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Hidden Risk

Friday, August 2nd, 2019

It’s a quandary people often ponder: Is it better to know or not about a predisposition to disease? Cindy Betz decided to confront her unknown health risks. The 63-year-old Bardstown, Kentucky, woman gave a blood sample for a genetic screening study at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC). The decision may have saved her life. The […]

Bountiful Baker

Thursday, January 3rd, 2019

Will Mason Moses spent many hours of his college summer vacation baking cookies, brownies, cobblers, doughnuts and cakes and making savory items such as sausage balls, candied bacon, hummus and queso to hand-deliver to oncology nurses at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt three times a week. The 20-year-old sophomore at Rochester Institute of […]

A Second Chance

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018

“When it’s you, it’s a whole different feeling,” Orrin Ingram said, gazing at logs burning in the fireplace. A black Labrador puppy slept near his feet. Outside the window of his farmhouse, the remnants of a January snow slowly melted. “I never really thought that at 57 years old that I would be diagnosed with […]

Customized Care

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

In early 2014, Mary Beth Ballard and her husband, Chris Murray, were searching for their first home together in Middle Tennessee when she noticed something she initially dismissed as a sign of a minor infection—a small amount of blood in her urine.    Between house hunting and a new job, her schedule was hectic. The blood […]

The Right Move

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

C-H-O-L-A-N-G-I-O-C-A-R-C-I-N-O-M-A. Anne Wolfe asked the doctor to spell it out. She had come to see Kamran Idrees, M.D., a surgical oncologist at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC) knowing that she had a malignancy in her liver, but she didn’t know the type of cancer that had secretly invaded the organ. “He looked at me and said […]

The Enemy Within

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

Mike Janowski was prepared to fight for his country. He had just graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in May 2014 and was stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia, his first duty assignment. Soon, he would find out the foe was in his body. Janowski, then 23, had just completed his first week […]

Choosing the Right Course

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

After Ira Baxter was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the fall of 2014, he tried just about everything to treat it. He had his prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels tested and retested. He sought a second opinion, then a third—consulting physicians in Nashville, Los Angeles and Houston. For a time, he ate an all-organic diet, trying […]

Decision Precision

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

After two years of worrying about a nodule in her lung, Emmy Edwards said yes to surgery. She could have flipped a coin had the stakes been smaller. A nonsmoker, Edwards had been more worried about heart disease than lung cancer when the tiny lesions showed up during a cardiac CT scan. They were in […]

A Full Life

Monday, June 15th, 2015

Colon cancer, when it came, tiptoed into Jeanetta Fargo’s life. “I felt great. I was working out all the time…I never felt better in my life.” There had been abdominal spasms a year earlier—discounted when an ultrasound revealed nothing. Even an abnormal screening test during her annual physical exam, and a recommendation from her doctor […]

High Stakes

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Music has always filled Andrew Leahey’s mind and his heart. With a mom who taught music classes, Leahey spent his early years in Richmond, Virginia, plinking on the keys of the family piano, listening to melodies and singing along. “I thought it was just normal, that everybody walked around the house singing all the time. […]

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