August 15, 2011 |
VENTNOR, N.J. - Fifty years ago, cancer was discussed in whispers. The stigma associated with having the disease made it a forbidden topic in "polite" company. In her grief over the death of her daughter Ruth - a mother of four who died at 35 from melanoma - Rose Newman and her daughter's friends created a local organization that helped change that perception regionally. Through innovative fund-raising, including the popular Show House at the Shore designers' showcase, the all-volunteer Ruth Newman Shapiro (RNS)
August 15, 2011
Music, we can pretty much all agree, is a good thing. New research suggests that it can benefit cancer patients, too. A review of 30 previous trials involving 1,891 participants found that both formal music therapy and informal listening appeared to help reduce anxiety and pain, and improved quality of life for people with cancer. The analysis, published last week by the Cochrane Library, came with plenty of caveats. A key one is that virtually none of the studies were "blinded" - a gold standard of research, intended to prevent bias, in which participants don't know if they received an intervention.
July 21, 2011 |
Three weeks after an earthquake and tsunami severely damaged Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant, Lisa Daniels opened an e-mail with test results of river water samples from Southeastern Pennsylvania. It was just after lunch April 1. Nationwide, officials were testing rain, rivers, milk, and other substances to learn if radioactivity from the stricken plant was present. They'd seen it after Chernobyl, and now it was showing up nationwide, including in rainwater from a deluge in central Pennsylvania.
July 4, 2011 |
A new brand of heroin called "Hellfire" has led to at least 11 overdose cases in Camden City this weekend. Though no one has died, law enforcement officials are warning people to avoid this "potentially lethal" batch, which is likely to be laced with fentanyl, a synthetic opiate used on cancer patients. "Our concern is we don't have a repeat of 2006," when during a five-month period there were 60 overdose deaths in the South Jersey region, said Camden Police Chief Scott Thomson.
July 2, 2011 |
Nine-year-old Katie Haughney deals with a common problem for the siblings of cancer patients. Her brother Charlie, 4, is fighting stage-four neuroblastoma, and the world seems to revolve around him. "My brother gets all the attention, and I'm the oldest, so I have more responsibilities to take care of at home now," Katie said. "Sometimes it gets to my head, and I get all upset. " Camp No Worries, founded by a college undergrad and recovered cancer patient then living in Moorestown, tries to remedy that problem by bringing together pediatric cancer patients and their siblings at a summer retreat.
June 30, 2011 |
Jay M. Johnson, 63, of Hatboro, a teacher of music, math, and computer science in the Bensalem Township School District for 32 years, died of complications of lymphoma Monday, June 6, at the Cleveland Clinic. Mr. Johnson graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School in Northeast Philadelphia, where he played trombone in the jazz band. He then served in the Army as a trombone instructor at the U.S. Army School of Music. After his discharge, he earned a bachelor's degree in music from Temple University in 1972 and later earned a master's degree in music from what is now the College of New Jersey.
June 20, 2011
In a move that could one day help cancer patients mine their own DNA for new treatment options, Fox Chase Cancer Center last week announced it was striking a partnership with the California-based biotechnology giant Life Technologies Corp. The plan is to map the genes of patients' tumors so doctors can devise precise treatments. Fighting cancer remains fiendishly complex. "At a genetic level, any given tumor type is different in different individuals," says Jeff Boyd, senior vice president for molecular medicine at Fox Chase.
May 25, 2011 |
When Wendy Torres, 34, of Philadelphia's Wynnefield neighborhood, walks down the aisle in June, she'll be wearing the dress of her dreams. That's not because it's extravagant - a strapless, mermaid-style Mon Cheri gown with a chapel-length train and Swarovski beading - or because she snagged the $2,500 dress for $460. It's because the money she spent on her gown will support Making Memories, a wish-granting nonprofit for women and men with stage IV breast cancer. Starting Thursday through Saturday, Philadelphia brides-to-be will have the opportunity to score similar deals when Brides Against Breast Cancer - an annual nationwide touring sale that brings discounted, new and used wedding dresses to 40 cities - comes to the Ramada Philadelphia Airport hotel.
May 12, 2011 |
The prom was a sparkling spectacle of tiaras, tuxes, DJs and dancing. No matter that many of the 100 pint-sized attendees sported wheelchairs, intravenous poles, bandanges, and bald heads. One prom-goer, Rachel Kovach, 11, of Highlands, N.J. has been chronicling her care for a rare bone tumor by blogging for The Inquirer (See www.philly.com/OncoGirl ). She had major surgery to salvage her right leg on May 3 and resumed intravenous chemotherapy Thursday just hours before the prom.
April 4, 2011 |
In the movies, people often die in some quick, dramatic way. There are bullets, train wrecks, serial killers, monsters, or, at least, exotic illnesses. If they die quietly, they almost always leave with a memorably pithy comment. Many of us don't know much more than that about death until it comes to live in our own house. Friends may lose family members, but they rarely talk about the uglier aspects of dying. We all conspire to protect one another - and perhaps our loved ones' dignity - from the smells, sounds, and suffering that accompany the slow shutdown of vital organs.