Medical oncologist Katherine Harris, MD, PhD, with Lehigh Valley Health Network says the first thing to do may be difficult – don’t panic. “Most breast lumps – more than 80 percent of them – are harmless,” Harris says. Read More
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
Alan List, MD, Moffitt’s president and CEO, and Suresh Nair, LVHN’s senior medical director of academic oncology programs, explained this week that LVHN will be part of the Moffitt Oncology Network, providing access to Moffitt’s experts and best practices.
Collaborations to date that involved LVHN patients included an ovarian cancer trial to test choices of chemotherapy treatment based on the tumor DNA, and a smoking cessation pilot project targeted at pregnant women. More than 50 patients from Lehigh Valley have been involved in the two projects.
Research with the Moffitt Oncology Network is expected to include additional tumor DNA study of various advanced-stage cancers and testing of a new drug for advanced stages of melanoma.
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
Diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2012, Casey Maurer of Emmaus soon felt overwhelmed.
The news itself had stunned the 35-year-old mother of two. Next she faced an avalanche of physician and treatment appointments. Last, but certainly not least, came the potentially crushing financial impact. One chemotherapy treatment alone could cost thousands of dollars. How would she and her husband, Jason, stay afloat? “We have a mortgage to pay, a home to heat, mouths to feed,” she says. “Cancer or not, life goes on.”
Fortunately, Maurer turned to Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) for care. Unlike some cancer centers that have recently begun to turn away patients due to government funding cuts, LVHN has not deterred from its mission to heal, comfort and care for the people of our community. “Regardless of ability to pay, we treat everyone who comes to us for care,” says oncology financial coordinator Susan Holler. Holler’s role is to connect patients with financial resources inside and outside LVHN. Read More