A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky Cancer Foundation executive director’s own cancer battle inspires him to help others

By Grace Colville University of Kentucky Jack Hillard of Lexington has dedicated his life to supporting cancer patients. When he became one, he didn’t let that stop him. Hillard’s journey with cancer started in 1993, when he was diagnosed with large granular lymphocytic (LGL) leukemia. Thankfully, he received an early diagnosis and has been able to keep the leukemia at bay with medication for over...

Kentucky by Heart: ACTION program offers resources to Appalachian students pursuing medical careers

By Steve Flairty KyForward columnist Cancer. The case could be made that Kentucky is home to some of the worst concentrations of the disease (more accurately, “group” of diseases) in the United States. According to a 2019 American Cancer Society report, the state has over 26,000 new cases and more than 10,000 cancer-related deaths per year. It is especially serious in the fifty-four Appalachian...

Stacy Stanifer: As pandemic keeps us home, risk of exposure to cancer-causing radon gas increases

This year alone, approximately 4,890 Kentuckians will be diagnosed with lung cancer, yet the disease remains highly preventable. While nearly 80 percent of lung cancers are caused by tobacco smoke, exposure to radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer, accounting for approximately 21,000 cases of lung cancer each year in the U.S. Radon gas exposure is an invisible threat to your health,...

Murray writer, KyForward columnist releases latest book, the spoken word opera, The Way Home

The Way Home, by Murray writer and KyForward columnist Constance Alexander, has been published by Finishing Line Press of Georgetown. The spoken word opera was inspired by a collaborative project on end-of-life issues between Alexander and WKMS-FM, the National Public Radio affiliate in Murray. Throughout the project, Alexander interviewed two women, one from Murray and the other from Trigg County....

Markey Cancer Center surgeon Dr. Tim Mullet begins term as chair of National Commission on Cancer

By Allison Perry University of Kentucky The University of Kentucky’s Dr. Tim Mullett wears many hats: doctor, medical director, thoracic surgeon, retired U.S. Army Reserve colonel, cancer survivor, father, grandfather and husband. The desire to serve motivates him in nearly every aspect of his life, from his 27 years in the Army Reserve to his efforts to reduce the significant burden of cancer in...

Louisville-based nonprofit Hope Scarves provides support for patients at UK Markey Cancer Center

By Allison Perry and Laura Ross University of Kentucky Scarves and stories of hope are easing the paths of cancer patients at the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center. Hope Scarves, an international nonprofit based in Louisville, is partnering with UK Markey Cancer Center to provide a little hope and sunshine for patients facing cancer. UK Markey Cancer Center is the first Lexington-area cancer...

A personal journey through prostate cancer, which needs as much a spotlight as breast cancer in women

By Steve Ranson Kentucky Health News Prostate cancer is to men as breast cancer is to women. The second-leading cause of cancer deaths in men comes from a small gland located between the bladder and the penis. If not monitored or treated, prostate can be a killer. Likewise, the No. 2 cause of cancer deaths in women is breast cancer. So what’s the difference? Over the years, more awareness has been...

Toxic chemicals known as PFAS detected in many of Kentucky’s municipal water treatment plants

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service Chemicals called PFAS have been found in Kentucky’s drinking water. Known as emerging contaminants, PFAS are found in the Teflon in non-stick cookware, food bags, some brands of dental floss and in fire fighting foam. There is evidence that PFAS can accumulate in the body over time, and are linked to cancer and disruption of the thyroid and immune system....

Markey Cancer Center hosts inaugural summer residential program for high school students

By Haylee Abrams University of Kentucky Natalie Barker was a little shocked when she first learned that Kentucky ranks first in the country for cancer incidence and mortality. However, the Elliott County teen says she had a quick realization – the problem of cancer hits very close to home. “The more I thought about it, the more I realized I don’t know a person in our community who hasn’t been...

Kentucky by Heart: Justin Evans’ positive attitude helps through cancer treatments; back to old self

By Steve Flairty Special to KyForward For the regular customers at the Richmond Road Panera Bread, in Lexington, they could tell something wasn’t right with the store manager, Justin Evans. Justin tried to be his usual jovial and upbeat self, but it was a struggle, especially to do so for a nine-hour shift. Truth be told, it just might have had something to do with the chemo treatments he was undergoing...

Appalachian residents more likely to die from smoking-related diseases; how to decrease smoking

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News It’s well documented that people in Appalachia die sooner than other Americans, and are more likely to die from smoking-related diseases. It doesn’t have to stay that way; a new report offers a detailed list of strategies and policies proven to decrease smoking, the cause of many premature deaths. The report was created by Appalachian Regional...

Linebacker Josh Paschal returns to play in last football home game of the year after battling cancer

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Josh Paschal never knew if he would play football this season or ever again after being diagnosed with malignant melanoma nearly three months ago. He returned on Kentucky’s last home game of the year. 
One of Kentucky’s most promising defensive players, the sophomore linebacker spent most of his second season with the Wildcats developing a treatment plan, while...

Louisville area business leaders to join American Cancer Society for Real Men Wear Pink campaign

Men from Louisville and southern Indiana will unite to fight breast cancer with the American Cancer Society through participation in the Real Men Wear Pink campaign. In addition to wearing pink and raising awareness about breast cancer, these men will be raising funds to help the American Cancer Society attack cancer from every angle and save more lives from breast cancer. The campaign kicked off...

Lexington to serve as stop on 100-mile walk to raise awareness of firefighter cancer, PTSD and suicide

The Kentucky Fire Commission will serve as one stop on a six-day walk that began Sunday to help raise awareness about the leading causes of firefighter deaths in the United States. The Kentucky Fire Commission will host participants of the My Brother’s Burden walk at noon on Friday at its offices in Lexington, at 118 James Court. The day prior, the group will be at the Scott County Fire Department,...

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...