Tess Francke

Tess Francke

Tess Francke is a freelance journalist and marketing specialist who has spent her career at the intersection of media, writing, design and health research. You will find her bylines in the National Foundation for Cancer Research blog and Research to Remission quarterly oncology magazine. She is a proud Detroit native with the mission is to facilitate the vital connection between populations and health information. She loves teaching fitness classes and her daily yoga practice.

Latest MedTruth Work by Tess Francke

Dark Waters film banner

‘Dark Waters:’ A True Story of Toxic...

Tess Francke · May 8, 2020

The corrupt story of water pollution in America unfolds in the 2019 film 'Dark Waters' from the perspective of a Cincinnati attorney played by Mark Ruffalo, who comes to the gut-wrenching realization that mega-corporations dump hazardous waste into water sources.

Health Features
Screengrab from the movie Osmosis Jones.

What We Can Learn From 'Osmosis Jones' D...

Tess Francke · March 27, 2020

'Osmosis Jones,' a 2001 movie, provides insight into how the human body fights pathogens, plus tips on how to stay healthy and other fundamental topics that can help us better navigate the coronavirus pandemic.

Health Features
Simulation of a COVID-19 virus representing how ibuprofen/Advil interact with the coronavirus.

Does Advil Worsen Coronavirus Symptoms?

Tess Francke · March 23, 2020

Though there’s no research specifically on ibuprofen and COVID-19, according to French Health Minister Olivier Véran, drugs like ibuprofen and aspirin prolong coronavirus symptoms, and he recommended acetaminophen (Tylenol) instead.

Research + Findings
Small pieces of plastic in a mesh sifter taken out of the ocean, representing our exposure to microplastics.

6 Simple Ways to Reduce Your Exposure to Microplastics

Tess Francke · March 9, 2020

Invisible pieces of plastic hide in everyday household dust, shampoo, toys, soup can linings, electronics, cosmetics and numerous other products.

Health Features
Man with brain fog covering face with hands, experiencing fatigue and inflammation.

Does Chronic Inflammation Cause Mental Fatigue?

Tess Francke · January 29, 2020

A study on inflammation and fatigue reveals that a specific brain network is affected by inflammation, which could lead to brain fog, a symptom experienced by many autoimmune disease patients.

Research + Findings
A black and white photo of the tools in the OncoGenesis cervical cancer screening test which can be taken at home due to improving technology

iPap: The Emerging Future of Cervical Cancer Screening Technology

Tess Francke · January 21, 2020

A new, at-home cervical cancer screening test may just revolutionize early detection, especially in international markets that lack the infrastructure to provide easy access to doctors and regular pap smear tests.

Women's Health
Mother holding child whose hand is under tap water contaminated with PFAS.

Is Your Drinking Water Contaminated With Toxic PFAS?

Tess Francke · January 14, 2020

PFAS, a group of synthetic chemicals, have reached toxic levels of contamination in drinking water sources in the U.S. Consumer products such as pans and rugs may contain PFAS as well.

Research + Findings
Person reading a book about chronic illness.

6 Books and Films for Navigating Life with Chronic Illness 

Tess Francke · January 8, 2020

In addition to a network of support, books and films can help those suffering from a condition cope. These resources are tailored to chronic illness sufferers, as they all highlight particular chronic conditions.

Health Features
A photo of an FDA-recommended disposable duodenoscope, prior to recommendations to use disposable duodenoscopes.

FDA Encourages Use of Disposable Duodenoscopes

Tess Francke · November 18, 2019

Traditional duodenoscopes may cause infection. The FDA recommends hospitals transition to disposable duodenoscopes and warns against illegal ATP test strips used to determine cleanliness.

FDA Regulation
A photo of a nurse checking a breast cancer patient's lung inflammation in relation to Ibrance, Kisqali and Verzenio.

FDA Warns of Lung Inflammation Caused by Breast Cancer Drugs

Tess Francke · October 31, 2019

The FDA warns patients of lung inflammation caused by breast cancer medications Ibrance, Kisqali and Verzenio.

FDA Regulation
Illustration of IUD

Five Questions to Ask Your Doctor Before Getting an IUD

Tess Francke · October 17, 2019

There are many options women consider when exploring birth control methods. Here are the questions you should ask your doctor when considering getting an IUD.

