Tag Archive for: liver tumor

November 2023 Digital Health Round Up

Scientists and researchers are using technology to advance the fight against cancer, inventing machines to help with prevention and treatment of the disease. A simple finger stick test has been developed to help brain cancer patients monitor for recurrence from home. Scientists have invented a machine to help produce T cells quickly for immunotherapy treatments. A non-invasive device that uses ultrasound waves offers hope for liver cancer treatment.

Finger-Prick Test Could Help Spot Brain Cancer Recurrence Sooner

Scientists at University of Sheffield and Nottingham Trent University are developing the world’s first finger-prick test to spot brain tumors. More than 300,000 people worldwide are diagnosed with brain cancer each year, and while treatments have improved over the last few decades, recurrence remains a risk. It is a finger-prick test using medical technology of the lateral flow test. This test is easy to use and affordable. It can detect molecules in the blood that are specific to the patient’s tumor so it can catch recurrence early. The risk of brain cancer recurring is significant and can aggressively spread if not caught early. Instead of MRI ‘s every six months, this simple test could be done weekly, at home, to monitor for the cancer coming back.

Machine Can Quickly Produce Needed Cells for Cancer Treatment

In the journal Biotechnology Progress, Washington State University researchers have reported that they developed a mini-fridge sized bioreactor that is able to manufacture the cells, called T cells, at 95% of the maximum growth rate about 30% faster than current technologies. These T cells can be used for immunotherapy treatment to help fight cancer. Cart therapy can be challenging due to the cost and time required to grow the amount of T cells needed. Scientists applied 40 years of research, made this bioreactor using centrifugal force to grow the cells. It is made with a sterile cabinet so it can be used in a bigger variety of circumstances. The scientist’s goal is to make enough cells for three treatments immunotherapy within three days.

This Non-Invasive Device Blasts Apart Tumors with Sound Waves

 This week, the US Food and Drug administration gave the green light to a device that uses ultrasound waves to blast apart tumors in the liver. This technique, which requires no needles, injections, knives, or drugs, it’s called histotripsy, and it’s being developed by a company called HistoSonics. This machine sends high energy ultrasound waves to the tumor and that action makes micro bubbles. When the micro bubbles breakdown, it stresses the tumor cells, causing the tumor to break apart. The small bits are then taken out by the patient’s own immune system, which in turn helps the immune system recognize and remember the cancer cells to help prevent recurrence. The whole process is painless with a faster recovery time. This machine uses imaging and a robotic arm for a more precise aim, saving more healthy tissue.

Millennial Stage IV Colon Cancer Survivor Urges Earlier Screening

Millennial Stage IV Colon Cancer Survivor Urges Earlier Screening from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

 Stage IV colon cancer patient Ashley received her diagnosis at age 33. Watch as she shares her story starting with a routine physical, surgery and treatments that she endured, and lessons learned during her cancer journey.

Special thanks to our partner, Colorectal Cancer Alliance, for helping to make this vignette possible.


My name is Ashley, and I’m from West Virginia but currently reside in Nebraska. In February 2021, I was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer at the age of 33.

I decided I wanted to join the Air National Guard and had to complete a physical examination. After visiting a hematologist/oncologist for dangerously low iron and hemoglobin levels, I went in for a routine physical a few months later. The physician’s assistant found a mass in my stomach area, and they sent me for a CT scan. The next morning, my husband Josh got the call that I missed. The CT scan had shown three different masses – and was likely cancer.

I was dumbfounded, shocked, and then I felt the tears rolling down my face. My doctor informed me, “You need surgery immediately, since the tumors are getting close to completely closing up your colon.” I also had a tumor on my liver.

I had surgery to remove the tumor before it closed my colon, but the surgeon couldn’t get to the tumor on my liver. After surgery, they told me the three most important things to do while there that would get me home sooner were eating with no issues, walking, and having a bowel movement.

Finally after two surgeries where my liver, gallbladder, one-quarter of my colon, part of my small intestines, appendix, two large tumors, and a lymph node that turned into a tumor was removed, as well as 12 rounds of chemo.

I received news in March 2022 that my cancer is back but will not be as aggressive as it was before. I am taking things one step at a time and one day at a time, trying to stay optimistic at each step.

When someone gets cancer – the “journey” is never over. The fear NEVER goes away. Even when you are declared to have no evidence of disease, there is a possibility cancer can come back. And if it does come back, the chance of fighting and winning again gets slimmer.

If you know someone that has cancer – be kind – just because they don’t look sick, doesn’t mean they aren’t having challenges. Just because their numbers and scans are good doesn’t mean they are in the clear for the rest of their life. Always, always – BE KIND!

Some of the things I have learned during my colon cancer journey are:

  • Get your colon cancer screenings on time. Or if you’re too young like me, listen closely to what your body tells you and get annual physicals.
  • Say yes to those who want to help by bringing food, checking in, or donating. We are amazed by the support we’ve received from friends, family, and complete strangers.
  • Fighting the cancer fight is much easier knowing how many people are on our side and how much love there is for us out there.
  • Advocate for yourself! Do research on your specific type of cancer and mutations. If you feel you are being told something that just doesn’t seem right, question it – push the bar until you can’t anymore! There are so many options out there when it comes to cancer and survival, you just need to find the right person that will take care of you!

These actions are key to staying on your path to empowerment.