December 30, 2014 |
It is called Sacred Heart Home, and its work is just that: sacred. For 84 years, a group of nuns has been caring for poor people dying from cancer in their gleaming home on the edge of Hunting Park. They do it free of charge. The Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne accept no payment of any kind from patients, insurance companies, or the government. Though its sisters are Roman Catholic, Sacred Heart receives no funding stream from any diocese or church. "Isn't that a miracle?"
December 15, 2014 |
Over the nearly 41/2 years of Nancy Carolan's battle with acute myeloid leukemia, her oncologist had pulled her from the brink several times. Strong-willed and brave, Carolan had endured infections, brutal rounds of chemotherapy, and a bone-marrow transplant. She was an optimist who wanted to believe she could beat the blood cancer. By August, though, her sisters could see that Carolan, 63, had lost the fight. She was hospitalized, very sick and still receiving aggressive care.
November 9, 2014 |
When the staff at Abington Memorial Hospital handed the breast cancer patient its new "Distress Thermometer" questionnaire, she instantly felt conflicted. How could she, an early-stage patient with a good prognosis, say how she was really feeling when she saw how much worse off others in the radiation-treatment waiting room were? She left it blank. A week later, the staff asked again. Come January, cancer programs that want accreditation from the American College of Surgeons' Commission on Cancer will be required to formally ask all cancer patients about their psychosocial needs.
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.
August 11, 2014 |
Sam Rennix could be forgiven for assuming that the worst was behind him after triple-bypass surgery in 2010. Then, last summer, his throat became sore, like something was stuck in it. Unlike many men, Rennix, who lives in Springfield, Delaware County, and is manager of Wolfe Pool Supply in Narberth, doesn't hesitate to see a doctor when something's amiss with his health. Perhaps it's because he's married to an intensive-care nurse and knows all too well that procrastinating can turn a curable problem into a death sentence.
July 16, 2014 |
Two new prostate cancer studies have found that many low-risk patients have been receiving more treatment than is needed or helpful - racking up millions of dollars in excess health-care costs and, potentially, causing more physical harm than good. One of the studies, both of which were published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, showed that among patients whose cancer was not aggressive, those who received hormone therapy as their primary treatment did not live any longer than those who were merely carefully monitored.
December 23, 2013 |
Every morning, I take a One-a-Day women's multivitamin. The label advertises how the pill is "formulated to support" everything from bone strength to heart health. Taking the pill always makes me feel proactive about my health. I never doubted the common view that "vitamins are good for you. " In Do You Believe in Magic?: The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine , Paul A. Offit, chief of the division of infectious diseases at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, delivers an epic critique of vitamins, the supplement industry, and our vulnerability to quackery.
November 24, 2013 |
Being just a kid himself, 7-year-old Sam Hornikel isn't concerned about his ability to have children of his own yet. He's thinking more about the soccer game he missed, or his math homework. But researchers around the world are working to give boys like Sam - who fought off cancer when he was only 3 years old - the opportunity to have their own family one day. Often, chemotherapy or radiation treatments can harm fertility. Typically, older patients can bank sperm, but for those who haven't gone through puberty yet, researchers are deep-freezing tiny pieces of their testicular tissue.
July 15, 2013 |
Patients at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Northeast Philadelphia get chauffeured trips to the hospital, often in a limousine. They were recently treated to a performance by a vintage soul group, the Pointer Sisters, and are regularly welcomed with live piano music, fresh organic fare in the cafeteria, and receptionists befitting a classy hotel. These perks are part of the for-profit hospital's strategy to keep patients happy and avoid government penalties. In fact, the center enjoys patient satisfaction numbers among the best of any hospital in the region.
June 16, 2013
Christopher Fifis, Nick Fifis, and John Fifis are the owners of Ponzio's Diner & Bakery Bar in Cherry Hill Growing up as sons of a first-generation Greek immigrant, we learned early about the value of hard work and family. As the owner of Ponzio's Diner in Cherry Hill, our dad spent almost every day for more than two decades greeting guests and entertaining them with his dry wit and sense of humor. We had dinner at the diner almost every night because our dad was always working, and when we were old enough, he put us to work there, too. On the rare occasion that our dad did take time off for a family vacation, we all piled into the car to head to Wildwood for a week, with Greek music turned up as loud as we could stand.