Your Stories features candid conversations between patients, the people who love them, and the researchers looking for new treatments each day. Disclaimer The purpose of this podcast is to educate and to inform. The podcast is provided on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services. It is no substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional and is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of individual conditions. Guests who speak in a podcast express their own opinions, experience and conclusions. Neither Conquer Cancer, the ASCO Foundations, nor any of its affiliates endorses, supports or opposes any particular treatment option or other matter discussed in a podcast. The mention of any product, service, organization, activity or therapy on a podcast should not be construed as an endorsement.
The More You Know
34:04Imagine you—or a loved one—receives a cancer diagnosis. Overnight, you find yourself trying to become an oncology expert, desperately looking for information about options. You stumble across a research paper that looks promising—if you could make sense of all the science-speak. Then you find Cancer.Net, the patient information website of Conquer Cancer and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). This doctor-approved resource makes cancer terminology easier to digest and offers the latest guidelines on research and treatment. In this episode of Your Stories, host and cancer survivor Brenda Brody is joined by Dr. Jyoti Patel, a clinical oncologist and the editor-in-chief of Cancer.Net. Together, they unpack some of the year’s biggest research breakthroughs, explain what makes these findings meaningful for patients, and talk about the long-term impact of donor-funded research. They also share why providing cancer information in lay terms is essential to raising awareness and support.
Dentistry to Oncology
33:58For patients with oral cancers, treatment is often just the beginning of their journey. Even after they emerge cancer-free, many still face a long journey to recovery and restored quality of life As a maxillofacial surgeon and oncologist, Dr. Chi Viet concentrates heavily on helping her patients to not only conquer this rare cancer, but to more easily and effectively manage their pain along their road to recovery. Using a Conquer Cancer grant, Dr. Viet worked to find epigenetic biomarkers –– or hereditary indicators –– of oral cancer survival, with the goal of personalizing patient care In this episode of our Your Stories podcast, Dr. Viet speaks with host Dr. Don Dizon about her early career evolution from dentist to cancer surgeon and how her own patients help to advance rare cancer research for current and future patients.
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Spreading the News About Colorectal Cancer Research
34:06NBC journalist Craig Melvin’s 43-year-old brother, Lawrence Meadows, passed away from colorectal cancer in 2020. Since then, Craig has made it his mission to increase public awareness and raise support for colorectal cancer research. Along with two-time Conquer Cancer grant recipient and colorectal oncologist Dr. Kimmie Ng, Craig joins this episode of our Your Stories podcast to emphasize the critical role donors play in advancing colorectal cancer research. Hosted by Dr. Don Dizon, Craig and Dr. Ng share a candid conversation about the stigmas and misconceptions around colorectal cancer, along with the impact of Dr. Ng’s ongoing research. They also discuss the stark rise of diagnoses in Black patients and young adults, and how donor support is bringing new discoveries to patients.
Building a Bridge to Hope
28:30Support communities for people conquering cancer form a critical bridge between the worlds of social work and oncology and offer immense benefits for people transitioning from patient to survivor. Stephanie Stern, a licensed professional counselor, support group facilitator, and program director at a nonprofit community organization, helps people to more effectively manage the mixed emotions that come with conquering cancer. In this episode of our podcast, Stephanie joins Brenda Brody, a breast cancer survivor and Your Stories host, to share how support communities help people navigate their experiences from diagnosis through treatment and beyond.
From Disappointment to Discovery
32:19At just 19 years old, Anya was diagnosed with Erdheim-Chester disease (ECD), an extremely rare and incurable blood cancer. After three years of unsuccessful treatments, Anya was quickly running out of options. In this episode of our Your Stories podcast, Anya’s mother, Colleen, and one of Anya's oncologists, Conquer Cancer-funded researcher Dr. Jithma Abeykoon, discuss the complexities of uncovering her diagnosis, the disappointment of failed treatments, and the relief and surprise that came when they discovered a new treatment option that finally worked.
Generations of Courage
31:14For some families, cancer is in their genes. But this didn’t stop Hattie Sherman from conquering it. Hattie is a third-generation survivor of hereditary breast cancer, with her mother, Molly, and grandmother having experienced the diagnosis as well. Fortunately, as cancer research continues to advance, treatments are vastly improving for each generation of patients. In this episode, Hattie, Molly, and Dr. Patt join Your Stories host, Dr. Mark Lewis, for a candid conversation about the intergenerational impact of conquering cancer. They talk about the turbulence and challenges that breast cancer brings and explain why sustained support for cancer research is necessary for advancements in treatment to continue.
Re-Release: A Conversation About Race in Cancer Care
46:32In 2022, one of our most popular Your Stories episodes was the conversation featuring Dr. Karen Winkfield, who is a Biden-appointed member of the National Cancer Advisory Board and one of the country’s leading experts in advancing health equity. We are re-releasing this episode to highlight the lasting importance of addressing health disparities and working to eradicate structural racism in cancer research and oncology care. Dr. Winkfield unpacks why cancer risks are higher and survival rates are lower for Black people and discusses the health disparities facing people from disenfranchised communities.
34:35Lillian Kreppel had to advocate for herself and seek a second opinion before receiving a delayed diagnosis: HPV-related stage II anal cancer. During treatment, she found stark limitations in HPV information, including lack of public awareness and patient education, inadequate guidelines for cancer screening, and a lot of HPV-related social stigma. Now a survivor, Lillian leads the HPV Cancers Alliance, an advocacy organization she co-founded to help improve HPV education for patients, providers, and the public. She shares key lessons for patients navigating screening and treatment, debunks stigmas and myths surrounding HPV, and highlights the importance of patient advocacy and donor-funded research.
It Takes a Team
34:30Less than 1% of patients diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) – the most aggressive type of brain cancer – live longer than a decade. But Molly is one of those rare survivors. Her best friend, Martha, and Martha’s sister, Conquer Cancer board member Dr. Amy Peterson, fiercely supported Molly every step of the way. Molly tells Your Stories host, Dr. Mark Lewis, how she navigated her experiences with cancer. Martha recounts how she supported Molly through her journey. And Dr. Amy Peterson discusses how cancer research informed Molly’s course of care. Together, the trio celebrates the power of leaning on loved ones for support and shares why donor-funded research is vital to advance treatment for all patients.
Just Keep Swimming
33:48When Liz Beisel’s late father, Ted Beisel, passed away in 2021 from pancreatic cancer, she partnered with Swim Across America to help fund a Conquer Cancer Young Investigator Award. Dr. Peter Yu, an early-career oncologist and pancreatic cancer researcher, received this grant in 2022. This helped launch his promising research project to improve treatment and care for patients with pancreatic cancer. Liz tells Your Stories host, Dr. Don Dizon, how memories of her dad motivate her to raise vital funds for research, and Dr. Yu shares how and why he works to advance pancreatic cancer care. Together, they reflect on why it matters to accelerate research for every patient.