A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

First Combat Challenge Fundraiser to raise money for Lexington fire, police families battling cancer

Proof Fitness partners with White, Greer and Maggard Orthodontics to present the inaugural Proof Fitness Combat Challenge, a fitness and endurance competition between two teams representing Lexington’s Fire and Police departments with the mission of supporting Lexington Fire and Police families who have a child fighting against cancer. “We are excited about this community event hosted by Proof,”...

University of Kentucky’s Career Training in Oncology Program preparing next generation of cancer fighters

By Allison Perry and Alicia Gregory Special to KyForward For Carrigan Wasilchenko – and so many others hailing from Eastern Kentucky – cancer is not just a public health issue. It’s also a problem that hits far too close to home. “I don’t think I know one person who doesn’t know someone who’s been affected by cancer in some way,” said Wasilchenko, whose mother...

Advertising campaign for cigarette-tax hike will remind Kentuckians of the damage done by smoking

By Al Cross Kentucky Health News Kentuckians will be reminded of their state’s suffering from smoking in a way not seen before, a $100,000 advertising campaign advocating a $1-a-pack increase in the state cigarette tax. Television commercials, billboards, digital media and print ads from the Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow use health concerns as the reason to raise the 60-cent tax to $1.60,...

Kentucky Bluegrass Cannabis launches statewide grassroots campaign to promote medical marijuana

Kentucky Bluegrass Cannabis, LLC has launched a statewide grassroots campaign seeking to pass legislation that will legalize, regulate, and tax medical marijuana in Kentucky. The campaign – known as Compassionate Access and Relief Effectiveness (CARE) for Kentucky – advocates that citizens and policymakers support legislation currently before the Kentucky General Assembly to legalize medical cannabis. The...

Kentucky moves up slightly in America’s Health Rankings, but there’s little reason to celebrate

Kentucky moved up three notches in the latest America’s Health Rankings, from 45th to 42nd, but its improvement stemmed mainly from gains in the factors that determine health, not the actual health outcomes. The state was 39th in health determinants (clinical care, policy, community and environment) but 46th in outcomes, such as the death rate from cancer, which is the nation’s worst. That...

Secretary of State’s Medical Cannabis Task Force discusses concepts of 2018 Legislative proposal

Members of Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes and Rep. John Sims’ medical cannabis task force on Thursday discussed the concepts of a legislative proposal for the 2018 legislative session. The legislation is anticipated to be bipartisan. “In the weeks since we announced this effort on medical cannabis, I’ve heard the stories of Kentuckians in every part of the state – countless...

University of Kentucky study shows lower lung cancer rates in cities with tougher smoke-free laws

A recent study by University of Kentucky BREATHE (Bridging Research Efforts and Advocacy Toward Healthy Environments) researchers shows that fewer new cases of lung cancer were found in communities with strong smoke-free workplace laws. The study, “Lung Cancer Incidence and the Strength of Municipal Smoke-free Ordinances” was published in Cancer, an American Cancer Society journal dedicated...

Secretary of State meets with advocates to discuss ‘patient-centered’ medical marijuana legislation

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes on Tuesday initiated discussions about Kentucky medical marijuana legislation with a panel of experts and advocates in Frankfort. Grimes announced the effort last week. “I came to Frankfort to help people, and there are thousands of Kentuckians who need and are begging for medical marijuana to help ease their pain,” said Grimes. “Today’s...

Secretary of State convening task force to propose legislative action to legalize medical marijuana

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is convening a task force of Kentuckians to focus on a legislative proposal to legalize medical marijuana in Kentucky, Grimes announced Wednesday. The group will also study and propose potential implementation and regulation processes. “Too many Kentuckians are suffering from debilitating physical and mental illnesses. Most have lived with the effects...

Constance Alexander: Cancer no longer a word that must be spoken in a whisper or with shame

When I was in fifth grade, my mother had cancer. The three older children in the family were already out of the house – two in college, and the oldest married with one little girl. Still at home, my sister Jeanne and I were left to tread the tides that churned up daily turmoil and intermittent confusion about what it meant for a family to contend with serious illness. After all these years, it is...

