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Fighting Breast Cancer: To Pink Or Not To Pink?

Oct 4, 2013
Flickr Photo/Jeffrey

It's October: the month of Halloween, fall weather and pink. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and its symbol is the pink ribbon.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure is one of the largest breast cancer charities in the world. It partners with corporations to brand pink ribbon product lines for the month of October: pink Purina pet food, pink Yoplait yogurt and pink buckets of Kentucky Fried Chicken, to name a few.

But critics say the branding benefits companies more than charity. Steve Scher talks with Dr. Samantha King, director of Queen's University school of kinesiology and health studies and the author of "Pink Ribbons, Inc: Breast Cancer and the Politics of Philanthropy."

Lifelong Smoker Goes Into Extra Innings In His Fight Against "Mr. C"

Sep 18, 2013
Courtesy of Susan Ewbank

How do we own up to our own mortality? RadioActive reporter Madeline Ewbank tells the story of one man's baseball game against cancer and the odds stacked against him.

Jon Nyberg is sitting out on my porch, watching the sunset and working on the latest New York Times Sunday puzzle. Fifty-two down: wake-up times, for short. He's proud of the grizzled chin and the head of wispy, gray hair he's been growing, a look his friend likes to call "the Amish experiment." But his skin hangs off his bones like his cigarette hangs off his lips.

Try to imagine someone who is supremely calm while at the same time bursting with energy, and you've got a pretty good idea of what Jim Olson is like.

He's a cancer researcher, physician, cyclist, kayaker and cook, not always in that order. He approaches each activity with incredible passion.

But to really understand Olson, you have to watch him in action with patients.

When The Odds Are Against You

Aug 15, 2013
Courtesy of Sandy Osawa

In today’s podcast we battle the odds, even when we know our chances of winning are slim. We fight for our dignity and we fight for our lives.

First, we hear from Rachel Lam about local filmmaker Sandy Osawa and how she battles Native American stereotypes through her work. Then Madeline Ewbank introduces us to Mr. Nybs, and his fight with the lump in his throat.

RadioActive is KUOW's youth radio program, and all the stories here are produced by young people age 16-21. Listen to RadioActive stories, subscribe to the RadioActive podcast and stay in touch on Facebook.

Millions of Americans take medications to control their blood pressure, and there are many kinds that will do the job. But one kind is found to increase the likelihood of breast cancer in post-menopausal women. Scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center found that women who’ve been taking calcium-channel blockers for more than a decade have an increased risk for breast cancer.

Celeste Smith

June 2 is National Cancer Survivor Day. But surviving the disease is just one challenge facing cancer patients. A recent study by Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center showed that cancer patients are two-and-a-half times more at risk for filing bankruptcy compared to people without cancer.

Fried Dough / Flickr

Medical debt is one of the leading causes of bankruptcy, according to a study published online today in the journal Health Affairs. There are plenty of anecdotes of people who have used up their savings, borrowed from friends or filed for bankruptcy following a serious illness like cancer. Now researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle have documented exactly how great the risk of bankruptcy is for cancer patients.

Who Should Get A Genetic Test For Breast Cancer?

May 15, 2013

Correction 5/15/2013: A previous version on this story stated that Jolie had a one in 87 chance of getting breast cancer when in fact she had an 87 percent chance.

Now, the public knows about Angelina Jolie’s double mastectomy. She wrote in the New York Times that, thanks to genetic testing, she believed there was an 87 percent chance she’d get breast cancer, so she went for it.

Tuesday, Dr. Julie Gralow, director of breast medical oncology at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance spoke with KUOW's Sara Lerner.  Dr. Gralow says, “The majority of breast cancer in the United States is not gene-mutation cancer.”

KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

Every four weeks, Anna Stephens comes to Seattle Children’s Hospital for chemotherapy. But she’s not a child. Stephens is 23 years old, and she’s one of thousands of young people with cancer who wind up being treated in facilities that typically deal with much younger or much older patients.

Courtesy/Seattle Children's Hospital

Seattle Children’s Hospital is opening a new cancer unit Sunday specifically designed for teens and young adults. 

When young cancer patient age 15 to 29 goes in for treatment, they end up either in a pediatric or adult facility. A designated place for this age group could play a crucial role in their survival, according to Dr. Becky Johnson.

The Case For Not Having Kids

Feb 4, 2013
Baby v. dog
Flickr photo/Fernando Garcia

In Seattle, more people have cats than have kids. Same goes for dogs. In fact, Seattle is the second-most childless city in the US, just behind San Francisco. Deciding to have a child is a big decision; so is deciding not to. Seattle Times columnist Sharon Pian Chan recently addressed the issue in an editorial titled “Why I’m Not Having Kids.” Have you made the same decision? What conversations did you and your partner have? What reaction did you get from friends and relatives? We'll talk with Sharon Pian Chan and hear your take. Call us during the program: 206.543.5869 or write to weekday@kuow.org

Teen With Leukemia Cares For Other Kids With Cancer

Dec 18, 2012
Jason Pagano

Maga Barzallo-Sockemtickem, 17, has been battling leukemia since she was 15 years old.

Before being diagnosed, Maga would do anything that let her run, especially play soccer.

Then one day, Maga felt weak and had to lean on a bus stop near her school. She found out she had a rare form of leukemia.

Leukemia is said to be the most common form of cancer found in children. Now Seattle Children’s Hospital says it is ready to try a brand new method of treatment. Leukemia is usually treated with a bone marrow transplant, but researchers say that there might be a better way to fight off the disease.

Ross Reynolds talks with Dr. Rebecca Gardner, assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Washington and an attending physician at Children’s Hospital about the latest in leukemia treatments.

A parasite worms its way into a host, hijacks its nervous system and begins to control their behavior. Sounds like T.V. or the movies, but scientists have long known that parasites can take over and manipulate invertebrate and some vertebrate hosts. We talk with Dr. Shelley Adamo of Dalhousie University about how parasites may be turning hosts into zombies.

Andrea Allen was a force to be reckoned with. For more than two decades she ran Seattle Repertory Theatre's Education Program, but her passion for theater and for kids transcended the Rep. Allen shared her expertise with other Seattle arts groups. She was involved with teen writing programs.  And she was involved in arts advocacy at the state level, as a leader of Arts Ed Washington.

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