COVID Complicates Breast Cancer Screenings

Oct 22, 2020

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. That's leading to local partnerships to promote awareness. And the rising combination of cancer and COVID treatments means more challenges for health care providers.

A Tallahassee Police cruiser pulled up in front of the Tallahassee Memorial Cancer Center recently. Administrator of Oncology Services Kathy Brooks and the other center staff could have been concerned. But instead, she said, they were overjoyed when they saw the cruiser and rooftop accessory it sported.

Orlando Radiologist: Mammograms Are Safe During a Pandemic

Oct 2, 2020
Angiola Harry

The coronavirus pandemic has affected the number of Floridians who are getting screened for and diagnosed with breast cancer and other diseases. However, women and men who catch breast cancer early have a five-year survival rate of 90 percent, according to the Susan G. Komen foundation.

WMFE's Danielle Prieur spoke with radiologist Dr. Diane Horowitz of the Women’s Center for Radiology in Orlando about the importance of getting a mammogram during the pandemic.

COVID Complicates Cancer Fight For North Florida Man

Sep 29, 2020

Fighting a single life-threatening illness is bad enough. But Guy Nichols recently battled two at once.

Nichols, a Kentucky native, moved to North Florida years ago, and now calls Panama City home. He said life was pretty good until several months ago.

"I was going to the VA clinic. My PA was really, really high on my blood count. They said, 'Let's send you to a specialist,' so they sent me to Dr. Baldwin, a urologist. And he said, 'We're going to run some tests, but you got cancer. We just have to figure out where it's at.'"

The death of actor Chadwick Boseman from colon cancer has focused more attention on the disease.

Boseman, whose film portrayals included Jackie Robinson, James Brown, Thurgood Marshall and the Black Panther, was only 43 when a long bout with colon cancer took his life. Tallahassee Memorial Cancer Center Oncologist Dr. Jeannine Silberman observed this particular cancer seems to be aiming ever younger.

As K-12 students across the state return to the classroom, immunocompromised teachers are relying on their school district’s mandated safety precautions, such as social distancing, mask-wearing, hand-washing and regular deep cleaning, to protect themselves from serious illness.

At one Bay County school, a group of teachers is taking extra steps to reduce their colleague’s exposure to the virus.

For cancer patients on chemotherapy, hair loss is often a dreaded result of the treatment. But there's a new tool at Tallahassee Memorial's Cancer Center to reduce hair loss for many of those patients.

TMH Medical Oncologist Dr. Karen Russell said the Dignicap technology is actually pretty simple.

"The tool sends coolant to the scalp. It's kind of a cap-and-flap system that almost looks like a combination of the old aviator's cap that goes over the ears and a swimmer's cap."

Alexea Gaffney battles health issues every day on multiple fronts. As an infectious disease doctor in Stony Brook, N.Y., she treats patients who have COVID-19. And two years ago, at age 37, she was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer.

As a result, the physician and single mom, who is also home-schooling her 8-year-old daughter these days, is still under medical treatment for the cancer. And that makes her more vulnerable to the virus.

By the age of 4, Hadiyah-Nicole Green had lost both her mother and her grandparents.

She was sent to live with her Aunt Ora Lee Smith and Uncle General Lee Smith in St Louis, Mo. But in her early 20s, both her aunt and uncle were diagnosed with cancer.

Green, who now works as an assistant professor in the surgery department at Morehouse College's medical school, started the Ora Lee Smith Cancer Research Foundation in honor of her late aunt.

Bayer will pay more than $10 billion to end tens of thousands of lawsuits filed over its Roundup weedkiller, the company announced Wednesday. The settlement also resolves many other cases over the herbicide dicamba as well as water contaminated with toxic chemicals called PCBs.

Many plaintiffs say Roundup's active ingredient — glyphosate — caused them to develop cancer. Roundup was developed by Monsanto, which Bayer bought in 2018 for $63 billion.

WHO says people without symptoms probably account for about 6 percent of spread of the coronavirus, at most.

New research shows how dangerous the coronavirus is for current and former cancer patients.

