cancer

Alfonoso Adinolfi at his office in Kent. Like many Americans with hepatitis C, Adinolfi didn't know he carried the virus until he was diagnosed in 1996.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

Ask Alfonso Adinolfi how he got hepatitis C and he’ll point to his upper right arm. “Right there,” he says, “that tattoo.”

He’s lived with the blood-borne virus for decades since being infected, possibly with a dirty tattoo needle. He's one of about 10,000 baby boomers in King County who are thought to have hep C, though many may not know it. So if you were born between 1945 and 1965, Seattle-King County Public Health wants you to get tested.

The world has made a big commitment in recent years to treat and prevent infectious diseases like tuberculosis, AIDS and malaria. But another threat to global health is on the rise: Cancer rates are going up in the developing world.

Cancers are diverse, and that makes them extremely difficult to treat. What worked stunningly for one person might fail utterly for another. What worked for a tumor in the brain probably won't work on a cancer of the liver. Scientists are trying to outwit tumors by coming up with tailored treatments like the immunotherapy drug used to successfully treat former President Jimmy Carter.

Women who have an abnormal mammogram should stay vigilant for cancer for for the next decade, even when follow-up tests fail to detect cancer, a study released Wednesday finds.

That's because there's a "modest" risk that cancer will develop during the next decade, says lead author Louise M. Henderson of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill.

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.

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