Cancer in the headlines, September 18



Tribute to the cancer victims

Mary Travers of “Peter, Paul and Mary” dies, age 72
She’ an icon from my childhood. Yes, I admit I grew up with Peter, Paul and Mary even if this admission gives away my age. I grew upnewspaper humming the tunes of “Puff, the Magic Dragon”, “Stewball”, “Lemon tree” “Blowin’ in the Wind”, “500 miles” and many other folk songs. Mary Travers and her bandmates were social activists who used their music as social commentaries. I am therefore saddened to hear about the passing of Mary Travers at age 72 after battling leukemia since 2004. Travers had bone marrow transplant 3 years ago but she suffered from a relapse. Reports say she passed away on September 16 from complications of chemotherapy.

Patrick Swayze dies, age 57
Patrick Swayze, on the other hand, was part of my teen years and early adulthood. “The Outsiders”, “Dirty Dancing”, “Ghost” and “North and South” are just a few of his memorable films. Swayze battled pancreatic cancer for almost 2 years. He passed away last September 14 at the age of 57. An oncologist told CNN it was “an accomplishment” that he was able to survive that long. Pancreatic cancer that has metastasized outside the pancreas has very poor prognosis. Swayze admitted that his cancer might be largely due to his smoking.

While fighting his own battle, Swayze was also fighting on behalf of other cancer victims. He was a strong supporter of the advocacy group Stand Up to Cancer and was actively campaigning for health reforms.

Good news for the cancer survivors

News from ASCO: 6-Minute Cancer Survivorship Care
It was announced recently at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting in Orlando, Florida – a survivor care plan accessible online. This is good news for cancer survivors – about 12 million in the US and 28 million around the world. This new web service is a partnership between the Lance Armstrong Foundation and Penn Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. It is called the LiveStrong Care Plan powered by OncoLink. Oncolink is a general cancer site which was set up by the university in 1994. With this new partnership and innovation

Patients can actually go in and enter basic demographic information about themselves, enter information about the treatments they had; whether it be chemotherapy, surgery, radiation therapy, or hormonal therapy; and this plan will actually spit out about a seven or eight page care plan for the rest of their life.

Photo credit: stock.xchng

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