Johnson & Johnson will stop selling talcum-based baby powder in the United States and Canada after being ordered to pay out billions of dollars related to lost legal battles over claims the product causes cancer.

The company made the announcement Tuesday. It denied allegations that the powder is responsible for health problems.

Last June, days after her 40th birthday, Silver felt a lump in her left breast that turned out to be a tumor that had spread to her lung and liver.

For eight months, she underwent chemotherapy that reduced the masses to operable size. But last month, Silver's oncologist explained a mastectomy would also require an additional procedure to take skin off her back, known as a "flap" to cover the wound.

Researchers at the Tampa veterans’ hospital are training computers how to diagnose cancer. It’s one example of how the Department of Veterans Affairs is expanding artificial intelligence development.


When Brian Kernohan complained to his doctor of merciless headaches two summers ago, he expected to get a prescription for a sinus infection, not a diagnosis of brain cancer. The 37-year-old firefighter’s eardrums were curved inward, so his doctor suggested a CT scan.

Researchers are beginning to understand why certain brain cancers are so hard to stop.

Three studies published Wednesday in the journal Nature found that these deadly tumors integrate themselves into the brain's electrical network and then hijack signals from healthy nerve cells to fuel their own growth.

Florida Lawmaker Seeks Cancer Awareness Instruction In Schools

Sep 17, 2019
Empty classroom with chalkboard on wall

A Senate Democrat is seeking to require that Florida high-school students learn about preventing breast cancer and prostate cancer. 

Judge: Boy Must Resume Chemotherapy, Despite Parents' Wishes

May 10, 2019
Hand near bag's of intorvenus chemotherapy fluid

A judge has ruled that a 3-year-old Tampa boy must resume his cancer treatment, despite his parents' wishes. 

For years now some members of the legislature have been pushing to create a way to help firefighters battling cancer. Studies show they are more likely to be diagnosed with the disease, because of their line of work. This year the effort has overwhelming support in the Senate but hasn’t been heard in a house committee yet.

A woman in California who says Johnson & Johnson baby powder caused her to develop mesothelioma was awarded $29 million by a jury Wednesday. J&J says it will appeal the judgment.

Carol Marley wants everyone to know what a life-threatening cancer diagnosis looks like in America today.

Yes, it's the chemotherapy that leaves you weak and unable to walk across the room. Yes, it's the litany of tests and treatments – the CT scans and MRIs and biopsies and endoscopies and surgeries and blood draws and radiation and doctor visits. Yes, it's envisioning your funeral, which torments you day and night.

But none of these is her most gnawing, ever present concern.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit


Gavel and a stethoscope
Flickr Creative Commons

A divided appeals court Wednesday said an out-of-state firm that mines and sells talc should be dismissed from a Broward County lawsuit alleging that a woman developed ovarian cancer because of the use of talcum powder.

The 4th District Court of Appeal, in a 2-1 decision, said Florida courts do not have “jurisdiction” over Imerys Talc America, Inc. because of its lack of contact with Florida.

The ruling came in a case filed by Judith Ricketts against Imerys Talc America, Johnson & Johnson and Publix Super Markets.


The University of Central Florida is taking over the Orlando facility of a medical research organization that had received more than $350 million in public and private incentives.

wooden gavel

A jury's $289 million award to a former school groundskeeper who said Monsanto's Roundup left him dying of cancer will bolster thousands of pending cases and open the door for countless people who blame their suffering on the weed killer, the man's lawyers said.

American Cancer Society

Florida is not doing enough to prevent cancer, according to a new report by the American Cancer Society’s political-action committee.


Low levels of cancer-causing chemicals have been found in three wells of a Florida town.

As we head into the Summer months, health officials say protecting yourself from the sun’s intense rays with protective sunscreen, clothing, and eyewear is key. The goal is ensure Floridians do not get skin cancer and if they do, detect it early.

A court ruling that gave coffee drinkers a jolt earlier this year was finalized Monday when a Los Angeles judge said coffee sold in California must carry cancer warnings.

Abe Aboraya/WMFE

At the border between Brevard and Orange counties, a line of fire trucks with their lights on greet Tom “Bull” Hill as a hero when he arrives to walk across the county.