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Famous Celebrities Who Beat Cancer

Cancer touches everyone. It does not discriminate. It affects mothers, fathers, children, friends, acquaintances, politicians and even celebrities. It can be a tough journey for someone diagnosed with cancer as well as their loved ones going through the battle with them. However, cancer survival rates have improved significantly over the years, which means there are so many more cancer survivors than ever before. reports that approximately 14.5 million people were living beyond a cancer diagnosis in 2014, and that number is expected to reach nearly 19 million by 2024. The following is a list of celebrities who survived cancer and continue to live healthy lives beyond a cancer diagnosis.

Celebrities Who Survived Cancer

Christina Applegate

Christina Applegate underwent a double mastectomy in 2008 after doctors found cancerous lumps. She is currently involved in breast cancer prevention and research, and she even started her own foundation.

President Carter

President Jimmy Carter announced he was diagnosed with melanoma in 2015. He stated that the melanoma had spread to his liver and brain and he was undergoing treatment that included surgery, radiation therapy and immunotherapy. He recently announced that he no longer needs cancer treatment thanks to the new immunotherapy treatment.  

Michael C. Hall

The Dexter actor was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma at age 39. He underwent treatment the day after finishing filming the fourth season of his hit show. He is currently in remission  

Tom Brokaw

Tom Brokaw is a former NBC news anchor. He was recently diagnosed with bone cancer, called multiple myeloma. His doctors say his treatment is making good progress, and Tom made a statement saying “I remain the luckiest guy I know.”

Dr. Drew

Dr. Drew discovered he had cancer in 2011. He had surgery to remove his prostate in 2013 and was able to return to work just 10 days after the prostatectomy.

Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman was diagnosed with skin cancer in 2013. When he was diagnosed, he took an Instagram to encourage everyone to “get yourself checked. And USE sunscreen!”

Sheryl Crow

Sheryl Crow battled and beat breast cancer in 2006. The diagnosis changed her life, and the following year she adopted a son.

Sharon Osbourne

Sharon Osbourne battled colon cancer in 2002. She underwent surgery and chemotherapy, and she has since started the Sharon Osbourne Colon Cancer Program.

Kathy Bates

The Titanic star was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2003 and breast cancer in 2012. She since announced that she is now in remission.

Tom Green

The funny man was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2000. He shared his treatment experience by having MTV film the process. The one-hour special premiered on the station the same year.

Robert De Niro

In 2003, Robert De Niro was diagnosed with prostate cancer and underwent a successful surgery on his prostate, which left him cancer free.

Rod Stewart

Rod was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 1999. In 2000, he underwent surgery and had to re-learn how to sing after the operation.

Olivia Newton-John

She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1996 and has since recovered. She continues to donate large portions of her music profits to cancer organizations.

Stories of survival are meant to inspire us to continue fighting. At Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada, an affiliate of The US Oncology Network and USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, we will continue to fight for our patients each and every day. It’s our mission is to help heal you and to be your biggest ally in the fight against cancer. Visit our website, or call us at 702-952-3350 for more information.


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4 Ways to Help Someone With Cancer

Everyone is fighting a battle most people know nothing about. This is true with those diagnosed with cancer, too. How can you help someone with a cancer diagnosis? More than just being supportive, here are just four ways you can help someone diagnosed with cancer:

Ways You Can Help a Loved One Diagnosed With Cancer

1. Provide a ride to and from cancer treatment.

When diagnosed with cancer, there are bound to be repeated visits to the doctor. These visits include before diagnosis, after diagnosis, before treatment, during treatment, after treatment and so on. Depending on the cancer treatment, some may not be able to drive themselves to and from appointments. This is where you can help out. Giving them a ride and offering support before and after treatment will significantly help someone diagnosed with cancer.

2. Run errands.

When someone is going through cancer treatment, the severity of treatment can often leave people feeling too tired or not well enough to run errands. You can help by buying groceries, picking up dry cleaning, getting the mail, and other small tasks that might require a lot of effort for them but little effort for you.

3.     Coordinate visits by groups and other supporters.

A cancer diagnosis and treatment can be overwhelming. Sometimes, it’s great to have visitors. Sometimes, it’s important to rest. You can help someone diagnosed with cancer by coordinating visits during the times of the day or week that is best for them.

