News Local/State

Living With Cancer In Central Illinois: Diagnoses & Decisions


On Thursday night on WILL-TV doctors, families and cancer survivors came together in the WILL studio for a half-hour community conversation: Diagnoses & Decisions, hosted by Illinois Public Radio’s Amanda Vinicky.

She talked with people who have faced challenging decisions because new bio-technology and research make more information available to patients. Breast, ovarian and pancreatic cancers all have been linked to gene mutations. Other types of the disease also appear to be more common in some families. Some people choose not to know if they carry a specific gene. Others learn they carry a marker for cancer, and make the difficult decision to undergo preventive surgery while they’re healthy. Advances in screening, medicine and surgery allow patients to make individual decisions about their treatment that were unheard of a decade or two ago.

Vinicky discussed the issues with panelists including Dr. Rohit Bhargava, bioengineering professor at the U of I; Dr. Jo-Mel Labayog, oncologist and medical director of Presence United Samaritans Cancer Center in Danville; and Presence oncology RN Barbara Bello.