There’s some confusion out there in the media that “Patient Power” is only about patients “holding hands” and providing emotional support to one another. It’s the warm and fuzzy side of medicine, like sitting at someone’s bedside. That support is terrific. But these days the leadership role of a well intentioned and well informed patient doesn’t stop there. The role includes gathering and disseminating leading-edge, accurate medical information to help others make decisions. Many would argue that is the doctor’s role. And it is. But not exclusively. Today smarter patients are becoming full partners in discussions about their diagnosis, treatment...

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We are invading their home turf. Increasingly, in among the thousands of doctors, scientists, and medical industry marketers at the largest medical conventions you are finding real patients who have the conditions discussed in the scientific sessions and exhibit halls. Patients like me want to be where the news breaks;  we want to ask questions and – thanks to the Internet – we have a direct line to thousands of other patients waiting to know what new developments mean for them. I vividly remember attending an FDA drug hearing a few years ago; how there were stock analysts sitting in...

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Are there newer and better medicines to prevent clotting? The new seems to be good. Watch to find out more and look for new videos from heart experts very soon! Big News for Coumadin Patients from Patient Power® on Vimeo.

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On location at the AHA meeting in Chicago, Andrew discusses lowering your risk of heart disease and how weight affects your risk. Lower Obesity and Save Your Heart from Patient Power® on Vimeo.

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Hear what's hot in new information for your heart as Andrew is on location at the AHA in Chicago. Chicago Heart Smarts from Patient Power® on Vimeo.

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The Seattle baseball community, and many in Major League Baseball, were saddened this week by the death of Hall of Fame announcer Dave Niehaus. Dave, the deep, gravelly voice of the Seattle Mariners, died the other day – in the off-season – at age 75. Dave had had a heart condition for a number of years and missed part of a season a while back after a heart attack. I am a baseball fan and rejoiced whenever I heard him say his signature “My oh My!” or, even better, “Get out the rye break grandma, it’s grand salami time!” when...

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This past weekend Oscar-nominated Hollywood and Broadway actress Jill Clayburgh died at age 66. The cause was chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), which she had been fighting, privately, for 21 years. As you may recall, I, too, have CLL and I was diagnosed at the same age, 45. For me, I am 16 and a half years into that “battle” although, fortunately, I have been feeling very good in the ten years since I received treatment as part of a breakthrough clinical trial. While I have no symptoms and take no medicine I do not consider myself cured. So when someone...

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As Gale Fisher approached her late 60’s in Northern California she remained an active woman who loved to play golf and walk. But pain in her right calf  made walking very far difficult. And it was getting worse. Gale eventually saw her doctor and had an x-ray of her spine. One eminent doctor thought her pain was caused by stenosis, narrowing of her spine. He suggested fusion surgery might be needed. Gale knew back surgery all too often does not relieve a patient’s pain so she opted for a more conservative approach – injections. She also tried physical therapy. Neither...

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About 10 days ago I appeared in Phoenix as a speaker at a regional education seminar put on by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. My topic was sharing my experience as a participant in a clinical trial. I was delighted to do that as I feel that trial saved my life and restored me to good health. I am hoping my words encouraged others to consider being in a trial. There are no guarantees of the result, but trials are always worth considering. Unfortunately, few patients do. That may limit their choices and certainly holds back research that could help...

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I am just back from Phoenix where I spent the weekend with people living with CML, chronic myelogenous leukemia. The operative words are “living with” because it wasn’t very long ago when people did not live long with this disease. However, medical science and dedicated researchers like Dr. Brian Druker at OHSU in Portland, Oregon have brought us what first appear to be “miracle” pills (Gleevec, Sprycel, and Tasigna)that can keep patients alive and doing well. My weekend was spent with several people, all taking one of the tyrosine kinase inhibitor drugs, as they were planning next steps for a...

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