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Prostate & Urologic Cancer Center Blog

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Duke Prostate & Urologic Cancer Center 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 faculty and staff. Subscribers are invited to submit story ideas and other news of interest. Email submissions and feedback to Jessica Hyland, Editor-In-Chief.

Adventurer Confronts Daunting Cancer Diagnosis

Ron Deranek, 68, loves the adrenaline a great hike brings to him, and he will travel anywhere in North Carolina to seek out the best mountain-top views. When he committed to hiking the Grandfather Trail at Grandfather Mountain, a 2.4-mile ridgetop stretch to Calloway Peak (better known as the “...

Cancer Survivor Takes Back Control

“We know you have cancer, but we can’t find it,” the doctors told William “Bill” Dillard during the early months of 2014. After five prostate cancer biopsies producing the same, inconclusive results and with his PSA level continuing to rise, Dillard’s urologist recommended he undergo an emerging...

Prostate Cancer Patient Stays In The Game

It’s an early Monday morning as Robert Dixon, 58, strolls into Duke Cancer Center. He greets the staff behind the information desk before heading over to the elevators, descending down a couple floors to clinic 00. Today is his first appointment with his radiation oncologist. A few months ago,...

Farmer Remains True To His Roots During Cancer Treatment

As a child growing up in the 1950s, Ernest “Otto” Griffin, spent a great deal of time outdoors working on his family’s farm in Seven Springs, North Carolina. Those years sparked a love of agriculture in Griffin, who eventually became the head forester at Duke Forest. As famous forester Jack C...

Man Dedicates Life To Moving Research Further

The beeping monitor disrupts the stillness that fills Roger Bryant’s hospital room. Beth, his wife of 23 years, gently caresses his head as she shares stories of his life with the nurse adjusting his pain medication. Every now and then, Roger faintly smiles at something Beth mumbles, silently...

Cycle Coach Inspires Through Personal Cancer Ride

It’s Monday afternoon at the UNC Rex Wellness Center gym and cycling class participants begin to find their way into the bike saddles, readying themselves to push the pedals for the next 45 minutes. The lights dim as Rick Leavitt, 71, finishes lacing up his shoes to lead the ride ahead. It’s go-...

Our Journey with Prostate Cancer

I met Donald “Don” Ward in the spring of 1994 in a Sacred Harp singing group in Palo Alto, California. Over time, we struck up an acquaintance and started dating, and from our first date, we were perfect together. On our early outings, we hiked in the coastal hills between Palo Alto and the Pacific...

Gospel Singer Gives Hereditary Cancer Diagnosis A Different Tune

Every Sunday, you can find Marisha Hargrove, 28, at the front of her hometown church leading the congregation in worship with gospel songs. Marisha’s voice is strong and powerful as she belts out her favorite song “I Don’t Know About Tomorrow,” bringing churchgoers to its feet. The ballad’s lyrics...

For Virginia Man, The New Year Was Nothing To Toast

As a new year ushers in, so does a time of renewed hope and new beginnings. Instead of ringing in the new year as is customary, Curtis Garbett found himself during the waning hours of 2015 learning he had cancer. “I couldn’t believe what I was hearing,” said Garbett. “I was only 39 years old; my...

Genetic Testing Inspires Pioneering Discovery

The Symons family has taken the famous song lyric “from sea to shining sea” to an entirely new level. Rather than simply traveling from state-to-state to see America, the family committed to literally running from coast-to-coast by competing in each of the 50 states. However, along the way they...

Duke Nurse Turned Cancer Survivor

Bethany Clements, 54, has been an oncology nurse at Duke Cancer Institute for the past 25 years. Clements dedicated her career to helping others battling cancer, but in May 2011 she found herself facing her own personal battle with cancer. During one evening work shift, Clements, in an ironic twist...

International Traveler Seeks Out World-Class Care

Allen Spalt is a retired enviromentalist and loving husband, father and grandfather. He’s also the quintessential globe trotter. The 74-year-old Carrboro, North Carolina, resident has traveled to the glaciers of Norway, where he’s seen polar bears up close, and journeyed south to the volcanic...

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