Courtesy of Bryan Kremkau

The English Beat is among the bands playing tonight at the Cat's Cradle in Carrboro for Be Loud! '16, an event that supports programs for young and adult cancer patients and their families. 

Image of Kate Bowler with her son and husband
Kate Bowler

When Kate Bowler was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer last year, she thought, “well, isn’t this ironic?” Bowler is a scholar of the prosperity gospel, the theology that those with the right kind of beliefs will receive God’s grace. As she grapples with her diagnosis, she reflects on life, death, and where faith fits into the picture. She wrote about it in the New York Times, "Death, The Prosperity Gospel, And Me."

Vice President Joe Biden spoke with Paul Modrich, recepient of a 2015 Noble Price in Chemistry, during a tour of Duke Medical School on Wednesday.
Jeff Tiberii

Vice President Joe Biden told an audience in Durham that he hopes to serve as a facilitator in the efforts to cure cancer.

Biden visited Duke University Wednesday afternoon to visit a research laboratory, ask questions about how to improve collaboration,  and pledge to help clear the way through bureaucratic obstacles.

A cigarette in an ashtray.
Tomasz Sienicki / Wikipedia

Nicotine is about as addictive as heroin. It is also about as hard to kick, according to Dr. James Davis of the Duke Center for Smoking Cessation.

His organization is participating in the Race To Quit, NC campaign this week to raise awareness about the dangers of smoking, and to point smokers to resources.

A picture of a stethoscope.
jasleen_kaur / Flickr/Creative Commons

Duke University settled a lawsuit with eight cancer patients and their families after a former researcher conducted phony genetic trials.

Disgraced former Duke oncologist Anil Potti conducted genetic research for personalized cancer treatments until 2010.

Potti and his team were accused of falsifying data. Soon after, The Cancer Letter reported that Potti lied about scientific honors he received.

Cancer doctors want the best, most effective treatment for their patients. But it turns out many aren't paying attention to evidence that older women with early stage breast cancer may be enduring the pain, fatigue and cost of radiation treatment although it doesn't increase life expectancy.

Image of tools in doctor's office
Morgan / Flickr/Creative Commons

State health officials and an advisory board have released a six-year plan to help fight cancer in North Carolina. The plan identifies six specific cancers that are prevalent in the state and recommends specific strategies to fight them.

Dr. Ruth Petersen is with the Department of Health and Human Services. She notes lung cancer is one of the diseases identified in the report. Petersen says causes include exposure to smoke, secondhand smoke, or radon gas.

Comedian Tig Notaro is one of the hottest comedians in America right now and she is in town on her Boyish Girl Interrupted Tour.

Since comedian Tig Notaro went public with her breast cancer diagnosis in 2012, her life has been a whirlwind.

Medical student studying the structure of a pelvis.
University of Nottingham Medical School

A new study from Duke University suggests a chemical found in many plastics can make breast cancer cells resistant to treatment.

The report discusses the effects of BPA on Inflammatory Breast Cancer cells. It's a type of cancer found in 1-5 percent of breast cancer cases. Researchers suggest that the chemical neutralizes the effects of prescription drugs meant to keep the cancerous cell from growing.

Co-author Scott Sauer says it was important to look at the drug resistance factor, not just how the BPA interacted with the cancer itself.

A Duke University study found a link between poverty and smoking in adolescents.
Valentin Ottone via Flickr, Creative Commons

North Carolina doesn't spend enough to keep people from smoking or help them quit. That's according to a report from a coalition of health organizations.

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids report ranked North Carolina 45th in the country for spending on smoking and chewing prevention or cessation programs. The report says the state spent none of its tobacco tax revenue on those programs in fiscal year 2013.

Ricky Diaz of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services says the state wants to serve its residents.

Two Ob/GYN doctors review test results.
Mercy Health

For decades, women have been told to get annual screenings for cervical cancer. In 2009, mounting scientific evidence prompted major groups like the American Cancer Society to recommend less frequent screenings; every 3 years instead of every year.

