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Cancer Patients

NEWS
April 17, 2015 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
Alex Niles, 32, formerly of Yardley, a businessman who created clothing designed to provide comfort for cancer patients during treatment, died Wednesday, April 8, of gastric cancer at his mother's home in the Forest Hills section of New York City. Mr. Niles founded CureWear, a nonprofit that made clothing with a flap so an intravenous line could be hooked up to a medical port without requiring the wearer to undress. His own health crisis inspired Mr. Niles to make treatment "a little more comfortable for the chronically ill," his family said in a statement.
NEWS
April 12, 2015 | By Stacey Burling, Inquirer Staff Writer
No one would chide a bald chemo patient for making bad decisions about her hair. But a stranger told one of Beth Eaby-Sandy's cancer patients - a woman whose treatment had made her skin turn bright red - that she "really should wear sunscreen. " The patient, who already felt conspicuous, was upset, said Eaby-Sandy, a nurse practitioner who works with lung cancer patients at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. The stranger was rude, no doubt, but her ignorance is understandable.
NEWS
February 26, 2015 | By Marie McCullough, Inquirer Staff Writer
Patient and physician groups cheered Monday as the Pennsylvania House overwhelmingly passed legislation to equalize patients' out-of-pocket costs for oral and intravenous cancer drugs. Patients currently may be charged thousands of dollars a month for cancer pills, vs. a $50 co-payment for a dose of a drug given through a vein, because most insurers cover the two formulations in different ways. This is the second consecutive year the House has passed a bill; its prospects in the Senate are unclear.
NEWS
December 30, 2014 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
  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?"
NEWS
November 9, 2014 | By Stacey Burling, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
October 25, 2014 | By Stacey Burling, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
September 29, 2014 | By Laura Weiss, Inquirer Staff Writer
"What's a brush? What's a comb? What's a bad hair day? Can you please remind me?" Tom Gillin, a bald cancer patient, raps into a mirror with an equally bald doctor at his side. Both are sporting curly blond wigs. "I celebrate my time here," Gillin says later in his music video about life with cancer at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. A 19-year-old who was discharged from the hospital Sept. 12 after five months of care for leukemia, Gillin created a parody rap video to two of Jay Z's songs.
NEWS
August 9, 2014
ISSUE | HEALTH Nothing by mouth? There is an enormous financial burden placed on cancer patients like me who are receiving oral medications not covered as a medical benefit, as intravenous chemotheraphy would be. Oral chemotherapy is considered a pharmacy benefit, requiring me to pay a percentage of the cost, often $1,500 or more per month. Luckily, I was able to find Patient Services Inc., a nonprofit company that helps individuals with chronic illnesses pay out-of-pocket expenses.
NEWS
August 8, 2014 | By Melissa Dribben, Inquirer Staff Writer
Katie Hayek had rushed from Philadelphia to New York, and made it to the set just in time to prepare for the day's shooting of The Following. It was February 2013 and Hayek, an aspiring actress, had scored a small role in the television series about an uber-violent, but highly, literate cult. "Too many tanning beds?" the hair and makeup artist asked, noticing the pocked trail of blisters across Hayek's scorched chest. Hayek laughed. "Let me tell you about that tanning bed. " Hayek (pronounced HAY-eck)
NEWS
August 4, 2014 | By Rachel Zamzow, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
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