News and updates about cancer.

Paige Pfleger, Side Effects Public Media

The Midwest is home to one of the largest Amish populations in the nation. And many of these settlements overlap with rural Appalachian counties, where access to healthcare is hard to come by. But a project in Ohio aims to help by bringing cancer screenings to Amish women. 

Anyone who's fought cancer knows that it's not just scary, but pricey, too.

"A lot of my patients cry — they're frustrated," says Dr. Ayalew Tefferi, a hematologist at the Mayo Clinic. "Many of them spend their life savings on cancer drugs and end up being bankrupt."

The average U.S. family makes $52,000 annually. Cancer drugs can easily cost a $120,000 a year. Out-of-pocket expenses for the insured can run $25,000 to $30,000 — more than half of a typical family's income.

Lauren Weghorst

After being diagnosed with an advanced form of glioblastoma, Dr. David Flockhart began treatments. This gave him a new perspective on patient's experience of medical care--and on the current state of the science of treating brain tumors.

How Immunotherapy Is Helping The Fight Against Cancer

Dec 5, 2014
A. Currell/

The emerging science of immunotherapy is helping in the fight against cancer. Science writer for the blog Biotech Strategy, Pieter Droppert, and medical oncologist and immunotherapy scientist Dr. Daniel Chen discuss this new field. Read on for a excerpt or click above to listen to the whole interview. Want to learn more? Watch an animated video from Dr. Chen.

On why immunotherapy is so important:

In the United States, 9 out of 10 kids diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia will live. In Jordan, the survival rate is 16 percent.

And while cervical cancer patients have a five-year survival rate of over 70 percent in countries like Mauritius and Norway, the rate in Libya is under 40 percent.

Vaccines May Make War On Cancer Personal

Dec 1, 2014

In the near future, physicians may treat some cancer patients with personalized vaccines that spur their immune systems to attack malignant tumors. New research led by scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has brought the approach one step closer to reality.

preparing for radiation therapy
Lauren Weghorst

Dr. David Flockhart of Indiana University School of Medicine, a frequent guest on our show, joins us again to share his recent story of cancer. Unlike most other patients, Dr. Flockhart had a deep understanding of what was happening to his body from the very beginning. After reaching for (and missing) the banister as he jogged down the stairs one day, he began piecing together his strange symptoms.

It's possible that no NFL player has ever been so relieved to be on his team's practice squad. For Devon Still, the Cincinnati Bengals' decision means he'll be able to stay close to his daughter, who's fighting cancer — and it will help pay for the roughly $1 million her fight will require.

Residents of an upstate New York town who've long associated their illnesses with the air they breathe may finally get some answers about the health effects of living next to a toxic polluter.

The town of Tonawanda lies in the shadow of Tonawanda Coke Corp., whose ovens heat coal into material used for the iron and steel industries, and release toxic chemicals into the air.