Despite the revised guidelines, about half of the OB/GYNs surveyed reported they continue to provide yearly exams. Dr. Russell Harris from UNC's Center for Health Services Research says that practice is outdated and may do more harm than good.

Kimberly Blackwell / Duke Medical Oncology

Time Magazine comes out with a list of the 100 most influential people each year. Names like Justin Timberlake and Barack Obama made the grade in 2013. But also on the list was Duke oncologist Dr. Kimberly Blackwell.  She was celebrated for her achievements improving chemotherapy treatments for a certain kind of breast cancer.

Would you believe us if we told you that glowing mice might be the next step in saving human beings from cancer? Well, Ned Sharpless and his research team are trying to see if that very thing is possible. They have been injecting mice with the enzyme that makes fireflies glow in an effort to improve cancer treatment and detection.

A research team out of Duke has developed a way to use sickle cells to treat cancerous tumors. Sickle cells are typically associated with a potentially lethal genetic blood disease. Lead author Mark Dewhirst is a radiation oncologist and director of Duke's Tumor Micro-circulation Lab. He says when the crescent-shaped sickle cells are injected into mice, they tend to stick like Velcro to the vessel walls - thereby blocking the blood vessels that surround the tumor.

A new study finds that breast cancer survivors had limited knowledge about their surgical options, including decisions that can help prevent recurrence of the disease. The findings are reported in this month's issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

Dr. Clara Lee, a surgeon at UNC Hospitals, is a co-author of the study. She says the quality of decisions patients make is directly related to how well health providers inform patients about their choices.

A team of researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke have taken a step forward in targeting diseases like cancer and Alzheimer's. Scientists studied parts of human cells called mitochondria, which produce a cell's energy. The study found a protein linked to cancer causes mitochondria to divide. Duke Medicine doctor David Kashatus says that division can cause cancer cells to form under the right conditions.

UNC Chapel Hill is partnering with the state's community colleges in an effort to fight cancer. Public health researchers will work with all 58 of the state's community colleges to identify cancer prevention programs that work and implement them in the schools. Laura Linnan is a professor at UNC's Gillings School of Global Public Health and the project's principal investigator.

Fayetteville barbers have joined with health officials to inform their customers about the risks of prostate cancer. Cumberland County is one of seven counties in North Carolina with a prostate cancer rate higher than the national average. Barber shops serve as a social hub for many minority communities. Officials hope a barber's suggestion will motivate customers to get a prostate-cancer test. Douglas Dolberry of the Konnecte Kut Barber shop in Fayetteville, says the response so far has been great.

Cancer Patients Pay High Out Of Pocket Expenses

Jun 7, 2011

Patients are spending hundreds of dollars a month for out- of-pocket expenses while they're being treated for cancer - even if they're insured. 

The new study led by Duke researcher Yousuf Zafar queried more than 200 cancer patients - all but a handful were insured and most had prescription coverage. Zafar says he found patients were spending an average of $712 a month on out-of-pocket expenses. And Zafar says 30 percent of patients reported having a significant financial burden as a result of care.

Doctors at UNC Hospitals are enlisting hair stylists to help detect skin cancer. The university's Cancer Care center hosts an event today called Care Behind the Chair to teach barbers about melanoma and how to spot it. Doctor David Ollila says hair stylists get a close look at melanoma problem spots like the scalp, neck and shoulders.

A new microscope developed at Duke University may increase doctors’ abilities to detect melanoma. Chemistry professor Warren S. Warren oversaw the development of the laser-based microscope. He says doctors may be “overcalling” melanoma and removing moles in case they are cancerous.

Simple Test For Ovarian Cancer Unlikely

Dec 13, 2010

Researchers have been looking for a way to screen women for ovarian cancer, and find it early. But a Duke researcher warns it might not be so simple.

Ovarian cancer is one of the most deadly cancers, in part because it's often found in its late stages. There's already a blood test, plus ultrasound... but the protocol's not that accurate. 

Duke gynecologist Laura Havrilesky says one reason why screening doesn't work so well is that ovarian cancer isn't just one disease, but many. And the dangerous cancers grow fast.