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.
May 9, 2013 |
A new genetic test to gauge the aggressiveness of prostate cancer may help tens of thousands of men each year decide whether they need to treat their cancer right away or can safely monitor it. The new test, which goes on sale Wednesday, joins another one that recently came on the market. Both analyze multiple genes in a biopsy sample and give a score for aggressiveness, similar to tests used now for certain breast and colon cancers. Doctors say tests like these have the potential to curb a major problem in cancer care - overtreatment.
March 2, 2013 |
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.
February 5, 2013 |
Embracing the promise of personalized medicine, Fox Chase Cancer Center is offering a high-tech DNA test that can identify the genetic mutations driving an individual patient's cancer. Other leading medical centers and biotech firms are launching similar tests, which should help doctors make cancer care more effective and less toxic. Experts say this customized approach will become increasingly important as the arsenal of drugs that target cancer genes grows. For patients at the forefront, however, the value of cutting-edge DNA testing is hard to predict.
October 22, 2012
In a sign of how far the science of cancer genomics has come, the University of Pennsylvania Health System will do genetic tests later this year on cancer cells of all patients with several types of cancer. Penn will test up to 48 genes in patients with melanoma, acute myelogenous leukemia, and brain and lung cancer, said Chi V. Dang, director of the Abramson Cancer Center. The results will reveal which patients could benefit from new drugs that work only for those with certain mutations.
October 4, 2012 |
Revenue growth at area health systems was uneven in the fiscal year ended June 30, with the biggest systems showing strong gains while smaller competitors scraped out, at best, meager increases. Revenues from patients at Holy Redeemer Health System in Meadowbrook, for example, have been nearly flat since 2009. They were $336 million in the year ended June 30. That was $2 million more than in 2009 and $3.5 million less than in 2011. At Montgomery County neighbor Abington Health, patient revenues have been stuck at about $760 million for three years in a row, reflecting a widespread challenge that hospital executives attribute to changing medical-treatment methods and the weak economy.