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.
July 9, 2013
Cynthia Lufkin, 51, whose marriage to a cofounder of Wall Street firm Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette created a New York power couple in social and philanthropic circles, died Wednesday at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan of complications from breast and lung cancer. Her home was in Washington, Conn., north of New York City. After being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005 while pregnant with her second child, Ms. Lufkin focused her philanthropic work on the disease. With a degree in biochemistry, she was particularly interested in how healthy living could bolster the outlook for cancer patients, and her work led to the opening of the Cynthia Lufkin Fitness & Seminar Room at Sloan- Kettering's Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center.
June 23, 2013 |
Jon DuBois has a rooting interest in the Boston Bruins as they try to win their second Stanley Cup in the last three seasons. "I'm a Bruins fan mostly because my kids grew up with the Bruins," DuBois, a graduate of Abington High and a highly respected cancer doctor at a Massachusetts hospital, said the other night. "But I grew up with the Flyers and followed every game. I'm a Bruins fan as a transplant, but deep down, you're always a Flyers fan. " DuBois, 52, helped coordinate the care of cancer patients whose treatments were disrupted by the Boston Marathon bombings and hospital lockdowns in April.
June 11, 2013 |
In a move with potential to shake up the health-care market in Philadelphia and beyond, Cooper University Health Care in Camden is expected to announce on Monday a partnership with the MD Anderson Cancer Center of Houston, one of the nation's top-ranked treatment and research facilities. Cooper officials said they had signed a letter of intent to form the partnership with MD Anderson, which will manage a new $100 million cancer treatment center at Cooper's hospital campus in Camden.
May 20, 2013 |
It is vanishingly rare for an experimental treatment to wipe out advanced, recurrent cancer, then keep the disease from coming back. Yet therapies driven by CARs have been doing exactly that in a small but growing number of blood-cancer patients at the University of Pennsylvania and other centers. In simplest terms, a CAR - chimeric antigen receptor - is a synthetic genetic structure that programs the patient's immune cells to recognize and attack cancer. But there is nothing simple about these molecular taskmasters.