Category: Cancer

Victor is in a red hoodie leaning against a window

Helping young adults and teens beat cancer

Categories: Cancer

At 6 feet 6 inches tall, 28-year old Victor Quintanilla towered over most of his friends. He seemed physically fit and felt invincible. Then, doctors diagnosed the San Antonio delivery truck driver with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. Treatment has meant taking time away from work for lengthy hospital stays. In January, Quintanilla spent nearly a month at University Hospital. He missed his social life. “I was frustrated,” he admits. “I just wanted to get out.” Dr. Allison Grimes, an oncologist at University Hospital, says Quintanilla falls into an underserved group of cancer patients, …Read More >

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Jillian Williams is standing proudly with her shoulders back and arms crossed

Athletic teen’s remarkable journey through Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) cancer treatment

Categories: Cancer

When cancer attacks adolescents and young adults (AYA), the challenges it presents are different than for children or adults. The National Cancer Institute defines this “AYA” cohort as between the ages of 15 and 39. Physically and hormonally, many in this age group are still developing. Psychologically and socially, they may be figuring things out or already starting a career or other life plans At age 19, Jillian Williams was no longer a child when she was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare pediatric bone cancer. But she was only in her second semester of college, living away from home …Read More >

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Female doctor gets patient ready for mammography in front of mammography machine

Why 3D mammograms matter

Categories: Cancer  /  News

If you’re a woman age 40 or older, you probably don’t look forward to the discomfort of your annual mammogram. You may even skip them due to the pain—and risk a tumor going undetected. A better view With the new Hologic 3D mammography technology, University Health System patients will have some relief from the dreaded breast compression—along with earlier, more accurate cancer detection. FDA-approved just this past February, this technology has been installed and is available for patients, said Chris Vineyard, the executive director of radiology services. University Health System is the first to offer this technology in San Antonio. …Read More >

Safer than cigarettes? No vaping way

Categories: Cancer  /  News

It’s touted as a safe alternative to cigarettes. But is vaping really that harmless? The short answer, says pediatrician Dr. Ryan Van Ramshorst, is no. Vaping is the inhalation of aerosol produced by an electronic cigarette when it heats nicotine and other chemicals. It differs from traditional cigarettes in that there is no smoke inhaled, only water vapor. While cigarettes contain over 7,000 chemicals, including nicotine, it is unknown how many chemicals are in an e-cigarette. “The ‘vapor’ released from an electronic nicotine delivery system, or E.N.D.S., is not actually a vapor, but an aerosol that contains numerous airway irritants …Read More >

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Be kind to your skin

Categories: Cancer  /  News

Exposure to the South Texas sun can be brutal and dangerous for your body. Without adequate protection, the sun’s ultraviolet rays can leave you with more than just a bad burn. Why are Ultraviolet (UV) rays harmful? UV rays make up a small portion of light emitted from the sun. Though sunlight is the primary source of UV, people can also be exposed to UV rays through tanning beds or lamps. UV rays are the main cause of damage to the skin because they can negatively affect the DNA of skin cells. Excessive exposure to UV rays can increase the …Read More >

A golden retriever dog holds a newspaper in its mouth against an isolated background

Health in the headlines

Categories: Cancer  /  Children's Health  /  News  /  Pregnancy  /  Research

Need to catch up on the latest health news? We’ve gathered the highlights for you. Are you thinking of moving to the North Pole to avoid mountain cedar? You might want to consider nose filters. Can your nose tell the difference between hyacinth and honeysuckle at 100 yards? It might be a detriment to your waistline. Are your hunger pangs in pregnancy steering you toward the candy aisle? And a hair-preserving cap for chemo patients has been expanded for a wider range of cancer types. Allergies are making you sneeze. Would putting a filter in your nose help? — Washington …Read More >

An up close view of the word prostate in a dictionary

A more precise way to search for prostate cancers

Categories: Cancer  /  News  /  Research  /  Surgery

For men who undergo a biopsy for prostate cancer, it may come as a surprise to learn that the tiny samples of tissue the doctor removes for testing are based on an educated guess — where in the prostate that cancer is most likely to be lurking. For that reason, a standard biopsy can miss some prostate cancers. “I would describe it like the game of Battleship,” said Dr. Michael Liss, an assistant professor of urology at UT Health San Antonio who practices at University Health System. “That’s kind of where you put the needle: A-1, A-2, B-1, B-2. The …Read More >

A piece of medical equipment is shown up close in a doctor's hand

50 or older? Schedule a colonoscopy

Categories: Cancer  /  News

William Huth, a 39-year-father of three, had been suffering stomach pains, but resisted seeing a doctor about it for two years. “I would have probably not been on this earth if my wife wouldn’t have made me go to her doctor,” Mr. Huth said. Mr. Huth, a Navy and Army veteran, was diagnosed with a large tumor that was completely blocking his large intestine. “Get checked if you have problems,” he said. Colon cancer strikes about 140,000 people a year. A colon cancer screening is recommended for everyone starting at age 50, because it tends to happen more often after …Read More >

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A female doctor keeps a female patient company as she receives medical treatment

Recognizing ovarian cancer

Categories: Cancer  /  News

The symptoms of ovarian cancer can seem odd, random, and attributable to other things – especially when a person is 30 years younger than the age at which ovarian cancer is normally diagnosed.  Alyssa Salazar was in her early 20s, but discovered she had Stage 4 ovarian cancer after she experienced things like a distended abdomen and feeling full after one bite of food.  Three years and 16 surgeries later, Ms. Salazar is going strong with chemotherapy and a powerful positive attitude.  “You have to keep pushing and keep going no matter what odds are against you,” she said.  Dr. …Read More >

An EMT team poses with a young boy in front of a statue

Marking the end of treatment in a big way

Categories: Cancer  /  Children's Health  /  News

Chemotherapy is an ordeal for anyone — especially a kid. Damon Billeck knows that for a fact. The 12-year-old developed a rare and aggressive form of bone cancer about a year ago that eventually cost him his arm. But Damon was determined not just to live life as a normal kid, but to be an advocate for all kids going through the same ordeal. Knowing that the end of a long course of treatment is a moment worth celebrating, Damon wanted to make it a real celebration for kids at University Hospital. He approached the San Antonio Fire Department and …Read More >

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