When Lehigh Valley Health Network’s (LVHN) Richard Boulay, MD, read Angelina Jolie’s column about her choice to have a double mastectomy to lower her risk for developing breast cancer, he was impressed by the thought process Jolie used to make that difficult decision.
Boulay, an LVHN gynecologic oncologist, said Jolie lays out a decision-making algorithm that can guide anyone wrestling with how to manage their own cancer risk. In an entry he wrote for a Huffington Post blog, Boulay describes these steps Jolie took before choosing a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy to lower her breast cancer risk from 87 percent to 5 percent: Read More
A news report this week summarized a study that’s questioning whether bed rest actually helps prevent premature birth during high-risk pregnancies – or if it causes more problems.
In the study, 37 percent of the women with some level of bed rest had a premature baby, compared to 17 percent who continued their regular activity levels. A report on the research is published in the latest issue of the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.
Like other experts quoted in the report, Lehigh Valley Health Network maternal fetal medicine specialist Albert Sarno, MD, says the study is flawed because it wasn’t conducted in a randomized way to test whether bed rest increases or reduces the risk of pregnancy complications. Thus it fails to draw a causal relationship between bed rest and premature labor.
Nevertheless Sarno is hopeful the research will prompt further testing about whether bed rest should be a treatment for women at risk for preterm labor.
“It is good to see that some of the things that we have taken for granted as far as treatment regimens over the years are finally being studied in a scientific way,” Sarno says. “We do need to question some of the things we’ve been doing for years without scientific reason.” Read More
Tara Namey, genetic counseling; Gregory Harper, MD, PhD, hematology/oncology
Actress Angelina Jolie said in a New York Times guest column that she publicized her decision to have a preventive double mastectomy so other women would know they have options, even when it comes to something as scary as cancer.
Jolie learned through genetic testing that she had an 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer. Her mother died at age 56 after fighting cancer for nearly a decade, and Jolie carries the BRCA1 gene mutation that increases her risk of getting the disease.
“(Genetic) testing is important because it can unveil higher risks than what we would anticipate by family history alone,” Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) genetic counselor Tara Namey told WFMZ-TV for a 69News report Tuesday. Read More
Lehigh Valley Hospital provides a full range of cancer screening, diagnostic, treatment, rehabilitation and continuing care services at two locations: the John and Dorothy Morgan Cancer Center at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest, pictured above, and the Cancer Center at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Muhlenberg.
If you have a loved one with cancer, or if you have been diagnosed yourself, you know how important it is to find the right place to receive care. The cancer specialists at Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) offer second opinions on all types of cancer. One of LVHN’s cancer specialists talked about why it’s important to get a second opinion during a one-hour PBS special about cancer.
“We want you to feel confident in your diagnosis and treatment plan, no matter what your prognosis is,” says Gregory Harper, MD, PhD, physician director of Lehigh Valley Health Network’s National Cancer Institute Community Cancer Centers Program.
“When researching other cancer centers it is important to know that quality outcomes and survival rates can be misrepresented when an institution accepts and treats only certain, select patients who are likely to get better based on medical factors and financial means,” Harper says.
“We don’t know what will happen in the future, but he’s doing so well right now, and everybody has been so reassuring,” Justin Nagy says. “This cap may have made such a difference in his life. It’s hard to express how grateful we are.”
For Jeanine Nagy, the joy of pregnancy turned to deep concern at Week 39. Her doctors induced labor on Jan. 9, 2013, but her baby, Liam, did not tolerate labor well.
“After some pushes, Jeanine’s uterus ruptured, and they performed an emergency Caesarian section,” Jeanine’s husband, Justin, says. At first, Liam wasn’t breathing, and his heart rate was very low. Once those conditions were corrected, Liam started to have seizures. That’s when he was transferred from the hospital where he was born to Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN).
Jeanine saw Liam for just a minute before he left for the health network’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Neonatologist Lorraine Dickey, MD, rode with Liam to the NICU and monitored him closely during his 12-day stay.
Liam suffered from a condition called neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), which means oxygen was not getting to his brain properly. He received a treatment new to the NICU called therapeutic hypothermia. His core temperature was lowered by applying the Olympic Cool Cap system to his head. This therapy provides hope for reducing the severity of a newborn’s potential neurologic injuries.