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Duke Cancer Institute (DCI) Blog provides updates, organizational announcements, the latest in funding opportunities and information on upcoming conferences and symposiums. This blog also highlights inspiring patient stories and the accomplishments and achievements of DCI faculty and staff. Subscribers are invited to submit story ideas and other news of interest. Email submissions and feedback to Karen E. Butler, Director of Communications, Duke Cancer Institute.

With New Center, DCI Tackles Brain Metastasis Head-On

During the summer of 2016 Dave and Lisa VanTress retired from their jobs in Syracuse, New York, and headed south to the sunny shores of South Carolina, where they could be close to family and indulge their passion for fishing. They bought a townhouse in Little River, a five-minute drive to the...

Oncology Nurses Serve Up Meals Warming Body And Soul

Whether on the job, at home or beyond, compassion seems to be an essential characteristic that comes naturally for most nurses. Nowhere is this illustrated better than through the team of nurses manning Clinic 3-2 at Duke Cancer Center. When thoracic oncology medical assistant Suzanne Matkins, CMA...

Cancer Survivor Credits Care Team for Second and Third Chance at Life 

In the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s, mother and homemaker Charlotte Miller was always on the move. Married to a textile manager, the couple married right out of high school in their home state of Pennsylvania. They relocated several times for his career — to North Carolina, then Ohio, Wisconsin,...

Pancreatic Cancer: Facing a Formidable Foe

In February 2016, Tara Wilkes left her job as a decorator and furniture sales associate, locked the door of her second home on Lake Waccamaw and moved back inland to the family home in Rockingham, North Carolina. “I just couldn’t do my job,” said Wilkes, a petite and active 56-year-old grandmother...

When Diagnosed With Prostate Cancer, It Was Sink Or Swim For Military Vet

When Robert “Bob” List, 72, a retired colonel with the U.S. Marine Corps, was diagnosed with stage 2 prostate cancer in June 2006, he immediately began to research the “enemy” threatening to take his life. His 26 years in the Marine Corps taught him how to accomplish a mission, deal with adversity...

Brain Tumor Survivor Saddles Up In Quest For Cure

Benjamin “Ben” Turits was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 1984, when he was just 4 years old. Living with his family in Cooperstown, New York, Tutits’ surgical team was able to succesfully remove his tumor. “I am so fortunate,” he reflected. “I feel I am lucky because I haven’t had to deal with any...

Local Theater Professor Rewrites The Script On Cancer

William Shakespeare said it best when he penned “All the world’s a stage.” No doubt, no one knows this better than Johnny Alston, a 41-year theater professor at North Carolina Central University. Throughout the years he’s played many characters – sometimes the salty antagonist, other times the...

His Light Shines For Survivorship

Tim McKenna, 34, had just recently moved to Durham, North Carolina, when he scheduled an appointment for a routine physical. It was at that appointment that he mentioned to his primary care doctor that he “was lactating.” “My doctor ordered a mammogram,” remembered McKenna. “Although the results...

Making Strides Participants Color Grey Skies Pink

For a fourth year, Duke Cancer Institute teamed up with the American Cancer Society to serve as local presenting sponsor at the charity’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk held in Raleigh on Oct. 14. The Breast Cancer Awareness Month-event attracted more than 6,000 participants —...

#MyDukeCancerStory: Safe and Cared For Close to Home

When 18 years ago Leslie Gartenberg and her husband, Adam, decided to move from New Jersey to North Carolina, one of their criteria was finding a home near good healthcare. “We wanted to make a life here,” said Gartenberg. “We were young, just married, and we thought, if, God forbid, anything ever...

Onetime Grant Recipient Sheds Light On Financial Assistance Opportunities

Sylvia Foushee, 71, was due for an annual physical. It was early September 2016. A native of Bahama, North Carolina, Sylvia visited her Duke primary care physician. During an examination, her doctor felt a mass that appeared to be in or close to her stomach. Her blood test revealed her white blood...

On the Run For Lung Cancer

Since completing treatment for lung cancer nearly seven years ago, Bob Wienberry, 80, has been volunteering in the thoracic oncology clinic of Duke Cancer Center. On Tuesday mornings, you can find him there giving directions, pouring coffee, handing out snacks and lending a listening ear. “You meet...

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