

But Group Health researchers have found an approach that removes the “ick" factor in screening.

‘The fear is real, yes, but that doesn’t mean you have to embrace it,’ says Bridgette Hempstead, who has worked with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to reach out to African Americans with cancer.
KUOW Photo/Mike Kane

Bill Radke talks to Bridgette Hempstead, about why she started Cierra Sisters, a cancer support group for African American women in South Seattle.

Stuart McLean on the 'Vinyl Cafe' Facebook page.
Vinyl Cafe/Facebook

"Vinyl Cafe" host Stuart McLean has canceled his public radio show's Christmas tour, including a Seattle stop, saying he's been diagnosed with melanoma and begins therapy next week.

Cancer patients shopping on federal and state insurance marketplaces often find it difficult to determine whether their drugs are covered and how much they will pay for them, the advocacy arm of the American Cancer Society says in a report that also calls on regulators to restrict how much insurers can charge patients for medications.

One of the most intense debates in men's health has flared again: How often should men get screened for prostate cancer?

This debate has simmered since 2012, when the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force shocked many patients and doctors by recommending against routine prostate cancer screening.

Most women don't need to start getting an annual mammogram to screen for breast cancer until they turn 45, according to the latest guidelines from the American Cancer Society.

Previously, the society recommended women start annual mammograms at 40 and continue every year for as long they remained in good health.

When I left my first mammogram appointment a few weeks ago, I felt fine.

Everything had gone smoothly, the technologist hadn't made a concerned face when she looked at the screen, and I was convinced I'd get the all-clear from my primary care doctor in a week or so.

Then came the phone calls the following day — first from my doctor's office, then from the mammography center — telling me the radiologist had seen something that didn't look quite right. I needed to come back for another mammogram and this time an ultrasound exam, too.

Participants in a lung-cancer screening study interpreted their results 'in all kinds of different ways that were not very accurate,' says Dr. Steven Zeliadt of the UW  School of Public Health.
CDC Photo/Debora Cartagena

We screen for breast cancer and colon cancer, among others. The scientific consensus: These screenings help detect disease and prevent it from spreading. But one Seattle doctor found that lung cancer screening alone may not be enough to motivate smokers to quit.

Former President Jimmy Carter says his cancer has shown up in his liver and on his brain and that he will undergo radiation treatment.

Carter said in his first public remarks since his diagnosis that the cancer was first discovered as a tumor on his liver. On Aug. 3, he says, he underwent surgery to remove the tumor. He says about one-tenth of his liver was removed.

But he says that later, four spots of melanoma were found on his brain. He says he will have his first radiation treatment this afternoon.

A new clinical trial is set to begin in the United Kingdom using the powerful noses of dogs to detect prostate cancer in humans.

While research has been done before, these are the first trials approved by Britain's National Health Service.

The trials, at the Milton Keynes University Hospital in Buckinghamshire, will use animals from a nonprofit organization called Medical Detection Dogs, co-founded in 2008 by behavioral psychologist Claire Guest.

Chemotherapy given to patients at the end of life often does more harm than good, according to a study that calls into question this common practice.

Bridgette Hempstead, left, and Charity Jokonya are breast cancer survivors who advocate for African Americans with the disease. They were photographed in Hempstead's home in Seattle on June 25, 2015.
KUOW Photo/Mike Kane

Charity Jokonya was 40 and a single mom when the diagnosis came a little over a year ago: breast cancer.

She read everything she could to better understand the disease. But what she really needed was someone to talk to, someone who understood what it felt like to be an African American with cancer.

One of the great successes in the war on cancer has been the steep decline in the death rate from colorectal cancer.

Since 1970, the colorectal cancer death rate per 100,000 Americans has been cut in half, falling to 15.1 in 2011 from 29.2 in 1970.

Increased screening, improvements in treatment and changes in risk factors (such as a drop in smoking) have contributed to the dramatic reduction.

When Jennifer Glass goes to Sacramento on Tuesday to deliver testimony in favor of the California End-of-Life-Options Act, the trip will require some complex logistics.

Washington State University President Elson Floyd died Saturday at age 59. WSU announced in early June that Floyd was stepping away from his duties because he had cancer.