Jun 02, 2020

She’s Got Sunshine

After being diagnosed with breast cancer shortly after her fortieth birthday, Renee felt overwhelmed and out of control. After meeting with her breast cancer surgeon and making a plan, she decided to celebrate the things she can control.

May 19, 2020

Eating Well during Head and Neck Cancer Treatment

Eating well is important—and even more so during cancer treatment. Good nutrition makes it easier for you to tolerate treatment and boosts your quality of life. But if you have a head and neck cancer, treatments and side effects may affect how you eat.

Apr 27, 2020

How a 25-Year-Old Utah Man Found Out He Had Colon Cancer

I’ve heard the new coronavirus is a marathon, not a sprint. Marathon runners have moments when they push themselves, moments when they preserve energy, and moments when they shore up for a long stretch. Maybe our spirits can use an infusion of joy once in a while—even small joy, like a fun taste, silly moment, or simple connection. What can your joy infusions be? When can you have one?

Apr 20, 2020

Beating the Odds

When Robert Gamble, 73, reflects on his life, he says he is grateful. At age 73, he lives just outside Idaho Falls, Idaho and speaks lovingly of his wife and family. Then he shares something remarkable. He was diagnosed with one of the deadliest cancers—pancreatic—in 2016. And he is still here to tell the tale.

Apr 16, 2020

A Series of Fortunate Events

Most nurses don’t do much sitting while they’re on the job. That’s partly why Amy Fenton, internal medicine nurse at University of Utah Hospital, was so excited to sit down one day in mid-April of 2019—for a chair massage, no less. She had no idea that chair massage would lead to a cancer diagnosis.

Apr 15, 2020

The New Normal for Now: What Living with Cancer Can Teach Us about Living through the COVID-19 Pandemic

Recently I caught the tail end of a radio interview with a psychologist discussing the effects of the “new normal” that has been thrust on all of us during the COVID-19 pandemic. I’ve struggled with the term new normal when it is used with cancer patients and survivors. I rebelled against the new normal, because I want my old normal back. I did not hear much of the interview, but it got me to thinking. There are many parallels between dealing with cancer and living through a pandemic.

Apr 08, 2020

Building the Life He Wants

Rene Vazquez knew he wanted to have kids someday, but at the age of 26, he wasn’t there yet. He was focused on his job and his hobbies as a filmmaker and DJ. But when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer, Rene faced the possibility of losing the chance to one day have biological kids.

Mar 25, 2020

The Other Side of the Curtain

Ruth Centurier-Harris and her family came to Salt Lake City from South Africa in 2015, expecting to be here for a short time. Two years later, Ruth received a devastating cancer diagnosis - multiple myeloma. With her husband and three daughters, Ruth embraces the joy of today and making each day special.

Mar 24, 2020

Helping People Brings Me Joy

There are many challenges having a blood cancer with no cure. But we just try to enjoy the time we have. After his multiple myeloma diagnosis in 2015, Kenneth Henderson has approached cancer the way he has approached his life–with his whole heart and soul. In 2018, he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro with seven others to raise awareness for blood cancers. The Huntsman Cancer Institute difference, he says, is in the way he was treated: always with kindness and a smile.

Mar 02, 2020

Raising Awareness while Honoring My Father's Memory

Taryn Palmer lost her father to stage IV colorectal cancer. As she and her family tried to find some way to reconcile their grief with celebrating his life, Taryn discovered Dress in Blue Day, a way to increase awareness about colon cancer risk and encourage early screening. Dress in Blue Day has meant so much to her and her family as they honor their father and fight back against this devastating disease.

Mar 01, 2020

Ahorrando mucho más que el tiempo: la radioterapia acortada

Traditionally, breast cancer patients who receive radiation get small doses almost daily over a six- to seven-week period. Radiation oncologists are now seeking to shorten that time through clinical trials.

Mar 01, 2020

A pesar de todas las luchas: encontrando esperanza a través del arte

Al desarrollar planes para Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI por sus siglas en inglés), Jon y Karen Huntsman vieron el arte como pare importante de su visión—“asegurarse de que el ambiente ayudara a sanar tanto como la medicina” HCI es el hogar de una colección con calidad de museo de elementos de alfarería, esculturas y pinturas originales—un total de aproximadamente 2,500 piezas. La importancia de esto se aprecia más sabiendo que la colección completa proviene únicamente de donaciones.

Mar 01, 2020

Saving More Than Time: Shortened Radiation Therapy

Traditionally, breast cancer patients who receive radiation get small doses almost daily over a six- to seven-week period. Radiation oncologists are now seeking to shorten that time through clinical trials.

