March 3, 2015 |
Spit is central to Stephen Swanick's vision for detecting disease. His product, SaliMark OSCC, which debuted this month, uses genetic material in saliva to judge the risk of whether an oral lesion is cancerous. Swanick, 51, left his job in the medical-device industry and spent $1.3 million of his own money to pursue this. He founded PeriRx in Broomall in 2008, hoping spit would help spot a spectrum of illnesses, from lung cancer to diabetes. Instead, it has been a long slog, much like spitting in the wind.
January 30, 2015 |
The Pennsylvania Medical Society, which represents thousands of the state's doctors, says it will be entering the legal battle over $1 million in sanctions imposed by a Philadelphia judge on a lawyer who represents physicians in medical malpractice cases. Society president-elect Scott Shapiro, an Abington cardiologist, said he expects his organization to file legal papers in support of Berwyn lawyer Nancy Raynor to overturn the sanctions. "Multiple physicians have reached out to me, and they have all indicated in a variety of ways that this will impact physicians' ability to have the full benefit of a complete and thorough defense if they are named in a malpractice case," Shapiro said.
January 11, 2015 |
Radiation is a powerful cancer treatment, but protecting healthy tissue from the scatter of damaging rays is challenging. As a result, women who get radiation for cancer in their left breast - which overlaps the heart - have been found to be at increased risk of heart disease and lung cancer. A new study by Thomas Jefferson University researchers confirms that such women can significantly reduce the incidental radiation dose to their hearts with a simple technique: holding their breath.
November 15, 2014
THE SEAMLESS vision of life, as the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin once noted, is the only way to ensure individual dignity. We are only as strong as the weakest links in our human chain, so the way we treat the young, the sick and the elderly is the truest bellwether of our evolution as a compassionate society. Lately, though, that compassion has been lacking and I suspect it's due in no small part to our cavalier attitude toward unborn life. If you are capable of dehumanizing something at its most elemental level and packaging it as a wholly dependent appendage of a woman, it's a short step from there to seeing older and ailing Americans as dependent appendages of society.
October 25, 2014 |
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.
October 13, 2014 |
Cancer-tissue biopsies are no fun. Ask Christine Walsh, 48, of Bedminster, whose cancer began in her left breast in 2008 and eventually spread to her skin. Injecting lidocaine to numb her chest for a biopsy proved painful, as were the procedure and stitches that followed. "It was just another thing I had to face," says the mother of three, who eventually chose to undergo a double mastectomy. As a patient at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Walsh now has the option of having her metastatic cancer analyzed through a blood test.
October 11, 2014 |
Ronald Schultz, 78, of Willingboro, a teacher and actor, died of lung cancer Wednesday, Oct. 8, at Virtua Memorial Hospital in Mount Holly. Mr. Schultz was born in Philadelphia. He graduated from South Philadelphia High School and went on to attend Temple University, where he played varsity basketball. Mr. Schultz took on several acting roles, performing at age 12 in "No Room for Peter Pan," a TV show about a child who didn't want to grow up. He appeared in the film The Hebrew Hammer in 2003 and as a Hebrew-school teacher in the 2009 Coen Brothers movie A Serious Man. Mr. Schultz fought cancer for 10 years after doctors gave him only two to three years to live, family members said.
September 22, 2014 |
A third of patients who undergo surgery to remove cancerous tumors end up with microscopic pieces left behind. These overlooked remnants can lead to the recurrence of cancer after what was thought to be a successful surgery. Two surgeons at the University of Pennsylvania have joined forces to try to solve this problem. Their solution: making tumors glow. Using a combination of injectable dyes and high-resolution cameras, the surgeons found a way to image tumors during surgery and more easily identify their margins.
August 7, 2014 |
George E. Westwood III, 60, a Philadelphia native who rose to the rank of captain in the Navy and served during the Gulf war and in Afghanistan, died July 28 after a long struggle with lung cancer. Mr. Westwood, who lived in Jacksonville, Fla., died during a visit to the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, said his daughter Mary Lena. He was born in Philadelphia and graduated from William Penn Charter School. He then attended Rollins College in Florida and graduated with a bachelor's degree in psychology.
July 13, 2014 |
Just seven years from now, pancreatic cancer is projected to become this country's second-leading cancer killer, surpassed only by lung cancer and claiming 48,000 lives a year - nearly the population of Harrisburg. Now No. 4, pancreas cancer will climb in the ranking partly by becoming more common, but mostly because it is ferociously difficult to detect and treat, according to an analysis by the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. "The dramatic increase in the anticipated number of deaths . . . is a wake-up call to the research and health-care systems in the United States," senior author Lynn M. Matrisian, a molecular biologist, wrote last month in the journal Cancer Research.