Josh Blair: Breast Cancer Awareness hits close to home; too many loved ones are lost to the disease

October brings thoughts of apple cider, pumpkin pie, and football But it’s also a time to reflect on something more important: breast cancer. Every year, October is designated as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This topic hits close to home for me. Last March, I lost my stepmother, Lucinda, to breast cancer. It was her second fight with the terrible disease and unfortunately this time she didn’t...

Empowerment Series for Women to address fears, uncertainties associated with cancer diagnosis

A cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming. The Empowerment Series for Women with Cancer is designed to help free women diagnosed with cancer from stress and fear as much as possible and provide answers to many of their questions. This free series of programs, sponsored by Baptist Health Lexington, gets underway Tuesday, Oct. 10 at 6 p.m. at Central Baptist Church, 110 Wilson Downing Road in Lexington. The...

With cancer in the rearview mirror, it’s back to school time once again for Versailles teacher Erika Carter

By Samantha Almeida Special to KyForward Dealing with a classroom full of rowdy second-graders can be taxing on even the most patient, energetic individual. But for 42-year-old Versailles schoolteacher Erika Carter, her real challenges have happened outside the classroom. In the summer of 2015, she visited her doctor for her regular yearly checkup and bloodwork, which yielded some bad news: an anomaly...

Constance Alexander: Book detailing recovery from cancer provides a message of hope to McCain family

Thanks to complicated surgery, aggressive chemotherapy and rigorous rehabilitation, Lisa Reisman survived a deadly glioblastoma multiforme when she was 32. GBM, as it is called, has a median survival rate of one to two years. Nonetheless, 19 years later, she has defied the statistics. Her book — “5 Months 10 Years 2 Hours” – covers the details of her devastating diagnosis and chronicles...

Not just for pain relief and fever anymore, regular use of aspirin could reduce your risk for cancer

By Jill Koselar Special to KyForward Most of us have likely taken aspirin at some point in our lives for a common minor ailment like headaches, fever or muscle cramps. Research has also shown this drug to be an effective part of treatment for heart attacks and strokes. But more recent research on aspirin suggests it may be beneficial in yet another way — by reducing the risk of developing and dying...

Bluegrass & Backroads: Hope Scarves supporting cancer patients through stories and encouragement

Hope Scarves was created to capture the stories of courageous women and encourage others by passing along scarves and stories of hope to those diagnosed with cancer. Learn more about how a small idea in Louisville expanded to a national stage. Learn more at: hopescarves.org. Kentucky is a state defined by its history and noted for a number of things, not the least of which is horse racing, bourbon,...

UK study unveils novel link between cell polarity and cancer-associated inflamation

By Allison Perry Special to KyForward A new study led by University of Kentucky Markey Cancer researchers and published in the Journal of Cell Science establishes a novel link between cell polarity and cancer-associated inflammation. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are reactive molecules and free radicals derived from molecular oxygen, and they are part of the immune system’s “killing response”...

Colorectal cancer is preventable — here are some steps to reduce your risk from AICR

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States but it is also one of the most preventable. Research shows that Americans can prevent tens of thousands of colorectal cancer cases every year through diet, physically activity and weight management, say experts at the American Institute of Cancer Research (AICR).   “By making a few changes in what you eat and drink, and getting...

Rural Blog: Cancer death rates rising in Appalachia; six Kentucky counties among highest in study

In poor counties with high rates of obesity and smoking cancer death rates rose by about 50 percent from 1980-2014, says a study by researchers at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. While cancer mortality rates declined 20.1 percent during the study period, death rates remain high in some rural...

Getting people screened still most critical part of puzzle in Appalachia’s battle against cancer

Leaders of the National Institutes of Health spent several days last week in Hazard with Fifth District U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers and local health leaders to examine efforts to combat high rates of cancer and substance abuse in Appalachian Kentucky. “Cancer rates in the region have been something we have been battling for many years and in more recent years this region has become...