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North Texas hospitals are already doing the kind of genetic testing Angelina Jolie is bringing to light in a very personal New York Times editorial.

Jolie revealed that she got a double mastectomy earlier this year as a preventative measure. She has a mutation in her BRCA1 gene that makes her breast cancer risk over 80 percent and her chance of ovarian cancer about 50/50.

Courtesy of Taylor Roth

Two years ago, a 21-year-old Baylor student from Plano learned she had a brain tumor. Taylor Roth thought she had only a year to live. But new technology at UT Southwestern showed her prognoses was actually much better. She not only returned to school, but made it all the way to TV’s Jeopardy!

Some North Texas health care companies are starting to practice what they preach. Baylor Health Care - known for its exceptional cancer treatment programs – now screens job seekers for nicotine use. If applicants applying online respond that they are smokers, they are re-directed to resources to help them stop smoking before they can reapply. As Susan Ladika reports for Workforce, Baylor joins the 4 percent of companies that follow a policy to not hire nicotine users. In Texas, 18.5% of the adult population are current cigarette smokers. Across all states, the prevalence of cigarette smoking among adults ranges from 9.3% to 26.5%. In Texas, 17.4% of high school students smoke.

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It’s estimated more than 159-thousand people will die of lung cancer in 2013. The National Lung Cancer Partnership has a announced a new goal to double the five-year survival rate of the disease by 2022. It’s currently 16 percent. Dr. Joan Schiller, chief of the Hematology and Oncology Department of  UT Southwestern Medical Center, is also President of the Partnership. In this week’s “Vital Signs”, Dr. Schiller explained why survival rates are so low.

Cracking The Code To Create Special Blood-Forming Cells

Feb 24, 2013
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In the near future, scientists may be able to reproduce blood-forming stem cells in a laboratory. That could save the lives of thousands of people suffering from diseases such as leukemia, lymphoma and other blood cancers. The Dallas doctor who's brought us closer to this reality published the breakthrough in stem cell research in the national science journal Nature.

State of Texas

Republican leaders in the Texas House and Senate have released initial state budgets that pay for population growth and inflation, but they would not restore deep cuts in state spending from two years ago.

State Senator Wendy Davis, a Fort Worth Democrat, wants Governor Rick Perry to go further in cleaning up CPRIT, the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.

BJ Austin / KERA News

A NEW KERA NEWS SERIES: Proton beam ray-guns were the stuff of scientists and sci-fi writers in the '50s. But, they never left the lab or the movies. Later, President Reagan revived the idea in his "Star Wars" missile defense initiative. Still, no one really harnessed this atomic age technology until doctors deployed it and made proton therapy a battlefield breakthrough in the war on cancer.

ProCure Proton Therapy Centers

Two North Texas proton therapy centers are in the planning stages over the next few years -- one at UT Southwestern in Dallas and a second in Las Colinas, which is a joint effort of Baylor Health Enterprises, Texas Oncology and McKesson Specialty Health Network.

So what sets proton therapy apart? And how are the North Texas centers pushing the technology envelope? Two doctors, Scott Cheek of the Las Colinas project and Timothy Solberg of UT Southwestern, point out five key factors:

Lyndsay / KERA News

I’m 30 years old and I’m on an Aspirin regimen. I have to get a colonoscopy, endometrial biopsy, CA-125 blood test, several ultrasounds and a full skin check pretty much every year.

With summer temperatures soaring, the Texas Public Utility Commission is set to vote on raising the price cap on wholesale electricity rates by 50 percent.

The hope is that the lure of more profits will spur construction of power plants to help the state meet future energy demands.

But the state's large industrial users claim the increase could cost billions of dollars. Consumer groups worry a wholesale increase will trickle down to monthly household electric bills for most Texans.

A battery recycling plant in Frisco will close by the end of the year after reaching a $45 million deal that could settle years of disputes over pollution and ground contamination.

Dallas, TX – A diagnosis of cancer can be terrifying. For some, so are the fears from treatment side-effects. KERA's Bill Zeeble reports on nanotechnology research at TCU aimed at new drug delivery methods that eliminate side effects.

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