March 11, 2005
Older patients often suffer needlessly from cancer, depression, and heart disease because society's age bias gets in the way of treatment, according to a growing body of research. Patients over 65 typically get less aggressive treatment for cancer than younger patients, less preventive care for high blood pressure and cholesterol, and double the dose they need of some psychiatric medicines, studies show. While they represent the majority of patients with chronic illnesses and the major users of prescription drugs, they are frequently passed over for tests of new treatments and medicines, leaving doctors with little of the evidence they need to care for seniors properly.
November 19, 1996
BOSTON -- From time to time, when I hear yet another decision from the health-care honchos of America, a small sentence forms above my head like a balloon in a cartoon: Who Are These People?Do HMOs deliberately recruit their policy-makers from some small subset of Americans who have no -- repeat, no -- experience with illness? Do managed-care headhunters actively search for folks whose primary people-skill is the skill to block out people while focusing on numbers?I burst this balloon publicly after reports that the same managed-care folks that brought us drive-thru deliveries topped that public-relations disaster with a new feat: drive-thru mastectomies.
February 14, 2013
After undergoing treatment for breast cancer , Lillie Shockney, the administrative director of the Johns Hopkins Breast Center, had nipple reconstruction - twice. Despite the many shades of patients' skin tone, "The color choices for doing it in the hospital setting were beige, dark brown and the most common color, called 'salmon,' " Shockney said. She chose salmon and the result, she said, "looked like two pancakes. " Then she saw the work of Vinnie Myers on one of her own patients and went to him. When the procedure was finished, she looked in the mirror and burst into tears.
October 11, 2012
A selection of resources for breast cancer patients and families: Nonprofits, charities and support groups Active Survivors Network Helps people affected by illness, disease and accidents to maintain an active lifestyle. activesurvivor.org or 410-823-0562 American Cancer Society Offers and links patients to education, support and assistance programs, such as Look Good...Feel Better, Wigs - Free or Reduced, Reach to Recovery, and more, at area locations. Holds the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk every October.
October 19, 2012
A stranger approached a cluster of women laughing and chatting at an Annapolis coffee shop and politely inquired what type of group was having so much fun. "One that you don't want to join," answered 55-year-old Sally Ring, setting off another wave of giggles. Moments earlier, Ring had told the group her cancer had spread to her bones and she'd had another stint on a ventilator. Her colorful storytelling had the women doubled over. "My motto for through this whole thing is that somebody has it much worse," Ring said.
September 29, 1992
If a woman lives past age 85, her risk of developing breast cancer during her lifetime increases from one in nine -- the widely reported national rate -- to one in eight, according to the National Cancer Institute.Officials at the institute, which reported the rate change in today's edition of its publication, Cancer Statistics Review 1973-1989, said the change does not mean that an individual woman's risk of getting breast cancer has increased. Rather, the change simply reflects that more women are living beyond age 85, the former cutoff for calculating lifetime risk, according to Susan Jenks, spokeswoman for the institute.
September 6, 2012
Judy Blume, the chronicler of youth angst in such books as " Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing" and "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret," is writing now about a much more personal battle against breast cancer. In a blog post titled !@#$% Happens, Blume writes of a summer that began with plans for a trip to Italy and soon moved on to surgery. As you might expect, she blends plenty of self-deprecating humor into her tale. She's healing now, a month after surgery, and looking forward to writing again.
December 10, 2012
I'm sure that Baltimore Ravens fans noticed the pink cleats, gloves, wristbands, sideline caps and other equipment the team sported during October. I want to let the community know that the Ravens were much more than "pretty in pink" during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The National Football League's initiative, "A Crucial Catch: Annual Screening Saves Lives," reminds women ages 40 and older about the importance of annual mammograms. Through this initiative, the NFL provides funding to the American Cancer Society to help uninsured and underserved women access breast cancer screening and detect breast cancer early.