On April 4, Roger Ebert, the first-ever Pulitzer-Prize-winning film critic, died after a long battle with cancer. Working in healthcare, we often meet patients battling a disease and become inspired by their stories, ones we often use to educate the public about a particular disease state. Ebert was definitely a patient whose cancer journey inspired millions. Despite being unable to speak in the traditional sense, due to cancer of the thyroid and salivary glands, his “way with words,” via a computerized voice system, continued to resonate.
Most of us recall Ebert from his movie review television show with “rival critic,” Gene Siskel. The two reviewers would comment on a movie’s strengths or weaknesses – sometimes agreeing, often arguing. But Ebert actually began his cinematic commentary in print at the Chicago Sun-Times nearly five decades ago, and it was in those pages that he began to shape how America sees the movies. Continue reading
I believe in disease awareness months. I do. They raise a lot of attention and a lot of money. They may even save lives by encouraging screening and early detection. Continue reading
Earlier this month, a study was released for Abiraterone, a new drug from J&J that it is one of four drugs to ever demonstrate a survival benefit for patients with advanced prostate cancer. The study claimed that in a sample of 1,195 patients given the drug plus a low-dose steroid lived 14.8 months while those given a low-dose steroid plus a placebo survived 10.9 months. Continue reading
Almost 40 years ago President Richard Nixon signed the National Cancer Act of 1971 and kicked off the nation’s “War on Cancer.” Since then great progress has been made in the prevention, detection and treatment of cancer: radio imaging can detect the smallest pre-cancerous conditions; tailored therapies target specific tumor types for improved outcomes; and the first cancer prevention vaccine (for cervical cancer) was approved, to name a few innovations. Continue reading