Andrew Schorr and hematologist Dr. Haifa Al-Ali at her clinic in Leipzig, Germany As we have written many times here, the pace of research and discovery in many cancer types is accelerating. I wish it was for all cancers, but I take heart in that it is for some. Two of which I have: CLL and myelofibrosis. I thought I was in the minority of people who are on a daily quest for “what’s new.” But a preliminary look at the results from our ongoing Patient Power 2014 Survey shows I am far from alone. Many patients today not only seek information at time of diagnosis, they...

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As we have written many times here, the pace of research and discovery in many cancer types is accelerating. I wish it was for all cancers, but I take heart in that it is for some. Two of which I have: CLL and myelofibrosis. I thought I was in the minority of people who are on a daily quest for “what’s new.” But a preliminary look at the results from our ongoing Patient Power 2014 Survey shows I am far from alone. Many patients today not only seek information at time of diagnosis, they continue to seek information daily, or even weekly, for as long as 10 years after...

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A recent article by Bill Keller in The New York Times told the story of a woman fighting advanced cancer in New York. Bill raised the question of whether we cancer patients should see ourselves in a war with constant or recurring battles or see it differently. He wondered if, when cancer appears to be getting the best of us, we should step back, recognize our mortality and not always make the most aggressive choice. This is all part of a shift. Are we fighting a “war on cancer” or are we chipping away at its ravages, as a society...

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As we kick off 2014 and look back on 2013 and earlier we take stock of who we are. What have we become and why? What’s significant in our lives and what else is left to do? For me, it’s meant thinking back to 1972 when I was a graduate student in journalism at Columbia University in New York City. On many days I would be sent down to Room 9 at New York City’s City Hall to hang out with the veteran reporters who made that their base. I would stay close to the reporters from The New York...

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So often articles, programs and classes about serious illnesses talk AT you. It’s one-way communication. In 2014, we at Patient Power are going to ensure that’s not our approach. We want to get you the answers to your most pressing questions about the cancers we cover in depth. You’ll be hearing a lot more about us producing free, interactive forums for you to attend in person where you can submit questions in advance, attend in person, or view video clips afterwards. The first one in the new year will be led by Dr. Michael Keating, CLL expert at MD Anderson...

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Changes impacting the treatment landscape in many blood cancers were discussed this year at the 55th annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH). Patient Power founder Andrew Schorr shares why physicians, and patients, have reason to be optimistic in his video blog from the conference in New Orleans.

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Thanksgiving, for many, is a time of reflection. I am personally ever thankful, as a two time cancer survivor, to have had another year of feeling good, enjoying life with family and friends, and being productive. When thinking about who has given me that gift I owe a debt of thanks to devoted cancer researchers and specialists. It is because of improved therapies that my leukemia has remained in remission and the symptoms of my second cancer, myelofibrosis, have been knocked back. I don’t know the scientists who developed the drugs I have taken but I am certainly thankful for...

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When I was diagnosed with my first cancer in 1996, I quickly learned that the “experts” who could best help me were not just the medical professionals, but also fellow patients, caregivers and patient advocates. My diagnosis led to building an entire community of people, most of them strangers at first, who would have a profound impact on my life. That sense of community, as well as the confidence and hope it brings to you when facing cancer, are behind everything that Patient Power does. In other words, the “power” behind Patient Power has always been collective. Through our conversations,...

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Photo courtesy American Society of Hematology Promising new cancer treatments are big news, especially for affected patients, and something I write about often. Many will be discussed in December in New Orleans during the big medical meeting focused primarily on blood-related cancers, the annual ASH or American Society of Hematology meeting. Doctors will be “excited” about what could be next for patients and we’ll interview them for the most current information for programs like the one Patient Power just released with Professor Peter Hillmen on the experimental drug idelalisib for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).  It sounds good but it is...

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There was tremendous excitement last year at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) meeting about promising new leukemia drugs. One drug for chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), ponatinib (brand name Iclusig) made big news as leading experts shared later stage study data showing great effectiveness for patients with the life-threatening T315i mutation and for those who did not respond to already approved drugs for CML. The buzz was that ponatinib might not only help the few patients with T315i and who were almost out of options, but also a bigger group of patients earlier in their CML journey. Within weeks the...

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