Get an Inside Look at the Cancer Experience With This Local Podcast

Connected By Cancer, a narrative-style podcast about Northeast Philly's Fox Chase Cancer Center, launches today.

cancer podcast

Connected by Cancer is a seven-part podcast that documents the life of those being treated and working at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Northeast Philadelphia. Episode one is airing today. / Photograph courtesy of Fox Chase Cancer Center

When society talks about cancer, it often reduces the disease to statistics. For instance: Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the United States. In 2019, more than 1.7 million new cancer cases were projected for diagnosis. While these are solid pieces of educational information, they — and other general stats — dehumanize those affected by cancer, turning patients, family and friends, doctors, staff, and survivors into mere numbers.

To help change the way we think about and discuss cancer, Fox Chase Cancer Center created a narrative podcast that gives a voice to those living and working with the disease in the Northeast Philadelphia hospital. Connected By Cancer, a seven-part audio documentary focusing on different aspects of Fox Chase, airs its first episode today.

Part of the Temple University Health System, Fox Chase is a “Comprehensive Cancer Center” designated by the National Cancer Institute, specializing in the treatment and prevention of cancer. Fox Chase’s communications department sought to create a podcast, specifically a story-based one, in order to provide greater understanding of what patients and faculty experience at the center — what senior director, Jeremy Moore, describes as “Fox Chase-ness.” “One of the things we constantly hear from our patients and staff is that Fox Chase is more than just our numbers and credentials,” Moore says. “When you stop and listen to conversations happening inside, you realize there’s a strong, shared mission of forming relationships that go beyond the disease.”

Each of the seven episodes will be released weekly. Episode one is all about the tradition of ringing the bell to signal the completion of a successful treatment. Here’s what you can expect from the rest of “Connected By Cancer”:

  • “Cancer Prevention by the Truckload”: how Fox Chase oncologist Paul Engstrom brings cancer prevention out of the hospital and into the community.
  • “A Magnet for the Best Nurses”: Hear from some of Fox Chase’s 800 nurses on why they devote themselves to caring for cancer patients.
  • “The Seekers”: Discussions with a cancer scientist, researcher, and doctor all hoping to make an impact in the field
  • “84,000 Hours”: a look at the Fox Chase volunteers.
  • “The Doctors Will See You Now”: The podcast asks different kinds of doctors what it’s like to be living and treating in a time where two out of three cancer patients survive.
  • “Bonus extra — Alice Hungerford”: An extended conversation with Alice Hungerford, whose late husband David A. Hungerford discovered the Philadelphia chromosome.

With its focus on telling stories that matter, Fox Chase’s new podcast is intended for any listener who enjoys thoughtful, real-life narratives. “Some people have asked me if we [Fox Chase] are trying to reach a general audience or just the cancer community,” Moore says. “In a country where one in two women and one in three men will develop cancer in their lifetimes, that means the cancer community — patients and those who care for and about them — is pretty much everybody.”

You can listen to Connected By Cancer for free here. It can also be streamed on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.