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NEWS STORIES

New cancer treatment optionSubmitted: 04/04/2014
Story By Dan McKinney


WAUSAU - You can treat cancer many different ways, but a new treatment offered in the Northwoods is having positive results. HDR Brachytherapy is available at Aspirus Regional Cancer Center in Wausau.

It's a type of radiation treatment that cuts down on patient treatment times. It also means fewer visits to the hospital.

"What Brachy means is putting it in contact with in this case with the tumor," says Jeff Masten, Aspirus Chief Physicist. "This is a special technique that's used in gynecological cases in pulmonary or lung cancers sometimes, prostate cancers, and then breast cancer."

Not every type of cancer can be treated with HDR Brachytherapy. The HDR stands for high dose rate. The radiation is so intense doctors can't be in the same room during treatment. Doctors can use the treatment on many different cancers.

"This actually is a robot," says Masten. "We program it so that a runs the source out on a long flexible wire into an applicator which varies depending on the type of cancer we're treating, breast, lung or gynecological or prostate."

Aspirus has been using Brachytherapy since August.




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 IN OTHER NEWS

MADISON - The flu gets the blame for the deaths of three more children in Wisconsin.

That brings the total number of pediatric deaths to five.

The latest report from the state Department of Health Services shows this flu season is second only to 2009, when the swine flu caused the deaths of six children.

In the U.S. this season, Wisconsin is behind only Texas with seven pediatric deaths.

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MADISON - The Republican leader of the Wisconsin state Senate is renewing his call for passage of a right-to-work bill.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald issued a statement Thursday saying debate of right-to-work needs to occur along with consideration of the state budget. Walker will release his budget plan on Tuesday.

Walker has repeatedly said he doesn't want the Legislature to act early in the session on right-to-work, but he also is a longtime supporter of the idea. Walker has also never said he would veto such a bill should it pass.

Right-to-work laws prevent private-sector employers from forcing workers to join a union or pay dues as a condition of employment.

Supporters say it's about worker freedom while opponents argue it will drive down wages and it's bad for the economy.

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MINOCQUA - People in Minocqua brought back a Northwoods tradition this year when they rebuilt the city's giant snowman.

For a few years, the giant snowman didn't get built, because of poor weather conditions.

"Who doesn't love to build a snowman?" asked Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Krystal Westfahl. "And to have the opportunity to build a 30-foot snowman brings out every kid in us."

Volunteers in Minocqua helped build the enormous snowman, named Snowmy Kromer, just outside of the Chamber of Commerce. He used to be built near the Island City Ice Cream store. But this year, they wanted to try a new spot.

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ANTIGO - Social workers in Langlade County describe last year like a flood.

Applications for health insurance swamped Langlade County Social Services.

The county was one of many in the area facing challenges during the first-ever enrollment period after the Affordable Care Act was put in place.

This year's enrollment window ends in two and a half weeks.

It's going much differently.

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MADISON - Members of the Menominee Tribe, southeastern Wisconsin union workers and a bipartisan group of state lawmakers are urging Gov. Scott Walker to reconsider his rejection of a new casino in Kenosha.

Walker rejected the tribe's proposal last week and reiterated on Wednesday that he would not change his mind.

But advocates for the project gathered at the Capitol Thursday to say Walker can still change his mind by the Feb. 19 deadline.

Walker says he can't reverse his decision even if he wanted to.

But Kenosha casino backers say the Bureau of Indian Affairs would be willing to let Walker change his mind. A spokeswoman for BIA did not immediately return a message asking if Walker could reverse course.


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SUGAR CAMP - A recent grant might help students at Sugar Camp Elementary stay healthy this school year. The NFL and the National Dairy Council gave the school a $900 grant last week. The students get in shape by taking part in the Fuel Up to Play 60 program.

"Our kids are tracking physical fitness points and nutrition points every day on the Fuel Up to Play 60 website," said 4th Grade Teacher Robin LeMoine. "They are involved in the 100 Mile Club that we started here this fall, where we're walking one mile every day."

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RHINELANDER - A Northwoods group that strives to help make students job-ready got special recognition from Gov. Scott Walker on Wednesday.

Rhinelander-based Partners in Education, or PIE, was one of 17 individuals and groups honored with the 2014 Wisconsin Financial Literacy Award.

The non-profit started in 2009.

It works with local businesses and community leaders to offer additional educational opportunities for K-12 students in Rhinelander.

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