Posts tagged ‘survivorship’

Lung cancer patient highlights need for survivor research (VIDEO)

March 12, 2014 | by
lung cancer
“Susan survived breast cancer 20 years ago.” So begins a video of a former City of Hope patient sharing the story of her lung cancer diagnosis and her subsequent treatment at City of Hope. In her narrative, the former patient expresses shock at her diagnosis, saying she was “totally floored.” After all, she’d never smoked, and the common perception of lung cancer has been that it’s a disease only of smokers. That perception is slowly changing. As explained by Karen Reckamp, M.D., M.S., co-director of City of Hope’s Lung Cancer and Thoracic Oncology Program: “The most…

Peer program helps black women during, and after, breast cancer

February 24, 2014 | by
breast cancer
After adjusting to the rigors of a cancer patient’s schedule – a barrage of appointments with surgeons, oncologists, radiologists, chemotherapy treatments, surgeries, tests – cancer survivors have large adjustments to make. Kommah McDowell, a breast cancer survivor, serves as a mentor for black women who recently completed breast cancer treatment and are transitioning into the follow-up stage of their care. “You get into this system where you’re seeing multiple doctors a week – you’re in a groove, and you’re comfortable with it,” said Kommah McDowell, a 37-year-old breast cancer survivor. “Then, it’s over. There’s this…

Life after breast cancer: Too many black women don’t receive follow-up

February 17, 2014 | by
Breast tumor
As the nation commemorates Black History Month, a City of Hope researcher is calling attention to the fact that a shocking 15 percent of African-American breast cancer survivors do not receive annual follow-up mammograms after their treatment stops. Black breast cancer survivors are not receiving regular mammograms, a basic component of follow-up care. City of Hope researchers are developing tools to help ensure they get the support they need during the follow-up phase of treatment. “We did a preliminary study that informed our current survivorship study – and so many African-American breast cancer survivors were…

When a child has cancer: What friends and visitors should know

February 6, 2014 | by
Children with cancer
When a child is diagnosed with cancer, friends and relatives of the family often don’t know what to say, what to do, how to react. Some visitors linger for hours in the child’s hospital room, further exhausting already weary parents. Others pose grotesquely rhetorical questions: “Don’t you wish this wasn’t happening?” Ken and Diana Wolfrank share their advice on what to say, and what not to say, to parents whose child has cancer. Here, they pose for a photo at City of Hope with daughter Emma and son Gavin. Ken and Diana Wolfrank have seen…

When a child has cancer: One family’s advice to other parents

January 30, 2014 | by
Wolfrank family
Gavin Wolfrank was only 7 months old in 2006 when his mother noticed the “blueberry” bruises on his tiny hand. Her normally active, happy baby suddenly turned lethargic and inconsolable. Ultimately, he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Ken and Diana Wolfrank, shown here with son Gavin and daughter Emma, have some advice for other parents whose child has been diagnosed with cancer. That diagnosis was the start of a years-long ordeal, not just for Gavin, but for parents Ken and Diana, as well as sister Emma. Gavin soon began chemotherapy at a local hospital, ultimately…

Pediatric cancer researchers explore new ways to help kids

January 12, 2014 | by
Every child fighting cancer is unique — and deserves treatment that recognizes differences in age, developmental stage, background and the cancer he or she is battling. City of Hope conducts groundbreaking research and practices compassionate care that addresses the needs of each child, tailoring treatment to overcome disease. Our commitment to help children fight cancer City of Hope is committed to helping children fight cancer. Our scientists’ groundbreaking research and our physicians’ lifesaving treatments are all part of that commitment. City of Hope is committed to helping children fight cancer, even when prior treatments have…

Childhood survivors of BMTs need medical monitoring in adulthood

December 20, 2013 | by
Childhood BMT survivors
Improvements in hematopoietic cell transplants have been credited with increasing survival among patients undergoing the procedure by an estimated 10 percent per decade. More children than ever are surviving bone marrow transplants, but they often suffer long-term health problems. Photo credit: Photodisc Yet, childhood survivors of the transplants, which are often referred to as bone marrow transplants (BMT), also are at a substantial risk of developing chronic and sometimes life-threatening medical conditions after transplantation. In fact, nearly one in four will develop a severe or debilitating health condition (such as stroke or heart disease, another type…

Exploring cognitive decline after hematopoietic cell transplant

December 17, 2013 | by
Illustration of the human brain
Hematopoietic cell transplant patients who undergo what’s known as myeloablative conditioning (that is, high-intensity chemotherapy and radiation) – and who have shorter telomeres (chromosome “end caps”) – may be at greater risk for cognitive impairment after transplant, City of Hope researchers have found. Their study was presented earlier this month at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting and Exposition in New Orleans in December. “Our goal was to understand the trajectory of their cognitive functioning after transplantation and also if there are some vulnerable subpopulations at increased risk of cognitive impairment,” said senior author Smita Bhatia, M.D., M.P.H.,…

Meet our doctors: Julie Wolfson on cancer in teens, young adults

November 16, 2013 | by
Julie Wolfson
Adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with cancer have different needs and treatment challenges than children or older adults. They’re a unique population because they don’t fit into a distinct group, often falling into a gap between cancer treatment programs designed for children and those designed for adults. City of Hope pediatric oncologist Julie Wolfson Here, pediatric oncologist Julie Wolfson, M.D., M.S.H.S., discusses how the cancer experience differs for AYAs and how City of Hope’s multidisciplinary AYA team offers assistance and a network of professionals to support teens and young adults from the beginning of treatment through…

Childhood cancer survivors face chronic conditions in adulthood

June 11, 2013 | by
Chronic health conditions, such as cardiomyopathy, often develop in survivors of childhood cancer, affecting their lives into adulthood.
Smita Bhatia has watched pediatric patients defeat cancer, only to see many of them grow into adult survivors confronting new deadly opponents: secondary cancers and serious health problems resulting from the lifesaving but toxic therapies they received as children. Chronic health conditions, such as cardiomyopathy, often develop in survivors of childhood cancer, affecting their lives into adulthood. Bhatia, M.D., M.P.H., is the Ruth Ziegler Chair in Population Sciences at City of Hope as well as the director of the Center for Cancer Survivorship. She lauds a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association documenting…