Science doesn’t have to be intimidating. On Sunday, our researchers will explain their leading-edge work in inviting – even fun – ways at City of Hope’s Community Science Festival. The event, which features hands-on science activities and educational lectures, is open to the public and, better yet, completely free.
So drop by City of Hope at 1500 E. Duarte Road, Duarte, Calif., to learn some interesting scientific facts, create a DNA bracelet, take in a few lectures and then impress your friends and family with knowledge of the newest frontiers in medicine.
The sessions include:
Take Control of Your Health: City of Hope researchers are investigating the various causes for disease, including genetics, lifestyle and environment. In this session, you’ll learn about some of these factors and how they affect your disease risk. You can draw your family pedigree and think about things that are good for your health – and other things that are not so good. Continue reading “Science Week at City of Hope: Become a scientist for the day” »
Bone marrow transplantation is a complex procedure used to treat blood and bone cancers and other life-threatening diseases, and it’s now saving more lives than ever. But it can’t save everyone. Suitable bone marrow matches simply can’t be found for enough people.
Some say that allowing donors to be financially compensated for bone marrow could solve this problem. And in fact, two years ago, a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling backed such compensation, defining bone marrow as an organ and allowing donors to receive financial benefits for bone marrow just as they can receive compensation for blood and other organs.
That ruling changed a decades-old ban as it pertained to blood marrow donations and was widely cheered as a landmark, one that would lead more people to donate bone marrow and thus save the lives of men, women and children across the country.
Now the federal Department of Health and Human Services has proposed a rule that would once again bar bone marrow donors from being compensated. The department is arguing that “altruistic donations” reduce the risk that people with contagious disease will donate tissue for financial gain.
Although the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2006, vaccination rates among U.S. adolescents remain low.
In a review article published online in JAMA Pediatrics on Nov. 25, researchers reported that 34.8 percent of girls 13 to 17 had completed the three-cycle series of HPV vaccines and that only 8.3 percent of boys in the same age range had even initiated it. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended the vaccine for all girls and young women ages 11 through 26 — as well as all boys and young men ages 11 through 21.
The authors examined 55 studies to determine barriers to adolescents getting, and completing, their HPV immunization shot cycle. Recurring barriers that they found in these studies include: Continue reading “Why HPV vaccination is low among U.S. adolescents” »
The second in a series about how to give, and give back, during the holiday season ...
This time of year brings holiday cheer to many people across the nation, but for hospitals and blood donor centers, such as City of Hope’s Michael Amini Transfusion Medicine Center, it’s the start of a tough season.
Not only do people take breaks from school and work during the holidays, many also take a break from donating blood and platelets to hospitals. Blood and platelets donations are needed year-round, said Kasie Uyeno, City of Hope’s blood donor recruitment manager, but they’re especially critical during the holiday season.
“The need for blood does not take a holiday,” Uyeno said. “It’s always there.”
Patients at City of Hope rely on more than 37,000 units of blood and platelets each year for their survival.
Currently, the Amini Center brings in about 22,300 units of blood and platelets yearly— which is not nearly enough to meet the hospital’s needs.
“The need is always higher than what we have,” Uyeno said.
During the months of November and December, the need is even higher because during those months, blood and platelet donations drop around 25 percent, she said. Continue reading “How to give back: Save a life – donate blood or platelets” »
Carol Duran was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer in 2008. “The first thought was, ‘I’m going to lose my life, and leave my kids without a mom,’” Duran recently recalled.
The Alhambra, Calif., resident received much of her treatment as an outpatient at City of Hope, returning home most nights to her children. “It was nice to be able to come home even though I wasn’t feeling that great. At least my boys could climb into my bed or I could sit on the floor and play with them or read to them. I was with them a lot, which was important to me. In case something happened, I wanted them to remember me.”
Today, Duran is healthy, back to work, and sharing new parenting adventures with her husband, Jaime.
We recently asked Duran to look back at the time of her diagnosis and ask herself, what do you know now that you wish you’d known then? What wisdom, soothing words or practical tips would you give your newly diagnosed self? In a previous article, she reflected on how cancer patients can improve their care and their personal health.
Here, she offers guidance on parenting, relationships and daily life.
Tell your children what they need to know. Because they were only 3, my boys only knew that I was sick, but didn’t understand what I was going through. I was bald and afraid of scaring them, but they just saw me as Mom. They just thought, “She changed her hairdo; she’s wearing a scarf.” Through the years, they have asked more questions. One of my sons is more intuitive, and when I go for follow-up appointments, he’ll ask, “You’re fine, right? The cancer didn’t come back, did it?” They have seen me do interviews for City of Hope and know about cancer and that people can die from it. I never wanted City of Hope to be a scary place for them and it hasn’t been. Children often get their cues on how to react by seeing how their parents handle situations. They weren’t scared because they saw me enjoying myself. Continue reading “‘My cancer diagnosis’ – Carol Duran on parenting during cancer” »
Brand-name drugs are more expensive than generic drugs, that much is clear. What’s also clear, finds the independent, nonprofit newsroom ProPublica, is that a small percentage of doctors nationwide are prescribing what seems to be more than their share of the pricey versions – and Medicare is footing the bill.
“Just 913 internists, family medicine and general practice physicians cost taxpayers an extra $300 million in 2011 alone by disproportionately choosing name-brand drugs,” read the story “Medicare’s Failure to Track Doctors Wastes Billions on Name-Brand Drugs.” “These doctors each wrote at least 5,000 prescriptions that year, including refills, and ranked among the program’s most prolific prescribers.”
California doctors were among the top prescribers of such drugs, the Los Angeles Daily News points out. “Almost 65 million Medicare Part D claims totalling $7.5 billion were filed by internal medicine, family medicine and general practice physicians from the Golden State for their patients,” the newspaper reported.
Such headlines beg the question: Why would doctors prescribe more expensive drugs when clearly cheaper alternatives are available? The answer can be complex, as Cy A. Stein, M.D., Ph.D., the Arthur & Rosalie Kaplan Chair in Medical Oncology at City of Hope, explains. Continue reading “Generic drug or brand-name drug? The answer can be complex” »
Even people not treated at City of Hope feel a connection to us and to our float in the Tournament of Roses Parade. This soon-to-be float decorator from Colorado writes:
“My parents went to the Rose Bowl parade years ago before they had children – over 53 years. It made such an impression on them and for years I heard them talk about how wonderful it smelled and how beautiful the floats were. It created in me a desire to go – ‘someday.’ So, as I am now 50 and have children of my own, I have for the past 20 years gathered my family together to watch the parade as one of our must do holiday traditions. Every year they hear me say, ‘Someday, we will go. Ohhh, I want to go!”
Well, in January 2011, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, Stage 3. Thankfully, God allowed the treatment to work and I am nearly two years treatment-free. In January 2013, some friends offered to have our family stay with them at their beach house, so we have planned our trip around the time to get to attend the Rose Bowl parade and fulfill a dream for me at the same time. So here we come from Colorado!
The theme this year is especially meaningful to us for so many reasons and we knew we wanted to work on your float more than any other.
Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to continue making memories through your efforts in cancer research and to work on your float as a family. It is a privilege to get to see Dreams Come True.
Blessings to you,
To make your own float-decorating dreams come true, visit our Rose Parade float site http://www.cityofhope.org/roseparadefloat and sign up. It’s that easy.
You can also support the dreams of our float riders – all former cancer patients treated at City of Hope – by making a donation to support the float construction itself. And please, share your own story, dream or City of Hope connection below.