Mar 01, 2020

Navigating Inherited Cancer Risk

After their sister was diagnosed with breast cancer, Juana Cobián and her brother decided to get genetic testing. Genetic testing provides a way for many to understand their risk for developing cancer.

Mar 01, 2020

Despite all the Struggles: Finding Hope through Art

When developing plans for Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI), Jon and Karen Huntsman saw art as an important part of their vision—“to make sure the environment would be as healing as the medicine.” HCI is home to a museum-quality collection of original paintings, sculpture, and pottery—a total of approximately 2,500 pieces. The significance of this is most appreciated knowing that the entire collection comes solely from donation.

Jan 30, 2020

Immunotherapy Leads the Way for Melanoma Treatment

Only a few months after she retired in October 2018, Lynn Walker knew something was wrong with her health. Without any prior history of skin cancers, she learned that she had an advanced form of melanoma that has spread all over her body. Walker worried about the possibility of going through chemotherapy and not surviving the effects of cancer treatment, let alone melanoma. But she soon learned of another approach that held promise for her type of cancer: immunotherapy.

Jan 28, 2020

After Breast Cancer Diagnosis, Many Women Consider Breast Reconstruction

After being diagnosed with breast cancer, Terri Jones had a plan. “When it got to the idea of reconstructive surgery, all I knew is that I didn’t want anything foreign in my body,” Jones said. “I didn’t want implants and I thought that meant I wouldn’t have reconstruction at all.” After speaking to a friend who had breast cancer, Jones learned there are many more options when it comes to breast reconstruction than she realized.

Jan 23, 2020

Dear Blood Donor

When her daughter Ashley was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, Kelli learned just how important blood donors are. In a heartfelt letter she expresses her thanks to the donors who have saved her daughter's life.

Jan 06, 2020

Let’s Raise Awareness of Cervical Cancer

This January, for cervical cancer awareness, let’s take a moment to think about those who faced this disease in the past, those who are currently suffering from it, and those who will face it in the future. I want to tell you, woman to woman, that you are enough. And while you may feel alone and different, there are many of us out here who can relate.

Nov 19, 2019

Caregivers: The Unsung Heroes

Dusty never thought taking his wife, Amber, to urgent care would lead to a cancer diagnosis—an experience that changed his role and their lives.

Nov 11, 2019

Partnering with the VA to Care for Veterans with Cancer

As a veteran, Frank Luthi was familiar with the Department of Veterans Affairs Salt Lake City Health Care System. The VA offers medical care to enrolled veterans at VA clinics and hospitals. This includes primary care visits and other health services. When Frank was diagnosed with cancer, he didn’t realize he could also get treated by Huntsman Cancer Institute physicians at the VA.

Oct 31, 2019

Breast Cancer: Not Just a Women’s Disease

Michael Sheffield was a healthy 45-year old in 2010 when he noticed some pain in his nipple. Not thinking much of it, he waited a few weeks until a routine skin check with his dermatologist. During the appointment, Mike’s dermatologist found a cyst and did a biopsy. A week later when results of the biopsy were back, Mike received unexpected news. He had breast cancer.

Oct 15, 2019

Expecting a Baby, not a Cancer Diagnosis

Sarah was 32 years old and 14 weeks along in her third pregnancy—this time a baby boy. Everything was normal until one day she found a lump in her breast. Sarah had a mammogram and ultrasound-guided biopsy. The tests confirmed the lump was breast cancer. Referred to Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, Sarah traveled from her home in Nevada, leaving her one- and three-year-old behind. Her medical family at HCI included an obstetrician from the University of Utah who specializes in high-risk pregnancy. Limited to certain treatments in order to keep the baby safe, the team decided to shrink the tumor with chemotherapy.

Sep 23, 2019

A Life Changing Cheek Swab

In college Alison Argyle registered for Be The Match, the international bone marrow registry. She forgot about it until one day five years later when she got a call saying she was a match for a woman with acute myelogenous leukemia.

Sep 03, 2019

A Teddy Bear on a Mission of Love

Suzanne Crowther's great-grandchildren wanted to show her their support as she goes through treatment for uterine cancer, so they sent her a special friend to keep her company.

Jul 11, 2019

Finding Comfort through Giving

Audrey Matthews has a unique way of honoring the memory of her daughter Natalie, who died in a car accident at the age of 19. Twice a year, on Natalie’s birthday and the anniversary of her death, Audrey and her family donate quilts through their nonprofit, 19 Quilts for Natalie.

