January 12, 2015 |
Josh Cassidy always looked up to his older brother, Eric, as a basketball player and as a basketball coach. But when their mother, Deborah, got breast cancer, Josh developed a deeper appreciation for the oldest of the family's four siblings. "He didn't show much because he knew he had to be strong for us," Josh Cassidy said of Eric Cassidy. "He was the rock. He was the one we all could count on. " The brothers are young adults who have dedicated their lives to teaching and coaching.
January 5, 2015 |
It seems counterintuitive, but detecting breast cancer early is not automatically a good thing. That dilemma is at the heart of the never-ending debate over starting mammography screening before age 50. Now, a team led by obstetrician-gynecologist Margaret Polaneczky has developed an interactive online tool to help women in their 40s who are not at high risk of breast cancer decide when to start - and how often to get - mammograms. The "decision aid," at http://bsd.med.cornell.edu , provides objective but individualized information based on the woman's own breast cancer risk and preferences.
December 13, 2014 |
Feeling at the very peak of health, Lynn Marks couldn't have been more surprised when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. "I was kind of blown away," she recalled. And with no connection to other breast-cancer patients, she felt isolated. Fifteen years later, Marks, 65, of Center City, the executive director of Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts, knows that others are literally in the same boat, specifically one that dates to ancient Chinese tradition. She is a member of a dragon-boat crew, Against the Wind, made up of breast-cancer survivors.
November 12, 2014 |
IF YOU SHOWED up at Ruth Boston's home on a Sunday morning before church, you were treated to the best of gospel music and words of comfort and wisdom from an evangelist. Ruth would have the radio on WURD (900-AM) to listen to the Rev. Louise Williams Bishop, an evangelist and state representative from the 192nd District. The TV would be on for Bobby Jones Gospel, playing the kind of music that was just right for a devoted churchgoing woman before she went out the door. Ruth would be off to Camphor Memorial United Methodist Church to hear the Rev. Frank Moore or another minister tell it like it is. Ruth Veronica Mills Boston, who worked for several Philadelphia manufacturing companies, a woman famed for her culinary skills and her devotion to her family and church, died Nov. 4 of cancer.
November 9, 2014 |
Candice and Ryan Ismirle sat on a small sofa at Crozer-Chester Medical Center, cradling their 2-day-old twin sons, Ryder and Rafe. Candice Ismirle's cousin and parents hovered nearby. In many ways, it was an archetypal celebration of new life by an extended family. But the scene was also testimony to their defiance - some might say denial - of a grim reality. At 33, Candice Ismirle is battling an aggressive, metastatic breast cancer. She and her husband, who live in Washington, conceived the twins through in vitro fertilization.
October 30, 2014
OCTOBER is Breast Cancer Awareness Month - and a call to action to get your annual breast checkup. According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the U.S. About 232,670 cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed this year. Megan Donascimento was happily enjoying life when, last fall, the 46-year-old Mount Airy resident was rocked by the news that she had breast cancer. "I was always adamant about getting mammograms because by mother had breast cancer at 34," said the married mom of two teenagers, a daughter, 18, and a son, 17. Her November 2013 diagnosis was "an aggressive, Stage 2 tumor.
October 30, 2014 |
Debra Copit, Generosa Grana, and Marisa Weiss have much in common: all mothers, all Main Line residents, all doctors - all breast cancer specialists. And they all have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Their similar stories are both coincidence and cautionary tale - illustrations of breast cancer's indiscriminate nature but also its complexity, storming into the lives of patients with individual and unique markers. Yet at least in one way, cancer has imparted a shared lesson to these women, all of whom are now in excellent health: Getting a diagnosis will change your life.
October 25, 2014 |
While there is much hopeful news these days on the cancer treatment front, a new report finds that many patients are suffering from unmet financial, emotional, and physical needs. Many struggle with serious anxiety, fatigue, and difficulty working, according to the Cancer Support Community report. As they live longer, patients say they need more help coping with long-term side effects. A significant portion have skimped on medical care and many have cut spending on food to save money.
October 20, 2014 |
Next month, Thomas G. Frazier will sit down with colleagues at Bryn Mawr Hospital's Comprehensive Breast Center and unseal the results of a blind study for Dune Medical's MarginProbe. The four-month, 30-patient study is the second conducted at Bryn Mawr on the new diagnostic tool designed to help breast cancer surgeons determine - within minutes - whether they have removed all the malignant tissue during a lumpectomy and reduced the need for later surgery. If the second study is positive, the device could become a key tool for breast cancer surgeons at Bryn Mawr and elsewhere.
October 19, 2014 |
More and more women diagnosed with cancer in one breast are opting to remove both, even when they know the radical surgery is unlikely to prolong their lives. In an era of concern about rising health-care costs - and decades after breast-conserving lumpectomy with radiation was shown to be effective - experts find the double-mastectomy trend puzzling and disturbing. But it makes sense to women like Robyn Freeman of Haverford. An ultra-fit yoga teacher, she insisted on a double mastectomy after she felt a breast lump that turned out to be early-stage cancer in March.