Entries in Cancer (18)


"Breaking Bad" Return Episode Dedicated to Teen Who Died from Cancer

Lewis Jacobs/AMC(NEW YORK) -- The return episode of Breaking Bad this past Sunday was dedicated to Kevin Cordasco, a teenage fan of the AMC series who died from cancer.

The episode included an on-screen dedication to the 16-year-old from Calabasas, California, who had been fighting neuroblastoma, an aggressive form of childhood cancer, for several years. Kevin lost his battle on March 11.

Cordasco's father, also named Kevin Cordasco, told The Hollywood Reporter, "He and his friends watched it obsessively and ate pizza in his bedroom. There was something about the Walter White character…the way he took control of his illness, and his life, that really resonated with Kevin."

Before Cordasco passed, he got to meet show creator Vince Gilligan, star Bryan Cranston, and other cast members. Kevin’s father adds, "Bryan and his wife sat for hours at the hospital. They even invited Kevin to the writers’ room. He was beyond thrilled."

Cordasco's parents were grateful the producers made their son's dreams come true before he died, and they plan on continuing the tradition of watching Breaking Bad every week with Kevin’s friends.

Breaking Bad resumed its fifth and final season on Sunday.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Valerie Harper: I Got an 'Amazingly Shocking' Diagnosis

Leslie Nestor Miranda/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) -- Actress Valerie Harper isn't letting her terminal brain cancer diagnosis slow her down.  In a newly-released online video, the Rhoda star is sharing her story in her own words.

"I recently got an amazingly shocking diagnosis from my doctors that I had an incurable, very rare form of cancer. I just wanted to share this clearly and impactfully," she said in the People magazine video released Thursday.

According to People, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Valerie actress received the news on Jan. 15 after a series of tests that revealed that cancer cells had spread into the fluid surrounding her brain.  Doctors told Harper she had a rare condition called leptomeningeal carcinomatosis and only has three months to live.

"I don't think of dying," the 73-year-old actress told the magazine.  "I think of being here now."

Harper, who previously battled lung cancer in 2009, started feeling discomfort in January, including numbness in her jaw, during rehearsals for Looped, her one-woman show.  After three spinal taps, tests revealed the new cancer diagnosis, which is a rare form that only accounts for 2 percent of all cancers, according to People.

In an interview that aired Thursday night, Harper's Mary Tyler Moore co-star Cloris Leachman told the TV show omg! INSIDER that she'd recently spoken to Harper and refuses to think of her as someone who's terminally ill.

"I think of Valerie as the most joyful, spirited, energetic, alive person in the world, my brain won't make any other picture.  It won't.  It just won't process," said Leachman. 

The second part of the interview will air Friday night.

Harper will discuss her diagnosis in an interview on TV's The Doctors set to air Monday, according to The Hollywood Reporter.  She will be joined by her husband, Leachman and Mary Tyler Moore co-star Ed Asner.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Valerie Harper Diagnosed with Terminal Brain Cancer

Leslie Nestor Miranda/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- Valerie Harper, the actress best known for playing Rhoda Morgenstern on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and her own spinoff, Rhoda, has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.

Harper, 73, received the diagnosis on Jan. 15, just days before she appeared on ABC's Good Morning America and described the stroke-like symptoms that sent her to the hospital.

“It was if I had Novocain,” Harper said in the live interview on Jan. 21.  “I thought what the heck is happening to me?”

“I went to the hospital and they couldn’t find much of anything.  Now I’m still awaiting test results,” she said at the time, also adding, “I’m feeling great.”

Harper tells People magazine in its latest issue, on newsstands Friday, that the tests from that January hospital stay revealed she has leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, a rare condition that occurs when cancer cells spread into the fluid-filled membrane surrounding the brain.

According to People, Harper’s doctors have told her she may have just three months to live.

“I don’t think of dying,” the Emmy-winning actress tells the magazine.  “I think of being here now.”

Harper appeared on GMA in January to promote her new memoir, I, Rhoda.  In the book, she revealed for the first time that she battled lung cancer in 2009 while starring in the Broadway show Looped.

“I thought this is just not going to be good for comedy if the audience is out there worrying about their Rhoda,” Harper said of her decision to keep her disease, which she fought with a combination of chemotherapy and radiation, private.

Now Harper, who is married with one daughter, has decided to take her current health struggle public.

“There are moments when she feels extremely sad.  She’s also extremely funny,” J.D. Heyman, executive editor of People, told GMA.  “She’s very, very happy that she’s had the life that she had.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


J.J. Abrams Makes Dying Man’s Wish Come True

Zade Rosenthal/Paramount Pictures(NEW YORK) -- Call it a Christmas miracle: After word spread on social website Reddit that a 41-year-old Trek fan with terminal cancer, named Dan, wanted to see the upcoming Star Trek Into Darkness before he died, his wife reportedly received a call from director J.J. Abrams.

“J.J. Abrams just called Dan’s wife and left a message. He’s going to try to arrange a screening for Dan, either of the film or at least of the 9 minute promo reel,” Dan’s friend, Grady Hendrix, a writer and founder of the New York Asian Film Festival, posted on Reddit Thursday.

The new Trek film is not scheduled for release until May 2013.

“I’ll never say anything bad about J.J. Abrams again. Seriously. He is now beyond reproach as far as I’m concerned,” Hendrix wrote.

A rep for Abrams did not respond to’s request for comment.

