June 10, 2016 |
GLIOBLASTOMA is brain cancer. Radiation and chemotherapy fight it. Darren Daulton beat it! Blah, blah, blah. The doctors at Jefferson - oncologists, glioblastomists, radiation shooters - are nothing but sunshine. I am a journalist. Sunshine is boring. "I understand how most patients view a fatal illness," I told my medical group. "But bad news doesn't bother me. In fact, the more detail you give me - bad and worse - the happier I will be. " Happier on the story. Not on my mortality.
May 8, 2016 |
Where most radiologists look at an ultrasound and see a bladder indented by a very large prostate gland, Sue Summerton saw the Liberty Bell. What to most might appear as a gallbladder with a couple gallstones were, to Summerton, the face and mile-high hair of Marge Simpson. That bicornuate uterus? The letter "Y. " What's a doctor to do? Summerton turned her unusual point of view into a business, Xray Artistry, reveling more, she says, in the laughs her work elicits than the revenue it generates.
March 14, 2016 |
I was diagnosed with Stage 4 head-and-neck cancer three days before my wedding last July. If you're wondering which emotion - dread or joy - wins out in a schizophrenic standoff like that, you've never planned a backyard reception with caterers, florists, and 30 guests all scheduled to swoop in before 6 p.m. What happens is, you say, "I do," then kiss the bride. You lock yourself in the bathroom and scream on your own time. With the discovery of a lump in my neck, I'd emigrated to a different country - Cancer-stan, crowded with around 20 million Americans.
January 31, 2016
Three experts from Fox Chase Cancer Center's Department of Radiation Oncology answer frequently asked questions about radiation therapy. Q: What is the goal of radiation therapy with respect to treating cancer? A: For most patients, the goal is to get rid of the cancer completely and, hopefully, prevent it from returning. But for those whose cancer has spread, radiation may be used palliatively, to make symptoms better and improve quality of life, knowing that we likely will not cure the cancer.
January 27, 2016 |
TERI GILBERT of Northeast Philadelphia is openly defying the Police Department's "no savesies" ban on reserving shoveled-out parking spots in the wake of the weekend blizzard. Gilbert is six months pregnant, so her husband, Mike, who is undergoing radiation treatment for Stage 4 metastatic throat and neck cancer, shoveled out a space in front of their Rhawnhurst house while son Matthew, 23 months, watched from an upstairs window. Then Teri taped a handwritten savesies sign to an orange cone that reads: "This spot was shoveled by a cancer patient for himself and his pregnant wife.
December 14, 2015 |
When Robert L. Brent was still in grade school, he told his mother he wanted to be a physician. But, he told her, he didn't have to charge his patients any money. His mother told him that was kind of him, but not very practical. "Actually," he said recently, "my dream came true. " Brent, who began his career in the early days of the Atomic Age, became a world-renowned expert on the effects of radiation on the human embryo. He found that birth defects, mental retardation, and miscarriage do not result from the amount of radiation received in most diagnostic tests.
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.
December 21, 2014 |
Most U.S. women who opt for lumpectomy and radiation to treat early-stage breast cancer get irradiated for twice as many weeks as necessary, adding to the cost and inconvenience of the therapy, according to a University of Pennsylvania analysis. High-qual-ity studies have shown that just three weeks of a newer, higher-dose type of radiation are as safe and effective as six to seven weeks of conventional radiation. In 2011, radiation oncology guidelines endorsed the shorter course of "hypofractionated" therapy for lumpectomy patients over age 50. Yet only about a third of such women got it in 2013 - up from about 11 percent in 2008, the researchers found using insurance claims from health plans covering 9 million women.
October 30, 2014 |
Debra Copit, Generosa Grana, and Marisa Weiss have much in common: all mothers, all Main Line residents, all doctors - all breast cancer specialists. And they all have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Their similar stories are both coincidence and cautionary tale - illustrations of breast cancer's indiscriminate nature but also its complexity, storming into the lives of patients with individual and unique markers. Yet at least in one way, cancer has imparted a shared lesson to these women, all of whom are now in excellent health: Getting a diagnosis will change your life.
October 8, 2014 |
More than a decade after prostate cancer became the economic driver behind proton beam therapy in the U.S., it still isn't clear that men treated with the technology do better than those who get less costly radiation treatments. That's why expert groups have recently advised against insurance coverage of proton therapy for prostate cancer - and why some private plans are refusing to pay for it. The Catch-22 is that this pullback is hampering a clinical trial co-led by the University of Pennsylvania that would finally settle the question of superiority.