Jul 09, 2019

A Place of Beauty

HCI does not look or feel like a traditional medical facility. It is a warm and inviting space where employees and volunteers bring comfort to every person who walks through the front door. From the building itself to everyone inside, this is a place of beauty, love, and hope.

Jun 14, 2019

Father’s Day and Our Fight Against Cancer

When Ryan Smith's father was diagnosed with cancer, the two of them decided to dedicate themselves to cancer. They committed that if they ever made any more money or had any influence, they would use the platform and money to fight cancer. And they have and will continue to do so with 5 For The Fight, which invites everybody to give $5 for the fight against cancer.

Jun 13, 2019

Grateful to Be a Dad: Celebrating the Opportunity to Have Children after Cancer Treatment

When I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma at the age of 26 it was by far the scariest thing I had ever faced. I had been married for about a year at the time I was diagnosed. At the time I was focused on staying alive, but the incredible team at HCI knew that if being a father was even remotely in the cards (which it was), we needed to take measures to ensure a future family was a possibility.

May 24, 2019

Holding on to Hope

When Davis Moore found out he had metastatic melanoma, he says the fear he felt was debilitating. “I would wake up every morning and remember I had cancer. It felt like a physical punch in my stomach.” He eventually found a way to help him get past the fear: hope.

May 14, 2019

Pushing Up A Hill

Patient and Huntsman Hero Dan Nelson set out to ride the 30-mile segment of the Huntsman 140 in spite of a terminal brain cancer diagnosis. When Dan wasn't sure he could make it up the last hill, his #DanStrong team of family and friends was there to push him to the top. In the hardest of times, Dan and his wife Dianne have never been alone.

May 08, 2019

What's In A Name?

After her mother passed away, Bailey found a unique way to honor a nurse that held a special place in her family's heart.

Apr 28, 2019

A Different Kind of Challenge

If you watch the CBS TV show The Amazing Race, you may recognize me, Connor O'Leary, as the winner of Season 24. But before I even began that incredible challenge, I had already endured another challenge—testicular cancer.

Apr 18, 2019

The Two-Week Rule Saved Her Life

Rebecca Ward went to the dentist for a routine check-up and ended up with a startling diagnosis: oral cancer. After that initial shock, Rebecca went through cancer treatment and became an advocate for oral cancer awareness.

Apr 02, 2019

New Bladder Gives Tom Ramsey a Chance at a Normal Life

With the help of surgeon Christopher Dechet, MD, Tom Ramsey was able to get back to normal life after bladder cancer. Dr. Dechet removed Tom's cancer-filled bladder and created a new one from his small intestine. Now Tom is back to doing all the outdoor activities he loves.

Mar 22, 2019

“What Can I Do With My New Normal?” Positivity and Gratitude Guide Matt Pond’s Life after Cancer

Matt Pond was diagnosed at 35 with a brain tumor that had a 1% survival rate. After life-saving surgery at Huntsman Cancer Institute, Matt relearned how to walk and speak. He learned to read and write again—this time with his left hand instead of his dominant right. Now Matt shares his story of resilience with hopes of inspiring others to remain strong through their life's challenges.

Mar 01, 2019

Advancing Hematologic Cancer Research and Care

The Center of Excellence in Hematologic Malignancies and Hematology at Huntsman Cancer Institute is a group of more than three dozen doctors and scientists dedicated to hematologic cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma. Integration and collaboration across disciplines will improve clinical care and advance research in these complicated diseases.

Mar 01, 2019

A Passion for Advancing Research and Improving Patient Care

HCI patient Clark Stringham felt like he was running out of time with his diagnosis of advanced prostate cancer. He credits a clinical trial and his oncologist, Neeraj Agarwal, MD, with saving his life.

Mar 01, 2019

Space for Emotional Healing: Metastatic Breast Cancer Patient Support Group

Connecting with other cancer patients in a support group can decrease isolation, provide additional support, and help reduce stress, according to Lisa Gauchay, MSW, LCSW, a social worker at Huntsman Cancer Institute. Lisa runs a support group for patients with metastatic breast cancer. The group meets once a month, discussing different topics that include how to cope with grief, bucket list ideas, and the process of dying. Patients who participate in the support group often create lasting friendships by connecting with others who are going through similar experiences.

Mar 01, 2019

Team Jarem: Honoring a Friend, Making History

When family and friends wanted to show support for tongue cancer patient Jarem Hallows, they discovered the Huntsman Sports Festival, which includes the Huntsman 5K running and Huntsman 140 cycling events, and created a fundraising team in 2017. #TeamJarem raised more than $26,000, the largest gift of support ever received for the Head and Neck Cancers Disease Center.

