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Thirty U.S. states have enacted medical cannabis laws, and all but one of them include cancer in the list of conditions allowed. Such laws give cancer patients across the country access to a substance that remains illegal under federal law. Anecdotal reports suggest it’s helpful in managing symptoms of chemotherapy, like pain and nausea.

David Eichel plays games on an iPad while he receives monthly treatment for chronic asthma at Unity Health System.
Sasha-Ann Simons / WXXI News

Video games are often accused of contributing to inactivity, and sometimes for having a violent influence. Studies have shown, however, that gaming can actually provide therapeutic value.

If A New Cancer Drug Is Hailed As A Breakthrough, Odds Are It's Not

Oct 29, 2015

Miracle. Game changer. Marvel. Cure. Lifesaver.

For Dr. Vinay Prasad, each one of these words was a little straw on the camel's back. At oncology conferences, they were used "indiscriminately" to describe new cancer drugs. Journalists bandied them about in stories.

Finally, the pile of hyperbole broke the camel's back.

Cisplatin crystals, a platinum compound used to treat testicular cancer.
Larry Otsby / National Cancer Institute

In the early 1970s, a diagnosis of testicular cancer was practically a death sentence for a man in the prime of his life. Then in 1974, oncologist Larry Einhorn tried an experimental platinum-based chemotherapy on one patient, John Cleland. Cleland's cancer had metastasized, filling his chest with tumors. Amazingly, three weeks after Dr. Einhorn's treatment, all of his tumors were gone.

Update at 3:05 ET: The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled unanimously Thursday afternoon that the state can require Cassandra to continue treatment.

Her mother, Jackie Fortin, said she's disappointed by the decision. "She knows I love her and I'm going to keep fighting for her because this is her decision," Fortin said. "I know more than anyone, more than DCF, that my daughter is old enough, mature enough to make a decision. If she wasn't, I'd be making that decision."

Here's our original story, reported Thursday morning:

Precision Medicine Puts Lung Cancer In Its Sights

Nov 21, 2014
lung cancer scan
Balazs Halmos/Columbia University Medical Center

In the clinic where Balazs Halmos, MD, treats patients twice a week, individuals who have been smokers confront their diagnosis with a sense of guilt, while those with advanced diagnoses believe they have been given a death sentence and think clinicians throw toxic treatments at them to no real effect.

Cancer is still the second most common cause of death in the U.S., behind heart disease. But for many types of cancer, the mortality rate is declining. Scientists say they are on the verge of developing a greater number of treatments for cancer that are more efficient and less toxic, by specifically targeting tumors using genetic analysis.

The lump first surfaced in my breast in 1989, when I was 36 years old.

To many young women, a small lump like that wouldn't be cause for alarm because most breast lumps are benign. But there's a long history of breast cancer in my family, so I immediately consulted a renowned breast surgeon. "It's nothing to worry about," she said. My mammogram was completely normal. She thought the lump was merely normal breast tissue.

But four years later I was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer.

Terminally Ill, But Constantly Hospitalized

Sep 21, 2014

The place: Beth Israel Hospital in Manhattan.

The diagnosis: fast-growing, small-cell lung cancer.

The patient: Paula Faber, unrepentant, life-long smoker.

The choice: treat it aggressively to extend life, but probably not cure the disease, or manage the pain and focus on the quality of life.

It was September 2012 and it was Paula Faber's third cancer in a decade, but she did not hesitate.

"She was going to fight it every inch of the way," says her husband Ron Faber.