Harry Robins, now 71, got the shock of his life in July 2014 when he learned about the surgery he needed to treat the squamous cell tongue cancer that showed signs of spreading. The surgery was way more invasive than he expected, involved removing a third of his tongue and required months of intensive rehabilitation to recover. He and his wife believe they made it through this trying time only with the help of the care team.
Lights Camera Action
William McCallum is living with stage 4 neuroendocrine cancer. This diagnosis is not easy to live with. Most days McCallum feels well enough that he doesn't think much about having cancer. After deciding to put his faith in his doctors, he aims not to worry. Acting in films for Rebel Pictures -- with his son, Michael -- has been both a welcome distraction and a creative outlet.
Listen to Your Symptoms
Janet Schuler doesn’t buy into the belief that ovarian cancer is a silent killer, with quiet symptoms that don’t speak up until it’s so advanced that a cure is not possible. Symptoms of ovarian cancer do speak -- she just doesn't think we know how to listen.
Many of cancer patients travel to their appointments alone -- which can be overwhelming for many reasons. The U-M Rogel Cancer Center formed its patient navigator program to add a layer of support and enhance the patient care experience by assigning a dedicated person to help each patient throughout the treatment process.
Defending with Discipline
Barbara Hilija Spiessl, a fifth-degree black belt in Taekwon-Do, was diagnosed with subcutaneous panniculitislike T-cell lymphoma, a rare subtype that accounts for less than 1 percent of all non-Hodgkin lymphomas. During her treatment and recovery, Spiessl called upon her Taekwon-Do training to find the strength and resilience to manage the long-term side effects from treatment.
Find the Target, Take Aim
Nancy Van Dyke was so healthy she had never taken an antacid. A gastrointestinal attack led to a trip to her local hospital. Soon after she was diagnosed with cancer -- that had metastasized to her liver and chest.
The Power of Words
Marcus Calverley was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease in August 2014. He coped with this diagnosis by creating a blog to record his thoughts and experiences.
Heidi Woodward Sheffield looks back on the past two-and-a-half years of surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and reconstruction with relief. She is cancer-free and feels fortunate to have had a sense of rebirth throughout the process. In retrospect, she shares her best bets on coping, accepting help and support systems.
The Nature of Cancer
Many factors determine the cause of cancer, including a person's health history, lifestyle, exposure to elements in the environment and how an individual’s DNA responds to all of it. Justin Colacino, Ph.D., a research assistant professor at the U-M School of Public Health provides his insights.
Diagnosis, Pause, Decision
It's only natural when you hear the word cancer to want to spring into action to get rid of it. It's also natural to think about people you know who've had cancer and the decisions they made to treat it. You're afraid. You have families and friends to think about. You need to decide on your treatment . . . but not so fast.