An In Depth Look At Brain Cancer In Eastern Carolina

Brain cancer is a rising issue in America and the impact can be felt right here in Eastern Carolina.

57 year-old Barbara Mills of Ayden was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in November of 2009.

She is one of 22,000 people that is diagnosed with brain cancer annually in the United States.

Mills had surgery in December to remove what doctors say was a glioblastoma multiforme tumor, the most common type of tumor.

Mills has battled through five weeks of chemotherapy and radiation treatments and take nearly 10 pills every day.

But, she says what hurts the most is knowing that brain cancer not only impacts her life, but the lives of those around her.

Mills said, "The hardest part has just been that, what it's done to my family. And, the things they've had to change because of me. Ya, know someone has to stay with me all the time. Someone had to carry me to my treatments, and I can't be left by myself at all."

Patients with glioblastomas normally have a grim diagnosis of 3 months to 3 years, but breakthrough research at the Lineberger Cancer Center in Chapel Hill may change the future. A study was released in late January by Dr. Neil Hayes, which found that glioblastomas have four different subtypes. It was a new discovery that researcher, Katherine Hoadley says could lead to personalized treatments in the future.

Hoadley said, "Hopefully the data that we've generated will help identify better treatments that are more effective in helping improve outcome for patients with glioblastomas."

While there is no concrete data to prove what causes brain tumors, studies from the world health organization have shown that this disease known as GBM, are hitting people of all ages. In the past 20 years, brain cancer in children 15 years-old and young have increase 35 percent.

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  • by Misty Location: Ayden on Mar 5, 2010 at 04:55 PM
    Dave, you did a great job with this segment. I pray that your father will be strong and do well with his fight, please keep me informed. Mama and I are so greatful that we were able to meet with you. It takes a special person to understand what cancer is all about. God is truly in control and I pray that my mom continues to be an inspiration to others while sharing God's glory.
  • by Jacki Location: Pottstown, PA on Feb 20, 2010 at 07:27 PM
    Kudos, David! This is an important subject which absolutely needs more attention and funding for research! I'm proud of you! Aunt J. xo
  • by Marty Location: Stowe, Pa on Feb 18, 2010 at 02:35 PM
    Great story, David! Thank you for educating us on this type of cancer and it's nice to know that advancements are being made.
  • by Anonymous on Feb 18, 2010 at 07:00 AM
    That video was incredible. Of course, we all know cancer is bad, but I had no idea just how bad its getting. I've known at least three people to have GBMs around here. I don't care what the government says, it has to be our environment. Pharm plants dumping all that unused medicine into our water supply. It probably is a little bit do with cell phones also, but communications companies are one of the wealthiest in the world. So, if you create panic like that, there goes business. So, the gov't probably keeps that info under wraps for the sake of the economy. At least people still buy iPhones and Blackberrys in a recession. God Bless Barbara Mills and good job Dave Marcheski on the story.
  • by Mom Location: Wash. on Feb 18, 2010 at 06:41 AM
    My son was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma at 18 months old. He has gone through a lot, including three stem cell transplants!!!!!! He only has a twenty percent chance of survival. He is now three and a half years old!!! God is really watching over him!!!!!
  • by Kim Butler Smith Location: Ayden, NC on Feb 18, 2010 at 06:04 AM
    Mrs. Barbara is my second Mama. She has always been an inspiration to me over the years, but she has truly insired me during her courageous battle with brain cancer. Even on one of her worst days after having treatments, she still maintains a positive attitude. What is even more remarkable is even though she deals with her own battle everyday, she always has time to be concerned about you in your time of need. It is my fervent prayer that Mrs. Barbara will be healed and that God will continue to provide the strength and comfort that her family needs.
  • by Carolyn Smith on Feb 18, 2010 at 04:34 AM
    Barbara Mills is one of the finest people one can meet. She is fighting this disease with all of the might God is giving her. Her family is in this fight with her. She realizes God is in control and she is willing to follow His lead. God Bless you, Barbara.
  • by Lynng Location: eastern nc on Feb 18, 2010 at 03:59 AM
    My father died of this horrible disease - never used a cell phone - according to our research - at this time - there is not one determined cause for this - all I know is this disease turned a very healthy retired Marine into what looked like a holocaust surviver in as little as 3 months. I'm glad research is being done to help those in the future beat dreadful disease.
  • by Mike Location: Edenton on Feb 18, 2010 at 02:53 AM
    Hmmm... Brain cancer rising. Couldn't be electromagnetic radiation from the antenna on those cellphones everyone has stuck to their ears 24/7 could it? NO, of course not! Think about it. Radiation in close proximity to your head. I do know this... If you are in front of a 60 Bravo radar antenna when radiating, it will cook you like a microwave oven from the electromagnetic energy.

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