Saving Lives with More Defibrillators from Patient Power® on Vimeo.

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My wife and family are alternately happy and unhappy about the prospect of me headed out of town to attend two medical conventions in a row. When they need me they REALLY need me, and when they have plenty else to do, I could be on the moon and they wouldn’t miss me. Oh well, I am off anyway to two parts of the country in rapid succession with the goal of helping patients worldwide. The first stop is the meeting of the American Urological Association and the second is the meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. I’ll...

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I have always been one to push the technology envelope when it comes to communications. Years ago (1972!) I drove the technical people at WBTV/Charlotte crazy as I produced feature stories that could have three film projectors and two video playbacks all rolling at once. Fortunately, we had a director, Ken Beaver, who was always up to the challenge. When I moved on to health communications it was fun to figure out how to use a conference call “bridge” to link 1,000 patients at a time to a “telephone talk show” that connected them with experts in their health concern....

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How A Little Attention to Stroke Can Change Your Life from Patient Power® on Vimeo.

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Most pregnancies, if mom has been taking care of herself and receiving good care, go well. And when we worry about things going wrong our fear is usually for infant mortality. But there are risks to the life and wellbeing of the mom, as well. We’ve talked about them in webcasts with experts and if you, or someone you care about, is having a child – even when it’s not the first time – it will be worth a listen and open your eyes. After all, carrying a baby and then giving birth is a significant medical event. Here’s a...

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None of us wants to see ourselves as an ostrich, with our head in the sand, hoping bad things won’t happen if we just don’t look or pretend it’s not there. But even though it will happen to all of us and everyone we care about, we can’t face up to the inevitability of death. And while people die all the time in hospitals, doctors and nurses have a hard time facing up to death, as well. Not surprising. Their job is to save lives or extend them. But maybe we should talk about it. Talk to yourself, and have...

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We’ve been waiting for years. The FDA today approved the first-ever “anti-cancer vaccine.” Provenge, made by blossoming biotech company Dendreon in Seattle, is a personalized therapy designed to give a second chance for a patient’s own immune system to beat back advanced prostate cancer. It is, by no means, for every prostate cancer patient (more than 200,000 men are diagnosed in the U.S. each year and almost 30,000 die from the disease). The drug, which is pretty complicated to make from a patient’s own cells, does not take the place of active surveillance for men with low risk prostate cancer,...

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This has been a whirlwind week as I work on, learn more about, and use health communications online and, before long, on smartphones. First let me call your attention to our just-posted “Patient Power Health Issues” discussion on where health on the Internet is going: does it make your life easier, does it make it easier for your doctor? Is it just on your computer? No! Our discussion even includes how your bathroom scale will have an internet address and send data to your health record and, if you want, to your doctor. Our discussion with the “gurus” in the...

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Cancer Vaccine: Countdown to Approval? from Patient Power® on Vimeo.By May 1st, the FDA owes a response to the manufacturer of what could be the first vaccine to fight advanced cancer. Could that be approval or more questions from the FDA? We’re not sure. The hope is vaccines to energize your immune system to fight the cancer you already have are not far off.

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My youngest child, Eitan, is 13 today and we are all looking forward to his Bar Mitzvah (Jewish coming of age ceremony) next weekend. This morning Esther and I took Eitan out for a bagel breakfast before school. He loves the attention, of course. Any parent would rejoice in having a growing, healthy kid, but for Esther and I Eitan is special in another way. That’s because not only is this the 13th anniversary of Eitan’s birth, it is the 14th anniversary of my diagnosis with leukemia. As you can imagine, our world was rocked when, at age 45, I...

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