I continue to recognize it takes work to be a patient these days. You truly have to "get smart" to make better choices. While we want someone to just tell us what to do, it is no longer so easy. The other day I interviewed Sabeen, a 17-year old young woman from Knoxville, Tennesee. She has been treated for osteosarcoma – bone cancer in her pelvis. She had chemotherapy in her hometown and surgery was recommended, but she would have faced radical removal of bone. Her family searched for a better approach and they found one her doctors didn't know...

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This week I celebrated my 11th year after CLL diagnosis and remain – post treatment, as best as I know, cancer free. I was in a clinical trial almost seven years ago and it worked! As part of my celebration I am hosting a 1 hour free-ranging online talk show with my doctor, Dr. Michael Keating from University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. It will be next Monday, April 16th from 10-11 am Pacific, 1-2 Eastern. You can find it live at Patient Power or HealthRadio.net I will always be indebted to Dr. Keating for his expertise in...

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Many people were downloading slides from our website these last few days with clinical data about a drug called Genasense. It has not been approved by the FDA and I am among patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia who think the FDA and its advisors have not given the sponsoring company, Genta, a fair shakeGenta, a small biotech company, has filed an appeal. It's like walking into the lion's den again. Very gutsy. And I applaud them for taking this step. From my investigation, the FDA has some powerbrokers within it – government bureaucrats who may not get paid a lot...

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When it comes to most cancers, early detection is the name of the game. It saves lives, right? But what about when your symptoms are vague and even your doctor thinks it is probably nothing terribly serious? Should you push hard to rule out the worst? Two of my recent guests would say absolutely YES. Jennifer Huang, a middle school librarian from the Seattle area, was 37 weeks pregnant with her second child. The baby was doing great and gaining weight. But she was anemic, losing weight, and had pain on her right side. She'd been anemic for awhile and...

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I am very proud of Elizabeth and John Edwards, deciding to go on with the presidential campaign despite Elizabeth's breast cancer recurrence. I am not sure if we crossed paths at UNC-Chapel Hill when we all went to school there, but I do feel a little connection with them as a Tar Heel and a cancer survivor. I have hosted many town meetings with women with advanced breast cancer and heard many doctors talk about making it increasingly a chronic condition over many years. So shouldn't Elizabeth and John go on with their lives? They have so much to say...

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I wanted to let you, my Patient Power friends, in on a secret: Starting March 5th and every weekday at 10:00 am Pacific (1:00 pm Eastern), I will host a DAILY online radio show. It's a secret because not many people know about it and we don't have the bucks to tell the world just yet. But the content should be great and you telling your friends will help a lot. My mission remains to help people become "smarter patients" so they get the healthcare they need and deserve. I am excited that my dear friend Tena Brown will be...

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While the officials in Washington, D.C. tackle the toughest healthcare issues: too many people with no health insurance, therapies too expensive, poor access to care for some people, I have my own mission of bringing the latest information to the public so they can make smarter decisions. I am excited to tell you an increasing number of leading medical centers and patient advocacy groups are eager to work with Patient Power to accomplish that. Beginning in mid-February we will begin producing additional live webcasts and frequent interviews with experts from Northwestern Memorial Hospital in downtown Chicago. It is one of...

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I have a friend who used to be a seaman on a nuclear submarine. He went through a lot of psychological testing before he was approved for sea duty. And, even as emotionally placid as he is, I am sure it was tough at times in such close quarters and with the stress of high alerts.Lately, I've been getting a taste of that myself. I have three children and do a lot of work at home. This winter the weather Gods have forced my kids to be here with me for many days – about 9 now – when school...

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During the Holidays I was feeling quite spry. So when my 9-year son and his friend wanted to go to the roller skating rink, I decided to lace up skates too. After all, 40 years ago I was really good at it. BAD IDEA! At 56 I may be in good shape with tame exercise like running and biking, but when I joined in a roller skating version of "musical chairs" with the kids it was the beginning of the end for me. The music stopped, I tried to stop my skates, they flew out from under me and my...

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The other day I pre-recorded one of the Christmas Eve Patient Power programs. This one was with one of my favorite breast cancer specialists, Dr. Julie Gralow from the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. I've been interviewing Julie for years and she is an excellent doctor and researcher. The program gives us an update on the latest news in breast cancer prevention and treatment. And it's upbeat. I urge you to listen to the replay. But more than that I was struck by the way Julie wanted to end the program. She admitted it was decidedly NOT upbeat. She is very...

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