Category Archives: Health

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5 Surprising Facts about Childhood Cancer

Patient

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and what you may not know about childhood cancer may surprise you. More than 15,000 children are diagnosed with cancer each year and approximately one-quarter of these children will not survive. Childhood Cancer Awareness Month highlights the types of cancer that affect children, survivorship issues, and help raise funds for research and family support. First, five things you may not know about childhood cancer: Common adult cancers – lung, Read More >

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Mito What???

Liz-Kennerly-115x76

Mitochondrial Disease: The Most Common Disease You’ve Probably Never Heard of… About 20 years ago, mitochondrial disease was virtually unheard of.  Just 10 years ago, it was considered rare. Today, according to NORD, a disease is considered rare when less than 200,000 people are affected.  Mitochondrial disease is not a single disease, but rather an entire umbrella of rare diseases.  For example, Alpers disease and Barth syndrome are very different and rare forms of mitochondrial Read More >

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Playing Detective With Checkpoint Therapies

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Three words are on the lips of everyone following new developments in cancer therapies: checkpoint inhibitor drugs. Simply put, investigators believe they have figured out a way to dismantle the mechanism used by cancer cells to stay hidden from T-cells, a type of specialized immune cell. CTLA-4 is a protein on the surface of T-cells that acts as an “off” switch for the sleuthing T-cells. It signals them to remain in a resting state, kind of like Read More >

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What to Watch: Vaccines – Calling the Shots

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Recently, PBS’s NOVA had an episode on the reemergence of diseases (including measles, whooping cough, and mumps) that had previously been largely eradicated in the US by vaccines, in part because nervous parents are skipping their children’s shots. At least ten percent of parents delay or skip some recommended vaccines, and one percent don’t vaccinate at all. What’s driving people away, and what are the consequences? Those are the questions explored in Vaccines — Calling Read More >

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San Francisco Chronicle: High Drug Co-Pays Deny Needed Treatments

Jim Greenwood

Today, the San Francisco Chronicle published an op-ed that I wrote on the importance of ensuring access to treatments for debilitating diseases that are saving millions of patients from pain and possible death. Patients rightly expect their health insurance plan to cover the best medicines based on their unique needs, at an out-of-pocket cost that makes these therapies accessible. Insurance companies and their allies, seeking to deflect blame for increased premiums at a time of Read More >

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