First, to our U.S. visitors - Happy Thanksgiving! To our friends around the world, we send all the best to you too! This tends to be a time of reflection so I am heavy into that right now. First, as a 15-year-leukemia survivor, I am thankful every day I can live a full life. And, as the founder of Patient Power, I am thankful to you for visiting our site, listening to and watching our programs, and for telling us that, for the most part, we are making a positive difference in your life or that of a loved one...

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Last week I wrote about the power of patients getting together and trading stories. As I wrote then, meeting in-person is simply unmatched. But now we have something almost as good – connecting on video to make a human connection: “Talking Heads for better Health,” if you will. You probably have noticed that we have been shooting video like crazy. I am thrilled about it because I studied broadcast journalism (mostly TV) in college and went on to become an on-camera reporter and then a national TV producer. As I got in on the ground floor of the Internet, there...

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Remember when people in the waiting room at a doctor’s office were all reading magazines? It was quiet as each person waited for their name to be called. Even if you went to a specialist’s office, no one dared say “I’m here for _____. What brings you here to see Dr. ____?” No one “shared” even if, just maybe, they had a very similar health concern to the person next to them. Makes sense, health is a private matter, right? Well many people I know don’t feel that way. They feel the benefits of connecting with other patients far outweigh...

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Maybe you’ve noticed, maybe you haven’t but Patient Power has never posted paid advertising on its pages. In this age of WebMd and Everyday Health each serving approaching 30 million health information seekers a month, why have we not allowed ads just like they do? The answer is two words: Andrew Schorr. I have a journalism background but not a marketing or business one. So at healthtalk.com, my earlier venture, and for six years at Patient Power, we have been supported annually by the nation’s leading medical centers, educational grants from industry, and our own self-funding. But not with advertising....

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I can’t get the 1989 baseball movie Field of Dreams out of my head. That’s especially true right now as I can’t wait for the seventh game of the World Series. My son, Eitan, and I sat on the couch and watched the sixth game last night and it was probably the most exciting game I’ve ever seen. Plot twists galore. You can bet the audience for tonight’s game will be HUGE. What’s so cool in thinking back about the movie is the famous line said to the baseball fanatic farmer: “If you build it they will come.” So he...

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The new book is out about Steve Jobs. You may have already heard that he regretted delaying surgery for months for a type of pancreatic cancer and explored alternatives, including dietary changes. He told his biographer he later came to the conclusion that it was the wrong personal health decision. If you check out social media conversations about health, the value of dietary changes is always a hot topic. Can becoming a vegetarian, for example, arrest the development of cancer or prevent its recurrence? This week I will participate in a webinar on social media and breast cancer. One other...

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If you’ve read my blogs for a while, or look up some past blogs, you’ll see I have been frustrated at times with the FDA. Yes, they have a tough job protecting us from medical products that are unsafe and/or ineffective. But when it comes to cancer, where we have few “homerun” therapies, I wish they were a bit more liberal. A “bunt single” might be good enough. You may have read how I have been critical of Dr. Rick Pazdur, the FDA leader for oncology drug approval. Some desperate patients and family members have referred to him as “Dr....

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It’s too young to die at age 56. It’s too young to die when you have four children and a wife. It’s too young to die when you have led one of the most successful technology companies ever. It’s too young to die when you are very rich, have so much more to do and to give back. But pancreatic cancer doesn’t care. This time, again, one of our most deadly cancers won. Medicines, nutrition, surgery, liver transplant, apparently Steve Jobs, celebrated CEO of Apple, tried them all. But, as I wrote in a recent blog, continuing was just too...

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There must be 100,000 or more non-fiction books that come out every year. You never hear about most of them. The New York publishers bet on a few when the author is well known. They won’t invest in someone they have never heard of – like yours truly. So when I self-published The Web-Savvy Patient a few months ago through great services provided by a division of Amazon that got the book out. Now there’s an audio book version coming out any day on audible.com. But getting published meant many traditional channels for book promotion were not open to me....

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As we often say at Patient Power, there is no one source for medical information. The same is true when it comes to support for patients. No one organization is THE place to go and has all the answers. That may sound obvious. But just as it has taken a long time to dislodge the “Doctor as God” perception or “I’m the doctor and you’re not” put-down of “problem patients,” there have been some non-profit advocacy groups that have seen themselves as the “be all and end all” for conditions they cover. In both cases, the arrogant doctor and the...

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