Health Features
Bottle of opioid pills representing Johnson & Johnson $20.4 million settlement with Ohio Counties

Johnson & Johnson Reached $20.4 Million Settlement With Ohio Counties in Landmark Opioid Case

Tess Francke · October 9, 2019

Johnson & Johnson reached a $20.4 million settlement with Cuyahoga and Summit counties in Ohio. The company resolves all claims by the counties without admission of liability.

Legal Developments
Photo of Cancer Patient as she Enters Data into New Patient Reporting Technology Noona for Remote Care in Rural Areas

New Patient Reporting Technology Empowers Cancer Patients, Offering Remote Care

Tess Francke · October 8, 2019

Recent studies have found that rural cancer patients face challenges in accessing quality care over their metropolitan counterparts, which may impact life expectancy. Noona, a new system designed to provide cancer patients care and symptom assessment from the comfort of their own home, may just change that.

Person watching the Netflix docu-series Diagnosis on a laptop

Friday Film: 'Diagnosis' on Netflix Explores Medical Mysteries

Tess Francke · October 7, 2019

In Netflix's docu-series Diagnosis, New York Times columnist Dr. Lisa Sanders uses the power of writing and the internet to connect the dots for people with undiagnosed and mysterious medical conditions. Each episode tracks the story of a patient with a rare case who is seeking answers to what is causing their symptoms.

Health Features
A gavel illustration representing the J&J Opioid Damages in Oklahoma

Judge Orders J&J to Pay $572 Million to Remediate Opioid Damages in Oklahoma

Tess Francke · September 5, 2019

After a nearly two-month trial, Judge Thad Balkman of Cleveland County District Court ruled Johnson & Johnson had intentionally played down the dangers and oversold the benefits of opioids. The company will pay $572 million for the community destruction caused by prescription painkillers.

Legal Developments
A photo of a couple watching Ann Curry's

Friday Film: Chasing the Cure, A Docu-Series About Medical Mysteries

Tess Francke · August 9, 2019

Produced by journalist and former "Today" anchor, Ann Curry, the docu-series "Chasing the Cure" follows unsolved medical mysteries in the hopes of getting diagnoses for those who live with them. Each episode invites viewers to provide insights, making for a show with a real capacity for impact.

Health Features
A photo of a researcher holding a beaker of water, representing PFAS, the toxic chemical that is found in drinking water.

PFAS: The Forever Chemical in Drinking Water?

Tess Francke · July 24, 2019

PFAS describes class of over 3,000 chemicals that are used in textiles, paper products, firefighting foams, and industrial processes. Known for being grease and water-resistant, these chemicals are only just beginning to be recognized and studied for the environmental and health risks they may pose.

Health Features
An elderly woman taking a deep breath, representing breathomics, a new non-invasive cancer detection method.

Deep Breath, the Future of Non-Invasive Cancer Detection Is Here

Tess Francke · July 8, 2019

Cancer detection may have just become much easier with a new non-invasive approach that new companies are exploring. Owlstone Medical has pioneered "breath biopsy" - a diagnostic tool they call "a breathalyzer for disease." Using breathomics, they're able to identify disease with breath tests alone.

Image of ovary under microscope in a laboratory after ovarian cancer cells show mutation from talc exposure.

In the Lab: Ovarian Cancer Cells Show Mutation from Talc Exposure

Tess Francke · June 24, 2019

The link between talc powder and ovarian cancer has been warned about for years. Now, a recent study identifying evidence of cell mutation shows the way talc powder promotes the generation of ovarian cancer cells. This is the first study to confirm the cellular effect of talc.

Research + Findings
A couple with diabetes learning about the Diabetes Support Project

Diabetes Support Project: How Support from Spouses Benefits Diabetics

Tess Francke · January 23, 2019

The Diabetes Support Project shows the impact and benefits of involving spouses and significant others in the treatment of type 2 diabetes patients.

Health Features
A photo of woman getting blood tested after researchers reveal new blood test for cancer detection.

Researchers Develop New Blood Test to Detect Cancer in 10 Minutes

Tess Francke · April 11, 2019

It's a quest to detect multiple types of cancer in its early stages with the simple blood test that would take under 10 minutes to report results. Researchers say it will be at least five years before there is sufficient data to show whether it can work.

A photo of a woman in a wheelchair and her caregiver looking out the window wondering about stroke and death associated with Lemtrada for MS.

