August 4, 2014 |
With cancer, the complicated combination of chemotherapy and surgeries plus side effects lead patients to seek alternative medicine more often than people with other afflictions. Sixty-five percent of cancer survivors have used complementary and alternative medicine, a 2011 study in the Journal of Cancer Survivorship found, compared with 52 percent of those who haven't had cancer. Yet these largely unregulated treatments are often unproven and can lead patients down a health-care rabbit hole unless they have guidance.
July 14, 2014 |
The surgeon delivered the bad news on Elizabeth Koniz's lumpectomy: "We didn't get clean margins. " Stunned, she couldn't think of anything else. "The words rang in my head," said Koniz, a 48-year-old admissions coordinator at Temple University School of Medicine. "I had terrible anxiety. I was nervous at medical appointments. I had tremendous trouble sleeping and cried for weeks after the diagnosis. " About a third of cancer patients experience high levels of anxiety - intense distress, although not typically to the level of post-traumatic stress disorder - after getting the diagnosis or during a difficult moment in treatment.
March 11, 2014
T IFFANY WADE, 29, of Cheltenham Township, is CEO of Kissess LLC, a company that makes "F--- CANCER" apparel, with the "C" in "F---" replaced by a breast-cancer-awareness ribbon. Wade, a divorced mother of two daughters and a registered nurse, started the apparel line a year ago, shortly before her hairstylist's mother died of breast cancer. Q: How'd you come up with the idea for the company? A: I've been an RN for 10 years and worked at Hahnemann [University Hospital]
February 17, 2014 |
'I'm pretty lucky," Tony Pace explained, which is not the reaction most people might have when hearing his story. In 2008, Pace battled colon cancer that had spread to his liver and bladder. Surgeons removed half of each organ, and had to rebuild the ureter line on the right side of his kidney. Six months of chemotherapy followed. In 2009 came a liver resection along with removal of his gallbladder. The Clifton Heights man, 53, has been cancer-free ever since. Pace's oncologist calls him an outlier, someone whose reaction to care is so remarkable that it's unexplainable - up until now, anyway.
November 22, 2013 |
SOME OF Mickey Hirsch's family and friends were appalled when he began preparing for his own death, even building his coffin. Mickey was a cancer patient who went from being a husky 220-pounder to a frail 150 pounds in the past year and a half. Tortured by chemotherapy, his once powerful energy drained away. "I do want to live," he told the Daily News' Barbara Laker, who wrote about him in October. "But I'm making the most of my death. I'm putting some meaning into it. I share these experiences so people are not scared to die. " Edmond "Mickey" Hirsch died Tuesday at age 61. He had lived most of his life in Northeast Philadelphia but recently lived in Forked River, N.J. Mickey, who worked in construction most of his life and was until recently doing remodeling jobs with his son, Matt, 26, posted photos of his casket-making on Facebook.
November 4, 2013 |
When Christopher T. Walsh was president of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, cancer patients everywhere were increasingly battling an additional foe. Their weakened immune systems were falling prey to "superbugs" that resisted the best weapons in the arsenal of modern medicine. Walsh, also on the faculty at Harvard Medical School, set out to find what made the bugs tick. Because of his success over the last two decades, which is helping scientists to find new drugs, Walsh is among the nine newest winners of annual awards given by the Franklin Institute.
November 2, 2013 |
If palliative care were a new cancer drug, it would be hailed as a breakthrough, Diane Meier told a crowd at Christiana Hospital on Thursday. Palliative care, which focuses on easing patients' symptoms, supporting families, and discussing patient priorities, not only makes people feel better physically and emotionally, Meier said. It costs less because it keeps people out of hospitals and nursing homes. And, patients live longer. But palliative care is not a new type of chemotherapy, said Meier, an expert in geriatrics and palliative medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City and a MacArthur "genius" award winner.
October 17, 2013
Not on the cheap At a hearing we held on Mayor Nutter's plan to contract out as many as 22,000 cases to court-appointed lawyers, not one of the 10 local, state, and national expert witnesses endorsed the city's for-profit model, and other testimony illuminated countless flaws that would usurp justice and expose the city to lawsuits and unforeseen expense. The private-sector model cannot work as an indigent-defense system. Adequate representation cannot be provided for $450 per case.
September 19, 2013 |
While most older people say they don't want aggressive care at the end of life, many get it anyway. Care in the last month of life for Medicare patients with advanced cancer typically is even more aggressive in the Philadelphia area than in the nation as a whole, concludes a report from the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care, which studies regional differences in care. It released a report last week that showed the percentage of cancer patients who died in hospitals in 2010, or were hospitalized or in an intensive care unit in their last month.
September 15, 2013 |
Danielle Ofri is one of those women who sets the bar awfully high for the rest of us. She's a doctor in New York with three kids, ages 7 to 12, and a husband who works. She manages to write books and edit the Bellevue Literary Review, which publishes creative writing about healing. She takes cello lessons. But this article is not about how Ofri's productivity makes us feel. It's about how patients and the practice of medicine make her and other doctors feel. That is the subject of her fourth and latest book, What Doctors Feel: How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine . She'll be in town Wednesday to discuss the topic at Fox Chase Cancer Center Auditorium.