As Patient Power and others continue to publish news from the American Society of Hematology conference last week, what news should patients be excited about? What was the atmosphere like? Are the experts studying these diseases optimistic? Here's my take...

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Many of you know about, or have read, the highly recommended book, Tuesdays With Morrie. I am reading it now with my 14-year-old son, Eitan, as part of an assignment for his ninth grade English class. Morrie, a college professor in Boston, was dying, withering away with ALS. Each Tuesday he would have a visit from one of his favorite former students, Mitch, a journalist from Detroit. Morrie, a man in his 70’s, mused about many things including the meaning of life and the inevitability of death. He was prepared for his end. The other day I spoke about that...

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Go south from the “O.C.” – Orange County, California, where the sun shines on the beaches and girls in bikinis play volleyball, and you find yourself in San Diego, land of the surfers in the shadow of a large U.S. Navy base. It’s also home to a large convention center right by the Pacific. And that’s where 30,000 blood doctors and researchers from around the world are about to converge for the annual American Society of Hematology (ASH) annual meeting. Beginning December 10, they’ll absorb study data for blood related cancers like leukemia and lymphoma and blood conditions like sickle...

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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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December 2011
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