Feb 11, 2019

Invest in Joy

Holly Hagerman, cancer survivor and co-chair of Pink Park City, has always found joy in being active in the mountains. When she stumbled into Pink Vail during a trip to celebrate healing from surgery, she knew she had to bring that joy back to Utah.

Jan 10, 2019

Neal Blair Is Pursuing his Passions after Pancreas Cancer

Neal Blair will be 80 in a few weeks. He recently retired from his work as a political consultant. Perhaps that doesn’t seem so remarkable. But in May 2016, Neal was diagnosed with pancreas cancer. Two and a half years later, he is NED—his follow-up tests show no evidence of disease. And that is remarkable.

Nov 08, 2018

"Our Hope Is Tested, but It Holds On"

Dan Nelson was diagnosed with stage IV brain cancer in 2016. As his caregiver, Dan's wife, Dianne, has been at his side throughout. She shares her perspective, which reveals the power of what it means to be a cancer caregiver and the hope that this role can bring to a loved one who receives a life-changing cancer diagnosis.

Jun 05, 2018

Back on the Slopes after Brain Cancer

John Karg was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a type of brain cancer, early in 2016. His cancer care team at Huntsman Cancer Institute treated the cancer with surgery, radiation, oral chemotherapy, and participation in clinical trials. He’s doing very well with the treatment—his interview for this article happened while he was waiting for the lift lines at Alta ski resort.

Apr 06, 2018

Taking Back Control by Preserving My Fertility

When I was diagnosed with uterine sarcoma, behind all of the distress about treatment was an overwhelming feeling of disbelief that I was about to become infertile at age 28. But being able to retrieve and freeze my eggs before chemotherapy gave me back a little bit of the control I felt was lacking.

Mar 29, 2018

Finding Joy throughout Two Cancer Journeys

“Our perspective was to enjoy life no matter the circumstances. You find joy. Sometimes you have to search under the rug and in the closet, but there’s something to be happy about every day.”

Mar 20, 2018

Physical Fitness for People with Cancer

The POWER Program (Personal Optimism with Exercise Recovery) gives a personalized exercise plan for cancer patients based on diagnosis, treatment type and phase, and fitness goals. For Farley Eskelson, it also gave him the chance to get back to the activities he loves.

Feb 15, 2018

Navigating Cancer at a Young Age

For many of young people, a cancer diagnosis is their first real medical issue. This was the case for Marina Pimentel, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma, a type of blood cancer, at age 26. Marina worked with an AYA patient navigator to help her manage the complexities of cancer treatment and care.

Feb 15, 2018

Total Cancer Care: Coming Together to Find Cures

Christina Ratcliff enrolled in HCI's Total Cancer Care study, a partnership among patients, health care providers, and researchers to help accelerate cancer research and improve patient care.

Feb 15, 2018

High-Tech Equipment and Innovative Therapies

Tommy Tanzer, a resident of Park City, Utah, received three negative prostate biopsies over the course of three years, but he and his doctors still suspected he may have cancer. Tommy then had an MRI-guided biopsy at Huntsman Cancer Institute, hoping there would be a more accurate result. Unfortunately, this biopsy did detect cancer. Fortunately, it was found early enough to treat.

Jan 24, 2018

Kirk Bengtzen's Reason to Give

"One thing is for sure: cancer will affect your life... and the only way we're going to find a cure is by supporting research."

Jan 22, 2018

Partners All the Way

In memoriam. Tom Kursar and his wife, Lissy Coley, are used to working with each other as co-leaders of a research group in the Department of Biology at the University of Utah. So when Tom was diagnosed with pancreas cancer, the couple faced the disease together.

Dec 21, 2017

Dan Hedlund Works to "Get Busy Living" After Cancer

Just three weeks after their wedding in 2007, newlyweds Dan and Melanie Hedlund were in for some startling news—Dan had osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer.

Dec 01, 2017

Facing Cancer with Hope and High Heels

After Emma Houston learned she had breast cancer, the first thing she did was go shopping to buy red three-inch high heels. The shoes became as much a hallmark of her cancer journey as her humor and positive outlook. 

Nov 29, 2017

Losing My Mom and Finding Hope through Stomach Cancer Awareness

This winter, two years will have gone by since my mom passed away from stomach cancer. Through the experience of losing her, I've learned that cancer can be a catalyst for activism. With the help of the entire community, we can raise awareness and fight alongside those suffering from this disease.

Oct 18, 2017

Retreats and Support Groups Offer Space for Emotional Healing

Support groups and special retreats are helpful for many people with cancer. Merica Hale found a healing place to relax and meet women diagnosed with breast cancer who could offer each other support.