Our live webcast last night with two cancer experts from Vanderbilt Medical Center, and a patient who owes his life to them, provides a clear picture, in my opinion, of the future for beating cancer. The headline is: It’s in your genes. What we learned is that there are 30 to 40 genes that play a role to trigger the growth of cancer cells. Just 30 to 40 from among the 25,000 or so discovered in the big Human Genome Project. We also heard last night that some of these “cancer genes” are “driver genes” that are the real “bad...

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Discovering How Some Foods Can Hurt us from Patient Power® on Vimeo.

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Sounding off About the Healthcare Reform Debate from Patient Power® on Vimeo.

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President Obama has been trying to calm fears among senior citizens that healthcare reform will significantly curtail their Medicare benefits, put their health at risk, and deny them essential care at a critical time. The President was quoted as saying “We are not going to pull the plug on grandma,” with a nod to fears about denying compassionate end-of-life care. I am not worried. There is so much waste in Medicare that if we just run it more efficiently, cut out fraud, use technology wisely, and base treatment on evidence of what works will will save billions. Seniors will not...

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A new discovery from a joint venture of M.I.T. and Harvard has devised a test to see if experimental chemicals can kill cancer stem cells – the “mother,” if you will of millions of other cancer cells that mature and spread. Their theory is that, in many solid tumor types, unless you kill the cancer stem cells along with the mature cancer cells often annihilated by chemotherapy, the cancer will come back. The hope is, new drugs that pass the test of killing cancer stem cells can be used in combination with drugs that kill mature cancer cells and, together,...

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Hooray for Hollywood! Life After Cancer from Patient Power® on Vimeo.

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CLL Patients: Doing Our Part from Patient Power® on Vimeo.

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Caroline Hale, of Nashville, is an incredibly articulate recent college graduate who is an exemplary cancer survivor. I was delighted to have her as a guest on our Cancer Survivorship webcast earlier this week, sponsored by Vanderbilt Medical Center. We asked Caroline if she would write a guest blog. She responded with her usual passion to use her medical experience to help others. It is indisputable that the rise in cancer cure rates since the mid 1900s is an outstanding accomplishment by the medical community. If I had been diagnosed with stage III Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in the 1960s, it is...

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As you may know, I am a 13-year leukemia survivor and delighted to take no medication and live a full life every day. Because of the many interviews I do with experts it has hit home that I am at higher risk for other cancers, very late effects of the powerful medicines I took in 2000, and, of course, a recurrence of my leukemia. I have become an informed survivor. But I have not been part of one of the few, but increasing, cancer “survivorship” programs. I’ll change that! Participating in one can save your life. That hit home to...

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For 13 years I have been a patient who has interacted with the healthcare system quite a lot – fortunately not an excessive amount in recent years as my leukemia has been in remission. And since 1984 I have interviewed thousands of other patients and healthcare professionals. I have probably heard more healthcare stories than most people in “medical journalism.” So with that history, what would I say about Healthcare reform, especially if a powerful legislator like Senator Max Baucus or one of the “Blue Dog” Democrat Congressmen might read this? First, I agree with President Obama. We can’t wait....

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August 2009
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