4.     Donate to cancer charity organizations in their name.

Send donations to local charities, national organizations, local blood drives and other special events happening in your community. Show your friend how you are making a difference by donating in their name.  

When a friend or close loved one is diagnosed with cancer, you can do more than offer sympathetic words and hugs. You can offer support by doing some of the everyday tasks that are sometimes more difficult to do with a cancer diagnosis. If they need a ride or the dishes are dirty, you can step up and help. If they are low on food or are running out of dog food, you can take care of it with a lot more ease. The American Cancer Society offers several ideas on how you can help a friend or loved one along their road to recovery.

If you know of someone diagnosed with cancer or need advice on how to help support the fight against cancer, reach out to Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada, an affiliate of The US Oncology Network. Comprehensive Cancer Centers is ready to provide the support and care needed for those with a cancer diagnosis.

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Skin Cancer: When is a Spot More Than Just a Spot?

Skin is the largest organ of the human body, and skin cancer is the most common cancer type in the United States. There are three types of skin cancer that Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada treats. The first two, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, are highly treatable. The third type of skin cancer, malignant melanoma, is the most serious and also the most likely to spread to other parts of the body, which is why checking for signs of melanoma and other types of skin cancer is so important.

How to Check for Skin Cancer and Melanoma

Self Exam

No one knows your body quite like you do. You should know where every mole, mark, blemish and freckle is located. Check your skin often for changes in existing moles or the appearance of new moles.

A skin self-exam is best done in a well-lit area in front of a full-length mirror. You should also use a hand-held mirror to check out all those hard to see areas, such as your back and the backs of your thighs.  For men, about one in three melanomas develop on the back.

Professional Exam

Part of a routine cancer-related checkup includes checking the skin carefully. If you spend a lot of time out in the sun or are at a higher risk for developing skin cancer or melanoma due to family history, your primary care doctor should check your skin every time you go in for a checkup. If your doctor finds an unusual mole, they may recommend seeing a dermatologist for further testing. Dermatologists typically use a technique called dermatoscopy to look at spots on the skin with more detail and will perform a biopsy if necessary.

Signs and Symptoms

It’s important to know the signs and symptoms when checking your own skin for cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, a normal mole is usually an evenly colored brown, tan or black spot. It can be flat on the skin or raised. It can also be round or oval shape. Most normal moles appear at birth or might develop during childhood and young adulthood. Moles that appear later in life should be checked by a doctor or dermatologist. Almost all moles are harmless and completely normal. It’s when they start to change when you should take notice and seek medical advice.

To look for signs and symptoms of abnormal moles that could be skin cancer or melanoma, simply follow the ABCDE rule.

ABCDE Rule for Checking Moles

  • Asymmetry – If one-half of a mole or birthmark is different from the other half, this could be a sign of skin cancer or melanoma.
  • Border – If the edges of a mole are irregular, ragged, notched or blurred, this could be a sign of skin cancer or melanoma.
  • Color – If the color changes and is not even across the mole, including different shades of brown, black, pink, white or blue, this could be a sign of skin cancer or melanoma.
  • Diameter – If the spot grows larger than 6 millimeters across, this could be a sign of skin cancer or melanoma (although some cases are smaller).
  • Evolving – If the mole changes in shape, size or color, this could be a sign of developing skin cancer or melanoma.

Other warning signs of skin cancer and melanoma include:

  • Sore that doesn’t heal
  • Pigment that spreads from the border of a mole or freckle to the surrounding skin
  • Redness or new swelling beyond the border of a mole or freckle
  • Change in sensation – includes itchiness, tenderness and pain
  • Change in surface texture – scaliness, oozing, bleeding or the appearance of a bump or nodule

Sun Safety Tips

  • Use sunscreen with SPF of 30 or higher whenever you go out in the sun.
  • Remember, a sunburn is actually a burn and can cause serious damage to your skin.
  • Reflected sunlight and overcast days can burn you as well. Put on sunscreen whenever you go outside, even if you think the sun isn’t “out,” because it really is!
  • Remember that ball caps don’t protect your ears, sides of face or back of neck. Apply sunscreen to these areas when wearing a hat.
  • Wear protective clothing when out in the sun. That includes sunglasses that protect against UVA and UVB rays.
  • Don’t forget about your lips, feet, hands and under clothing straps! The sun can hit those spots.
  • Seek shade whenever possible, especially during the middle of the day (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) because that’s when the sun’s rays are strongest.
  • Avoid other sources of UV lights like tanning beds and sun lamps.