Dan, whose last name is unknown, has been battling cancer for several years and only has weeks to
live, according to the original post Christmas Day from his wife and another friend:

“My amazing healthy film buff husband diagnosed with leukemia (CML) at 38 had to endure 3 rounds of chemo before they found a bone marrow donor match had a Bone Marrow Transplant, which was MORE chemo, full body radiation & lots of other horrific things….then endured/survived 3 major infections + a massive GI bleed that put him in the hospital 10+ times over 3 1/2 years not to mention 100′s of doctors visits…. he is my hero; I am his caregiver – I would do anything to help him…. he is now ravaged by a new TOTALLY UNRELATED cancer, (isn’t that a f***er?) an aggressive and EXTREMELY rare vascular tumor that is crowding out his healthy liver tissue… they grew under treatment; there is nothing left to do but make him comfortable, at 41, he is jaundice & his liver is enlarged, his body has had enough, he has weeks to live…”

Dan’s wife went on to say that her husband had planned to see the extended Star Trek preview during a screening of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey but was hospitalized instead.

Thursday, the friend who posted the original plea for help, updated Reddit users with the good news:

“Holy cow everybody!!! I just heard from his wife that they are going to do it!! I don’t know who it what the path was to get there but thank you so much to everyone that tried to help!!!”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Brooke Burke-Charvet Says She Is Cancer-Free

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Dancing with the Stars co-host Brooke Burke-Charvet had great news for her fans on Wednesday, one week after she underwent a thyroidectomy to remove a cancerous nodule on her thyroid.

On her blog, Burke-Charvet wrote, "I just got the results back from all of my tests and great news -- the thyroid cancer has been removed from my body and all my lymph nodes are clear.  So I'm hoping that this is the end of the story.  Woohoo!!!  And thank GOD!"

She later wrote, "Every day I'm feeling better and I'm looking forward to getting back to my usual routine, but with a bit of a different outlook."

Burke-Charvet completed work on the all-star season of Dancing with the Stars a few weeks ago.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


"Hobbit" Star Reveals Cancer Battle

New Line Cinema/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures/Warner Bros. Pictures(LONDON) -- Sir Ian McKellan, who can be seen in theaters starting on Dec. 14 reprising his Lord of the Rings role as Gandalf in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, has revealed he's been battling prostate cancer.

The acclaimed actor, best known for his roles in the X-Men and Lord of the Rings films, revealed he's had the disease for "six or seven years," according to The Sun, but explained, "I am examined regularly and it's contained."

The 73-year-old actor says of his diagnosis, "It's like when you go for an HIV test -- you go 'Argh, is this the end of the road?'  You monitor it and you have to be careful it doesn’t spread."

McKellan explains his doctors decided against any aggressive treatment for now.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Brooke Burke-Charvet Recovering After Cancer Surgery

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Dancing with the Stars co-host Brooke Burke-Charvet says she has undergone surgery to remove a cancerous thyroid and is recovering well.

"Thank God it's over.  I'm clean, surgery went well and I can talk.  Losing my voice was my biggest fear," the mother of four tweeted after surgery.  "Thanks for all your prayers and light."

Still, surgery was tough for the 41-year-old. It "feels like I got hit by a car," she tweeted.

Burke-Charvet announced via YouTube last month that she had been diagnosed with thyroid cancer after a routine physical.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Brooke Burke-Charvet Undergoing Cancer Surgery This Week

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Fans who are used to seeing Brooke Burke-Charvet as the bubbly co-host of ABC's Dancing with the Stars got a different view of the star when she took to the Internet last month to announce she'd be undergoing an operation to remove her cancerous thyroid.

On her Facebook page Monday, Burke-Charvet posted that her operation would be this week, and she's "planning on a speedy recovery."  She also gave a shout-out to her fans.

"What a crazy time, but I am surrounded with love and support and that really makes a world of difference," Burke-Charvet said.  "Thank you for following me and for all your thoughts and prayers.  I feel it, truly, and your energy outweighs my stress!"

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Donna Summer Died of Cancer 'Not Related to Smoking'

Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Donna Summer died of lung cancer, but her condition was “not related to smoking,” according to a statement released by her publicist Friday.

“Although she lost her battle to lung cancer at the age of 63, it was not related to smoking,” the statement said. “Ms. Summer was a non-smoker. Obviously, numerous factors can be attributed to the cause of cancer in general, but any details regarding the diagnosis and subsequent treatment of Ms. Summer’s case remain between her family and team of doctors.”

Summer, popularly known as the Queen of Disco, died at her Naples, Fla. home on Thursday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


The Band’s Levon Helm 'in the Final Stages' of Cancer Battle

Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Recent reports that have been circulating about the deteriorating health of founding Band singer/drummer Levon Helm unfortunately appear to be true.  A message from Helm's wife, Sandy, and daughter Amy has been posted on the revered musician's official website revealing that he "is in the final stages of his battle with cancer."

The note goes on to ask fans to "send your prayers and love to him as he makes his way through this part of his journey."

Sandy and Amy add, "Thank you fans and music lovers who have made his life so filled with joy and celebration... he has loved nothing more than to play, to fill the room up with music, lay down the back beat, and make the people dance!  He did it every time he took the stage."

During the 1990s, Helm was treated for throat cancer, but he recovered from the disease and went on to record a number of acclaimed solo albums, including 2007's Dirt Farmer and 2009's Electric Dirt, both of which won Grammy Awards.

Helm also hosted a regular series of jam sessions called "The Midnight Ramble" at his home in Woodstock, New York, but he had canceled several recently scheduled performances.  He also nixed an announced appearance at New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival later this month.

Levon, of course, was the most recognizable vocalist in the influential Americana group The Band, singing lead on such enduring tunes as "The Weight," "The Night They Drove Ol' Dixie Down" and "Up on Cripple Creek."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio