69 episodes

Your Stories features candid conversations between patients, the people who love them, and the researchers looking for new treatments each day.

Your Stories: Conquering Cancer Conquer Cancer, the ASCO Foundation | The American Society of Clinical Onco

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.9 • 17 Ratings

Your Stories features candid conversations between patients, the people who love them, and the researchers looking for new treatments each day.

    Skin Cancer 101: Spotting the Ugly Duckling

    Skin Cancer 101: Spotting the Ugly Duckling

    Whether you’re relaxing on the beach, taking a hike in nature, or hitting your favorite water park, we’ve heard it time and time again: Excess sun exposure increases the risk of skin cancer, so protect your skin and apply your sunscreen.

    Of course, while some skin cancer risk factors are unavoidable, we all know there are proactive, preventive steps we can take—like applying sunscreen and limiting sun exposure—to decrease our risk. But what if you could do something that not only protects yourself from skin cancer, but also people around the world? Although numerous milestones have been made in skin cancer research and treatment, there remains significant room for improvement when it comes to treatment and care.

    Dr. Lynn Schuchter is director of the Tara Miller Melanoma Center at Penn Medicine and a former president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, or ASCO, for short. Having dedicated her career to caring for patients with skin cancers, Dr. Schuchter knows all too well how much progress still needs to be made in the field of skin cancer research and care. Today, Dr. Schuchter joins the Your Stories podcast to talk about the importance of prevention, patient-centered care, and the past, present, and future of skin cancer research and treatment.

    • 30 min
    Bringing Better Cancer Care Back Home

    Bringing Better Cancer Care Back Home

    For Dr. Kekoa Taparra, cancer is deeply personal. Growing up in a remote area of Oahu, Hawaii, Dr. Taparra witnessed his younger cousin’s struggles with neuroblastoma. He watched his mother lift and carry his aunt, too weak to walk because of breast cancer. He heard the sharp cries of another aunt suffering with endometrial cancer. These early experiences drove Dr. Taparra to not only dedicate his career to oncology and cancer research, but to focus on addressing the various inequities that face Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander (NHPI) communities—from low rates of inclusion in clinical trials to geographic barriers to cancer care.

    In 2023, Dr. Taparra received the inaugural Dr. Judith and Alan Kaur Endowed Young Investigator Award through Conquer Cancer, the ASCO Foundation. With this support, he launched a research project that uses machine learning to explore the various drivers of NHPI cancer disparities and helps categorize NHPI cancer data more effectively. He joins Your Stories host Dr. Don Dizon to share more about this important work and how his upbringing fueled his dedication to conquering cancer for every patient.

    • 38 min
    Why Hasn’t Cancer Been Cured?

    Why Hasn’t Cancer Been Cured?

    Not only does cancer predate the practice of medicine, but it may also predate the human species entirely. In 2016, archeologists in South Africa unearthed a large 1.7 million years-old bone fragment, ultimately revealed to be the toe bone of an ancient but unknown species of human dating back millennia. On that piece of bone, they discovered something else: a malignant tumor. It’s a stark reminder that, for as long as their profession has existed, oncologists have been studying and treating cancer. For many, it raises a frustrating question: After so many centuries of studying cancer, why haven’t we cured it yet? The answer is complicated.

    Dr. Otis Brawley joins the Your Stories podcast to help us better understand what makes cancer such a complex and persistent adversary. In addition to being a professor of oncology at the Johns Hopkins University and a former chief medical and scientific officer of the American Cancer Society, Dr. Brawley is a member of Conquer Cancer’s Board of Directors and editor of The Cancer History Project, a free online resource dedicated to documenting the history of cancer in medicine. He talks with host Dr. Mark Lewis about why cancer has not yet been “cured” and about how our study and understanding of it has evolved over time.

    • 38 min
    Stopping the Stigma

    Stopping the Stigma

    What do esophageal cancer, testicular cancer, lung cancer, cervical cancer, and colon cancer have in common? Each carries some type of stigma or taboo—whether because they’re linked to behavioral causes or because they affect portions of the anatomy traditionally deemed private. The impact of these stigmas can be detrimental: In some cases, stigmatized cancers receive less research funding, resulting in fewer treatment innovations for patients. Moreover, stigmas often result in patients hesitating to seek critical diagnostic care, increasing the risk that their cancer won’t be caught until it’s too late.
    April is National Cancer Control Month, which aims to cut the U.S. cancer death rate in half by 2028. Although better cancer screening is a vital step toward that goal, many people do not get screened—a structural problem made worse by cancer stigmatization.
    In this episode of the Your Stories podcast, we’re joined by Dr. Stacy Wentworth, an award-winning oncologist and cancer survivorship expert. As medical director of cancer survivorship at Atrium Wake Forest Baptist Health Comprehensive Cancer Center, she has two decades of experience with leading patient-centered care teams in diverse settings. Dr. Wentworth is also the founder of her weekly Substack, Cancer Culture. In this forum, she explores how personal, scientific, and sociocultural factors shape attitudes toward cancer, including the various stigmas and difficult conversations that may come with it.

    • 35 min
    A Collaborative Approach to an Uncommon Cancer

    A Collaborative Approach to an Uncommon Cancer

    Imagine receiving a cancer diagnosis, only to immediately learn that not only has it spread to other parts of your body, but it’s also incredibly rare for it do so—so rare, in fact, that little to no research exists to inform your treatment. Katie Coleman doesn’t need to imagine this: She’s lived it. In December 2020, at just 29 years old, Katie was diagnosed with metastatic oncocytoma, a type of kidney cancer so rare that fewer than 10 cases have been recorded in history. Consequently, it’s also remained largely understudied, underfunded, and overlooked in cancer research. Luckily, Katie found Dr. Pavlos Msaouel, an oncologist and a three-time Conquer Cancer grant and award recipient with an incredibly niche research focus: targeting rare kidney tumors.
    Despite a lack of research about Katie’s specific type of tumor, Dr. Msaouel’s experience with targeting rare kidney tumors—informed by his Conquer Cancer-funded research—enabled her care team to hone in on an approach that ultimately left her with no evidence of disease.
    Now a cancer survivor and patient advocate, Katie has made it her mission to share her story and help others learn to more effectively navigate cancer care. In this episode of Your Stories, Katie speaks with podcast host and fellow survivor Brenda Brody about what she found most helpful during her cancer experience and the empowering impact of shared decision-making between providers and patients.

    • 34 min
    The Woman Whose Cells Lived On

    The Woman Whose Cells Lived On

    Henrietta Lacks: Her name is forever intertwined with Black history and medicine. Her cells are the source of the world’s first immortalized human cell line. Without her consent, her biological material was used to make groundbreaking advancements in research in a wide range of conditions and diseases, including AIDS and polio to radiation treatment and cancer care. More than 70 years have gone by since Henrietta Lacks passed away from ovarian cancer at age 31. And yet, today, the Lacks story remains just as relevant for Black patients in the U.S. and around the globe.

    In this episode of Your Stories, we’re joined by Dr. Clyde Yancy, a member of the Henrietta Lacks Foundation Board of Directors and a professor of medicine and vice dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion at Northwestern University. Dr. Yancy provides unique insights into Lack's unforgettable place in history, the implications for building and maintaining trust in modern medicine, and what can be done to foster equity and representation for Black patients in cancer research. Together with host Dr. Don Dizon, he also unpacks the importance of diversifying the medical workforce and why it matters for Black patients and patients of color to see themselves in their providers.

    • 42 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
17 Ratings

17 Ratings

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Patients with cancer tell their stories

These stories cover every type of cancer and help patients, survivors and families deal with the everyday challenges of cancer.

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