If caught early, skin cancer is easily treated and highly curable. This is why it’s so important to check your skin regularly and always have a doctor look at new or strange looking skin spots.

Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada’s team of doctors and medical professionals provide world-class medical care and a variety of treatment options for patients with skin cancer and melanoma in southern Nevada and around the world. To ensure our patients get the best treatment possible, CCCN developed and extensive medical research program where we participate in over 170 Phase I, Phase II and Phase III trials each year. Through our research, we have helped develop more than 60 FDA-approved cancer treatments, some of which were approved for the treatment of melanoma.  

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with skin cancer or melanoma, contact Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada, an affiliate of The US Oncology Network, at 702-952-3350. To learn more about skin cancer treatment options, signs and symptoms, and ways to protect yourself from the sun, visit the skin cancer resource page on our website.

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Learn More about CyberKnife© Radiosurgery

Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada is dedicated to providing the best, most progressive forms of cancer treatment to our patients. Our highly trained team of doctors, nurses and medical professionals are on the cutting edge of cancer treatment. One of the most innovative and advanced technology for cancer treatment is called CyberKnife© Radiosurgery, and it’s offered at Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada exclusively by our radiation oncologists.


Las Vegas CyberKnife© opened at Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada’s Summerlin treatment center in 2010, making it the most advanced technology available in southern Nevada. But what is CyberKnife© Radiosurgery?

CyberKnife© technology offers cancer patients a painless and non-invasive form of cancer treatment that requires no anesthesia. Patients who are treated with CyberKnife© Radiosurgery will have shorter recovery times and minimized side effects due to its pin-point accuracy. Why?

With sub-millimeter accuracy, CyberKnife© technology is so advanced that it can deliver high doses of radiation to the tumor site, eliminating damage to the surrounding healthy tissues. The technology’s accuracy makes it possible for patients to complete treatment in a matter of days instead of months of cancer treatment.

Las Vegas CyberKnife© at Summerlin was made possible by the partnership formed between Comprehensive Cancer Centers‘ radiation oncologists, Select Healthcare Solutions and Summerlin Hospital. Visit our website to learn more

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Comprehensive Cancer Centers and Wet ‘n’ Wild Team up for the Summer

It’s summertime, which means it’s time to enjoy all those outdoor activities. While it’s great to get out in the sun, it’s important to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. To help the community stay protected and to promote sun safety awareness, Comprehensive Cancer Centers and Wet ‘n’ Wild Las Vegas have teamed up for the third year to provide free sunscreen to park gusts throughout the summer season. In addition, CCCN and Wet ‘n’ Wild will host an educational, family-friendly event on May 22 at 11:30am.

Staying protected in the sun is one of the best ways you can prevent skin cancer. The ultraviolet rays from the sun are the primary cause of skin cancer, and we want to help you protect yourself with basic sun-safety tips and complimentary sunscreen at Wet ‘n’ Wild.

Sun Safety Tips

Cover Up

When you are out in the sun, make sure to take basic precautions to protect yourself. Wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your head, neck and face from the sun.

Use Sunscreen

When you are out in the sun, sunscreen is an effective way to protect yourself from dangerous UVA and UVB rays. Comprehensive Cancer Centers and Wet ‘n’ Wild will be offering complimentary SPF 30 sunscreen throughout the summer season.  The free sunscreen kiosk is located at the park entrance.

sunscreen kiosk

Seek Shade

Even when you have sunscreen on, it’s important to seek shade when you are out in the sun all day. Sunscreen can wear off over time, so make sure to reapply your sunscreen often and seek shade to avoid getting a sunburn.