FDA Warns of Stroke and Complications with Lemtrada for MS

Tess Francke · December 6, 2018

The FDA is warning Lemtrada consumers about cases of stroke and blood vessel wall tears in the lining of arteries in the head and neck, called arterial dissection, that lead to permanent disability or death.

FDA Regulation
Portrait of woman thinking about healing after a hysterectomy

How to Find Healing After a Hysterectomy

Tess Francke · January 28, 2019

As many as 60,000 hysterectomies are performed each year. Despite how common they are, healing after a hysterectomy is no easy feat.

Women's Health
Photo of tampons following question

Are Tampons Safe?

Tess Francke · April 3, 2019

Nearly 85 percent of menstruating women in the United States use tampons. The average woman will purchase 11,000 tampons in her lifetime, yet millennials are increasingly opting for other feminine hygiene options. But why?

Women's Health
A photo of a woman putting lotion and sunscreen on her face to protect her skin in the summer.

5 Ways to Protect Your Skin This Summer

Tess Francke · May 21, 2019

One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Though that statistic can be intimidating, skin cancer is preventable. Here are five tips you can embrace to better protect your skin this summer.

Health Features
A photo of an older woman holding a piece of fruit, working with her husband to treat depression with diet.

Food and Mood: How to Treat Depression With Diet

Tess Francke · May 29, 2019

In the average lifespan, 60 tons of food will pass through the GI tract along with microorganisms from the environment. The gut has a big job, so it's no wonder diet can drastically impact wellbeing. Recent science suggests it's a perfectly effective regulatory solution to treat depression with diet.

Health Features
A photo of two children's silhouette while playing in the water at sunset, representing the neglected tropical disease act.

Bill Proposed to End Neglected Tropical Diseases

Tess Francke · May 20, 2019

The End Neglected Tropical Diseases Act, bill H.R. 826, deals with a group of 17 parasitic, bacterial and viral diseases. The bill intends to assist the 1 billion of the world’s poorest people affected by these illnesses.

Laws + Congress
Photo of girl blowing her nose as FDA approves first news Flu Treatment in Nearly 20 Years.

FDA Approves First New Flu Treatment in Nearly 20 Years

Tess Francke · November 6, 2018

A single-dose flu pill, Xofluza, is the only new flu treatment approved by the FDA in nearly 20 years. The medication could cost between

FDA Regulation
A photo of an open prescription pill bottle as the Prescription Drug Price Relief Act of 2019 aims to reduce prescription drug costs.

Could New Legislation Cut Drug Prices in Half?

Tess Francke · April 25, 2019

The Prescription Drug Price Relief Act of 2019 intends to end manufacturer monopolies and create a database of drug prices. Americans won't pay more for prescription drugs than the median price of the five major countries, such as Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Japan.

Laws + Congress
A photo of an cancer patient suffering in silence when sexual health goes unaddressed with healthcare professionals.

Why Ovarian Cancer Patients and Doctors Should Discuss Sexual Health

Tess Francke · May 9, 2019

A study published in the British Journal of Cancer investigated how doctors and nurses discuss sexual health with ovarian cancer patients in Leeds, England. Researchers found that a majority of doctors think sexual health should be discussed, yet less than one-quarter actually address it.

Women's Health
 Illustration of Nurse holding syringe of Zostavax Shingles Vaccine before elderly patient despite potentially dangerous side effects.

Common Side Effects of the Zostavax Shingles Vaccine  

Tess Francke · September 27, 2018

The Zostavax shingles vaccine is generally safe and administered with no side effects, though some individuals have filed lawsuits alleging it may cause vision and hearing loss.

Health Features
A photo of a beautiful and bald black woman after undergoing chemo with chemo drug Tasigna.

Canadian Warning for Chemo Drug Tasigna Differs from U.S. Label

Tess Francke · September 19, 2018

In 2013, Health Canada warned its citizens about a potentially deadly cardiovascular side effect linked to a chemotherapy drug.

FDA Regulation
Tea for Diabetes

Spilling the Tea on How to Prevent and Manage Type 2 Diabetes

Tess Francke · January 16, 2019

Tea has excellent benefits for people with type 2 diabetes. The best tea for diabetes is high in antioxidants, such as green tea, black tea and rooibus tea.

Health Features