The notion of "empowered patients" brings to mind people actively involved in their day-to-day medical care. But it can mean more. Read this story in CURE magazine and NPR about a group of patients with metastatic lung cancer that took on the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) and won.
My favorite news show recently aired a story that tested my loyalty. It was about the flu epidemic. I was so disappointed by their dangerous message that could adversely influence people's decision about getting vaccinated.
What timing. Susan Gubar's "Living with Cancer" column today and my current "View from the Other Side of the Stethoscope" column both discuss the same topic: the potential negative impact of certain commonly used words and phrases in medicine.
In Living at Random, George Johnson discusses an idea that is not at all new: "Random, spontaneous glitches ...may be the most pervasive carcinogen of all." But he does it in a way that helps us accept it.
A series of earlier posts looked at the issue of patients reading their medical records. The last entry suggested we look at the core problem. Which is: The digital medical records often are designed to serve a variety of people -- and usually patients are not at the top of that list.
Thank you for your patience during this period of infrequent posts on Healthy Survivorship. And thank you to those of you who sent me emails and cards of support since reading When a Sister has Cancer. I'm happy to report that her recent scans document a dramatic response to the first three cycles of chemo.
The idea that caregivers need attention is nothing new. What's news is the launch of a formal training program for caregivers. The driving goal is not to develop caregivers' caregiving skills, but to help caregivers tend to their own welfare.
One Last Sale, a short story by critical-care nurse Judith Reishtein and published last year in Pulse: Voices from the Heart offers insights about patients' willpower and loved-ones' gifts to patients at the end of life.
Here's a topic people often avoid until forced to face it: How to Choose a Hospice. But, like learning the evacuation procedures on your flight, you don't want to begin learning about hospice when in the midst of a loved one's (or your own) health crisis.
Last month I was invited by Adele O'Reilly to offer some tips on survivorship for Freshbenies, a website devoted to helping patients navigate the medical system. Below are excerpts from her full post, titled, 5 Tips for Healthy Survivorship"
Clinical trials are designed to answer scientific questions about promising treatments that may prove to be ineffective and/or harmful. So a legitimate concern of patients is: “Can researchers really want what’s best for me?”
As promised in my May 24th post, here's my response to the argument that therapies of Phase I studies are given to learn about dosing--and not to help the patient, so they cannot be called "treatment."
Some clinicians think investigational therapies administered in Phase I trials should not be called "treatment." To explain why I believe those therapies can, indeed, be called treatment, let's first look at the general idea of treatment.
I posted on this blog only twice in April, the month before my May 6th keynote at MD Anderson. What made the topic--"Talking with Patients about Phase I Trials"--so challenging that it consumed all my writing hours for most of this year?
An article by Paula Span, A Decision Deferred, highlights an issue that needs to be a routine part of the decision to have a pacemaker implanted, as well as the follow-up care: When, if ever, will a patient want to turn it off?
I just returned from Japan, where I delivered two keynotes on supporting the children whose parent has cancer. The second event was sponsored by The Hope Tree, an organization named by founder Kaori Osawa, a social worker and cancer survivor, after the title of my second children's book.