Sun Safety Storytime

Comprehensive Cancer Centers is excited to continue its partnership with Wet ‘n’ Wild and to help keep the community safe this summer and all year long.

On Sunday, May 22, CCCN medical oncologist Karen Jacks, MD will take part in Wet‘n’Wild’s summer storytime series, reading the story “George the Sun Safe Superstar” to park guests.

george the sun safe superstar

Storytime begins at 11:30 a.m. inside the park adjacent to the children’s play area. This is a family friendly event and we want you to join us as we help bring sun safety awareness to the Las Vegas community.  


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Cancer Support – Raising Awareness the Right Way

Cancer is a disease that affects us all. One in two men and one in three women will be diagnosed with cancer in his/her lifetime. With more than 100 different types of cancer, each has their own set of risk factors, symptoms and treatment options. Because cancer affects so many, it is important to raise awareness for cancer all year long.

Ways You Can Raise Awareness for Cancer

  • There are different cancer awareness months throughout the year. Follow the Cancer Awareness Calendar, to show your support all year long.
  • Donate. Big or small, every amount counts. You can use the Charity Navigator to find the cancer fighting organizations you would like to donate to.  
  • Join an event. From 5k walks to local fundraising events, there are always cancer awareness events you can join throughout the year. Different organizations have different events, so keep your eyes and ears out for events near you.
  • Take it to social media. Raising awareness doesn’t have to be extravagant or involve a lot of money or time. When you notice a trending cancer awareness hashtag, post about it. Add the cancer awareness of the month image to your profile picture or cover photo. Different cancer fighting organizations have different images you can share. Share interesting cancer news, fundraising opportunities and upcoming events with your social profiles and encourage your friends and family to join too. Don’t forget to follow Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn.

These are only some of the ideas to help support cancer awareness. However, you can get involved with cancer awareness in plenty of other ways.

Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada, an affiliate of The US Oncology Network, has a long history of supporting local and national organizations that promote cancer awareness. For a list of local organizations we support, visit our website. To join us in supporting these organizations, click here to see a list of upcoming events we will be participating in.


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Clinical Trial Research Q&A – Part 2

Continued from Clinical Trial Research Q&A – Part 1

  • If I agree to a clinical trial, do I continue standard of care treatment?

Oscar B. Goodman (OBG): This depends on the individual clinical trial. Phase III studies typically include a group of patients receiving a standard treatment. Some trials allow patients to continue with ongoing standard treatments.

Nicholas Vogelzang (NV): Yes, if you are on a clinical trial, you will still receive the standard of care treatment.

Fadi Braiteh (FB): Each clinical trial has its own design and process. When applicable, standard of care treatment is integrated into the trial itself.


  • If the clinical trial is working, what happens next?

OBG: This, too, depends on the trial. Typically phase I and phase II trials may involve a predefined course of treatment. Phase III trials are different in that the results of the trial may become evident during the early analysis (typically mandated by the FDA to assess the worthiness of continuing the study). If the results are conclusive, the trial may be terminated and patients may be offered the actual drug under an amended trial.  If the trial is deemed futile or harmful to the patient, then it will be halted immediately.

NV: All clinical trials follow a protocol. Those protocols determine what would be a positive result from the trial. The results of the trial will go through different phases of interim analyses to determine with they are reaching the pre-determined goal.

FB: This depends on the trial itself. A treatment will always be discontinued if it’s proven to be ineffective. A trial will be maintained and will eventually lead to FDA approval as long as the patients are benefiting from it.


  • What happens after a clinical trial is completed?

OBG: This also depends on the phase of treatment. In general, if a patient is benefiting on an open-ended trial of any phase, that individual will be allowed to continue treatment until that benefit is lost. Once the trial is complete, the results are compiled and a decision is made by the sponsor (pharmaceutical company or researcher) to move on to the next phase. If phase III, the FDA will grant approval so the drug can become a standard treatment option for all patients.

NV: When a trial is completed, it will go through a major final analysis which takes six to nine months to complete. If the goal has been met, the trial will be submitted for FDA approval. There will be a period of time where the drug is not available to the public because FDA is reviewing the data and making a decision. However, if a patient was on a clinical trial and doing well, they will be able to remain on the trial during this time. Once the trial is approved by the FDA, it will be available to the public.

