NIH reports cancer rates dropping

  • Published in Health

NIH LogoCancer rates across the United States are declining, according to a new report from the National Institutes of Health.

Known as the Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, the report examined data across 42 states --concluding that diagnosis and death data decreased from 1999-2015.

“This year’s report is an encouraging indicator of progress we’re making in cancer research. As overall death rates continue to decline for all major racial and ethnic groups in the United States, it’s clear that interventions are having an impact,” said National Cancer Institute Director Ned Sharpless, M.D. “The report also highlights areas where more work is needed. With steadfast commitment to patients and their families, we will be able to lower the mortality rates faster and improve the lives of those affected by cancer.”

“The key point is that mortality from cancer is going down for both men and women … and children as well,” said Kathleen Cronin, Ph.D., one of the authors of the report and a researcher at NCI.


County has lowest rates of most common cancers

  • Published in Local

Dr. Chunfu Liu, Dr. Brandi Page, and Dr. Clifford Mitchell participated in a panel on cancer rates in Montgomery County. PHOTO BY SUZANNE POLLAKDr. Chunfu Liu, Dr. Brandi Page, and Dr. Clifford Mitchell participated in a panel on cancer rates in Montgomery County. PHOTO BY SUZANNE POLLAK  Incidences of the five most common forms of cancer are lower in Montgomery County than they are in the rest of the state and throughout the United States.

According to Dr. Chunfu Liu, chief epidemiologist for the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, “Montgomery County rates are consistently lower” in cancers of the lung, colon and rectum, breast, prostate and skin, he said, adding, “Cancer is the leading cause of mortality in Montgomery County,” accounting for 24 percent of deaths.

There are more than 100 types of cancers, he told those attending a March 28 public conversation on cancer in the community at the Silver Spring Civic Building, but he only focused on cancers with the highest mortality rates.

Liu did not state a reason for the County’s lower rates, explaining that there are too many risk factors to be able to come up with a specific reason. Smoking, obesity, excessive drinking, an unhealthy diet and a lack of activity increase a person’s chances of receiving a diagnosis of cancer, said Liu.


Rockville lights the night in its fight against cancer

  • Published in Local

Light The Night 2Attendees hold up lanterns during Rockville's Light The Night fundraising walk to support those suffering from blood cancer.  PHOTO BY MARK POETKER  More than 2,000 people who have been touched by blood cancer walked through downtown Rockville Saturday night, holding lanterns high in which the glowing colors symbolized whether they were survivors, current patients, lost loved ones to the disease or helping those currently struggling with leukemia or lymphoma.

Light The Night, a fundraising walk currently in its 20th year in Montgomery County, raised about $600,000. When combined with similar walks held in Reston, Va. and Washington, D.C. during October, the National Capital Chapter will have raised about $3.5 million, said Ria Freydberg, senior director at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Jake Waxman, an eight-year-old from Bethesda, addressed the crowd about his struggle with the disease. “It has been really hard for me,” said the second grader from the Lab School of Washington.

Leukemia is “not fun,” he said, but told those battling the blood cancer to “just remember you always have someone.”


NIH study reveals social interaction helps patients during chemotherapy

  • Published in News

A study conducted by researchers at the National Institutes of Health suggests positive social interaction may help chemotherapy patients survive longer.

“People model behavior based on what’s around them,” said Jeff Lienert, the lead author of the study. “For example, you will often eat more when you’re dining with friends, even if you can’t see what they’re eating. When you’re bicycling, you will often perform better when you’re cycling with others, regardless of their performance.”

Lienert, who is currently a doctoral student at the University of Oxford and a fellow at NIH, explained the results showed that chemotherapy patients were likely to live five years longer following the end of their regimens if they interacted with other patients who also survived five years.


Cancer support group honors two volunteers and co-founder

  • Published in Local

Hope connections gala- COURTESY OF Debbie Redman(Left to right) Hope Connections’ honorees, co-founder-CEO/President Paula Rothenberg, May Benatar (Bethesda) and Afie Lattimer (Potomac), along with gala co-chairs Jim Baker and Liza Marshall, and from NBC4, the event's master of ceremonies Wendy Rieger. COURTESY PHOTO  

WASHINGTON – A local organization that offers free mind and body treatment for cancer patients and their caregivers honored two volunteers who lead those programs and the organization’s co-founder at the Watergate Hotel March 16.

Hope Connections for Cancer Support presented awards to volunteers Afie Lattimer and May Benatar and to Co-Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer Paula Rothenberg during its 10th anniversary gala.


NIH studies cancer in African Americans

  • Published in News

BETHESDA – The National Institutes of Health has launched a study to examine incidence rates among African-American cancer survivors.

“What we saw was that African-Americans were experiencing higher cancer incidents than any other racial/ethnic group,” said Dr. Joanne Elena, a program director overseeing the study at NIH’s National Cancer Institute.


Trying to make my dad proud

Peace Sign

When my father was my age he had about three months to live. The lung cancer which cost him his life ravaged his body for close to two years.
The doctors in their infinite wisdom had given him but three to six months to live when he was diagnosed, but pop was a contrarian by birth and it was joyful to see him in his element telling doctors to kiss his nether regions.
He told me his greatest regret in life was spending too much time working and not enough time with his children – and that knowledge guided me in bringing up my own children.
I want to apologize to them for that – they spent a lot of time with me growing up.
Moreover I believe my generation as a whole should apologize to their children. The actions of the last few weeks, neigh the last few years have driven home a very salient point – we as a country have not overcome our prejudices and we seem unwilling or unable to learn from past mistakes.


Coach "Moo" dead at 57

  • Published in Sports

Dan MakosyKennedy Head Coach Dan Makosy died Nov. 16. FILE PHOTO  

One of Montgomery County’s most beloved and respected football coaches lost his battle with cancer last week.

Kennedy Head Coach Dan Makosy died Nov. 16 after a battle with colon cancer. He was 57.

During a decade-long tenure at Damascus, Makosy became one of the most successful football coaches in Montgomery County history.


Gaithersburg loses senior Councilman Henry Maraffa after long battle with leukemia

  • Published in Local

Henry MarraffaCouncilman Henry  Marraffa. COURTESY PHOTO  

GAITHERSBURG – The City Council lost its most senior elected official Tuesday morning when Henry F. Marraffa, Jr. died after a protracted battle with leukemia. He was 78.

“This is a tremendous loss for Gaithersburg. Henry served our community on the Board of Appeals, the Planning Commission, and for more than two decades as a member of the City Council, to which he was first elected in 1995,” said Mayor Jud Ashman. “He worked to build Gaithersburg’s reputation and prominence on a national level, representing our city on the Board of Directors of the National League of Cities, and at the state level with the Maryland Municipal League.”

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