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Cancer Care

NEWS
December 27, 2010 | By Marie McCullough, Inquirer Staff Writer
For many cancer patients, the main obstacle to getting treatment in Philadelphia is not health insurance, side effects, or lack of therapies. "Twenty percent of appointments are canceled because patients can't get there," said Gerald Furgione. As executive director of Phillycarshare, Furgione has figured out a way to help: Enlist volunteers to drive cancer patients to treatment in car-share vehicles, at no cost to the drivers or riders. The Phillypatientride program, believed to be unique in the United States, will hit the road Jan. 4. Reduced car-share fees will be covered by the American Cancer Society, Hahnemann University Hospital, and Temple University Hospital.
NEWS
February 17, 1993 | By Marjorie Valbrun, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A new program that will combine various cancer treatment programs, coordinate all aspects of care for cancer patients and bring together a host of medical experts, was unveiled yesterday as the new Cancer Center of Southern New Jersey at Cooper Hospital/University Medical Center. The program, referred to as a "cancer center without walls," will provide cancer patients with expanded care. Hospital administrators call it a "one-stop-shopping" approach to cancer treatment, the only one of its kind it in South Jersey, they said.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 2, 2013 | By Marie McCullough, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Nora Situm, the 5-year-old Croatian child seeking an experimental leukemia therapy at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, has overcome the first obstacle to qualifying for the treatment. Doctors have collected a big enough supply of her T cells, the immune cells that form the basis of the therapy, said Richard Aplenc, Nora's oncologist. The update came in a video statement released Friday by the hospital and Nora's parents - her mother, Giana Atanasovska, and father, Ivica Situm.
NEWS
November 12, 2009 | By Josh Goldstein INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Rep. John Adler (D., N.J.) announced yesterday that he hopes to require the Department of Veterans Affairs to report to Congress the quality of all the small programs in its hospitals and other medical facilities. The goal is to prevent a repeat of problems that plagued prostate cancer care at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center as well as programs at other VA hospitals. Adler's legislation focuses on three areas: small programs, where medical errors and poor care are most likely to avoid detection; radiation safety; and contracts with private doctors and hospitals.
NEWS
July 22, 2009 | By Josh Goldstein INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Top radiation oncology officials from the University of Pennsylvania will testify at a congressional hearing today on the troubled prostate cancer program at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center. Penn doctors, medical physicists, and radiation technicians performed the substandard treatments at the VA hospital, where dozens of tiny radioactive seeds were implanted to destroy cancer cells. Steven M. Hahn, chair of radiation oncology at Penn and the health system's top medical physicist, will face questions about how the problems in the VA's brachytherapy program were able to persist for so long.
BUSINESS
July 24, 2006 | By Linda Loyd INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A few years ago, several of Lindy Snider's friends and family members were battling cancer, undergoing chemotherapy and radiation, and lamenting what the treatment was doing to their skin. She remembers asking her good friend, the singer-songwriter Lauren Hart, who was being treated for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2000, "Why don't you ask your doctor for some cream?" Hart's answer was, "Well, there's nothing," Snider recalls. Perplexed that big pharmaceutical and cosmetics firms did not have a line of products geared to cancer patients, Snider, 46, began searching for information, and spoke to doctors and dermatologists.
LIVING
June 28, 1999 | By Marie McCullough, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The American Cancer Society and a national alliance of cancer centers have issued prostate-cancer treatment guidelines that translate technical medical information into concise, understandable advice for patients. The 50-page report is the second in a series of patient guidelines for the top 10 cancers. The guidelines are being made available through toll-free numbers and the Internet. The Cancer Society's partner in the project is the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN)
NEWS
June 21, 2009 | By Josh Goldstein INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A failure of oversight and systemic problems in prostate-cancer care at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center caused 92 veterans to receive incorrect doses of radiation to treat their condition, triggering a federal investigation of the hospital's protocols. Most of the vets got significantly less than the prescribed dose from brachytherapy - the use of implanted radioactive seeds to kill cancer cells. Other patients received excessive radiation to nearby tissue and organs. Nearly all of the brachytherapy cases with incorrect doses were performed by a University of Pennsylvania doctor under contract to the VA. That radiation oncologist, Gary Kao, has not seen patients since the problem was discovered last year, said a Penn official.
NEWS
October 13, 2014 | By Ilene Raymond Rush, For The Inquirer
Cancer-tissue biopsies are no fun. Ask Christine Walsh, 48, of Bedminster, whose cancer began in her left breast in 2008 and eventually spread to her skin. Injecting lidocaine to numb her chest for a biopsy proved painful, as were the procedure and stitches that followed. "It was just another thing I had to face," says the mother of three, who eventually chose to undergo a double mastectomy. As a patient at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Walsh now has the option of having her metastatic cancer analyzed through a blood test.
NEWS
October 8, 2014 | By Marie McCullough, Inquirer Staff Writer
More than a decade after prostate cancer became the economic driver behind proton beam therapy in the U.S., it still isn't clear that men treated with the technology do better than those who get less costly radiation treatments. That's why expert groups have recently advised against insurance coverage of proton therapy for prostate cancer - and why some private plans are refusing to pay for it. The Catch-22 is that this pullback is hampering a clinical trial co-led by the University of Pennsylvania that would finally settle the question of superiority.
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