FB: Once a trail has completed enrolling patients and the data has matured to be analyzed, the study will be published and made public. It will be shared with the community of physicians and scientists through professional conventions around the world. This often leads to a next phase trial, new designed trail and sometimes, it will change practice to become the new standard of care. In fact, every modality of clinical treatment that exists today was once part of a clinical trial where many patients benefited from it before it was approved by the FDA.


  • How do I enroll in a clinical trial at CCCN?

OBG: In order for patients to participate, they must identify a site, typically a medical office, where the trial is being held. Then they must undergo informed consent (which allows the patient to have a full understanding of their options and the specifics of the clinical trial) as well as screening to see if they meet the requirements to participate. Please call 702-952-3350 or visit our website, for more information or to request an appointment. Your oncologist will be able to determine if you might qualify for one of our trials. You can also ask your primary oncologist for a more information about the trials we offer at our practice.

NV: Most patients are sent to Comprehensive Cancer by referral from their primary care physician. Patients can enroll on a clinical trial if they meet all the criteria and they are willing to participate.

FB: Always ask your physician, “What clinical trials are available to me for my condition today?” and/or “Can you recommend that I explore options for clinical trials with a research nurse?” 


  • What do you see on the horizon as the latest and greatest in clinical research?  

OBG: Advanced and incurable cancers are transitioning from life-threatening, imminently ‘terminal” diseases to chronic diseases, like hypertension and diabetes. Combinatorial treatment approaches using targeted and immunotherapies have the potential to cure cancers in the next several years. Clinical trials hold the key to future curative cancer treatment options.

NV: I am most excited about the new diagnostic tests, which will allow us to identify cancer very early. It will essentially be a blood test for cancer. However, this will be enormously challenging because it’s going to signal to the doctor that a patient’s blood test is rising, before it even appears on the x-ray. It’s going to push the envelope to a very significant degree. We will need to have more clinical trials to figure out if it’s better to treat early, when all you have is a blood test, or if it’s better to wait. I am also interested in the new nanotechnology. If we can create nanoparticles that can identify the cancer area only, we can deliver the right drugs precisely to that area.  Both of these are on the horizon, about three to five years away.

FB: Scientific research is the foundation for discovery and progress. In medicine, testing a question which affects the care of a patient is the ultimate way to prove that a drug works. It allows the medical community to select those compounds with proven benefit and reasonable safety to be manufactured and made available to patients.

Conducting clinical trials through our research program provides us with a unique opportunity to offer our community the latest and greatest in cancer treatment. Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada, an affiliate of The US Oncology Network, is dedicated to providing high quality cancer care, and we can’t do that without the advancement of cancer clinical research.

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Message from the Executive Director of Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada

James KiblerComprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada has provided oncology services to Southern Nevada residents and visitors for more than 40 years. James Kilber, Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Executive Director, is proud to lead the award-winning oncology practice in its commitment to providing patients with the “highest standards of care, newest technologies available and access to the latest clinical research in cancer treatment.”

Our oncology services and business practices have earned us many awards and accolades over the years, but what we are most proud of providing the best care possible and putting our patient’s needs above all else.

The physicians and our nursing staff at Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada believes in the foundation of research to further advance patient care and to help develop new cancer fighting therapies. We are dedicated to our patients and committed to advancing the treatment of cancer for our patients.

We have contributed to the development of more than 55 FDA-approved cancer treatments and therapies and participate in more than 170 Phase I, Phase II and Phase III trials every year.

Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada, an affiliate of The US Oncology Network and USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, provides medical oncology, hematology, radiation oncology, breast surgery and pulmonary medicine services to those in need. From local Nevadans to patients traveling from other states, the physicians at Comprehensive are committed to providing the highest quality patient care. As James Kilber states, “[Comprehensive Cancer Centers’] main priority is saving lives through intelligent, thorough and compassionate patient care.”

We are here to save lives—one patient at a time—and we couldn’t do it without the support of our staff, physicians, affiliates and community partners. From our entire practice to you, thank you for allowing us to be part of your cancer-fighting journey.


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