Author Archives: Amber Smith

Instead of a biopsy: Scientists seek better, noninvasive diagnostic tool to detect liver cancer early

BY AMBER SMITH One of the reasons liver cancer is so deadly is that people rarely discover the disease at an early stage, when it’s treatable. What might help would be a screening test, similar to the one that exists … Continue reading

Posted in cancer, health care, illness, liver/ gallbladder/ pancreas, medical imaging/radiology, pancreas/liver/gallbladder/bile ducts, research | Leave a comment

‘In good hands’: Patient appreciates Cancer Center’s energized staff, warm, vibrant surroundings

BY AMBER SMITH When Carl Pesko is at the Upstate Cancer Center for treatment, he receives chemotherapy for eight to 10 hours the first day, and then two to three hours the next. He has had plenty of opportunity to … Continue reading

Posted in cancer, community, drugs/medications/pharmacy, health care, illness, patient story | Leave a comment

She’s resilient: 11-year-old faces Ewing sarcoma

BY AMBER SMITH Maddie Shaw is covered with a plush purple blanket. She grasps an iPad Mini, on which she quietly battles digital zombies, while the last of her chemotherapy flows into her arm. It’s a Friday at the end … Continue reading

Posted in adolescents, bones/joints/orthopedics, cancer, community, health care, illness, patient story, surgery, Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital/pediatrics | Leave a comment

Quality or quantity? Serious illness prompts serious discussion

BY AMBER SMITH Some doctors are reluctant to recommend palliative care, particularly for patients who are younger than 65 and dealing with a serious illness. The shift from lifesaving treatment to comfort care may seem like admitting the futility of … Continue reading

Posted in cancer, community, death/dying, grief/loss, health care, HealthLink on Air, illness, research | Leave a comment

A 50-year anniversary: Meet one of Upstate’s oldest living pediatric brain tumor survivors

BY AMBER SMITH Some of the details are fuzzy, but 50 years after her treatment for a brain tumor at Upstate University Hospital, Michelle “Shelly” Kikta-Kiner, 62, still considers her survival a miracle. The Verona woman is one of Upstate’s … Continue reading

Posted in adolescents, brain/spine/neurosurgery, cancer, depression, health care, history, illness, medical imaging/radiology, patient story, surgery, technology | Leave a comment

Have you seen the summer issue of Cancer Care magazine?

Welcome to Cancer Care magazine’s summer 2016 issue. Medical student Ogochukwu Ezeoke, smiling from our cover, aspires to a career in cancer research, and like many scientists she’s intrigued with the idea of using a patient’s immune system to fight … Continue reading

Posted in bioethics & humanities, bones/joints/orthopedics, brain/spine/neurosurgery, cancer, dermatology/skin care, genetics, health care, history, kidney/renal/nephrology, research, surgery, urology, women's health/gynecology

Breast cancer gene also increases risk of prostate cancer

BY AMBER SMITH Although prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in men in the United States, the disease kills fewer than 3 percent of those diagnosed. It typically grows slowly, becoming deadly after it metastasizes, or spreads beyond … Continue reading

Posted in cancer, genetics, health care, HealthLink on Air, illness, men's health, prevention/preventive medicine, public health, research, urology, women's health/gynecology

Breast cancer treatment affects bone mass, but you can protect your bone health

  BY AMBER SMITH No matter whether her breast cancer is treated with surgery, radiation or medications, a woman’s resulting loss of estrogen translates into bone loss – and an increased risk for fracture. Advances in cancer treatment have significantly … Continue reading

Posted in aging/geriatrics, bones/joints/orthopedics, cancer, diabetes/endocrine/metabolism, illness, Joslin Diabetes Center, medical imaging/radiology, prevention/preventive medicine, public health, research, safety, women's health/gynecology

Immune therapy: Training the body’s immune system to kill cancer

BY AMBER SMITH Rarely does a primary tumor kill. In cancer, death is more typical after the cancer spreads, or metastasizes. Upstate’s William Kerr, PhD, is a pediatric cancer researcher focused on making the immune system better at killing cancer. … Continue reading

Posted in cancer, genetics, health care, HealthLink on Air, international health care, medical student, research

Making sense: How scientific data can be quantified to help patients

BY AMBER SMITH Doctors wonder, “If I do ‘x’ procedure, is my patient likely to benefit?” and “Is the ‘y’ medication I prescribed having any effect?” To answer these questions, doctors may turn to quantitative imaging, the extraction of numerical … Continue reading

Posted in cancer, health care, medical imaging/radiology, technology