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The CTCA blog

Have a heart this Valentine's Day, consider organ donation


Valentine’s Day marks National Organ Donor Day, and you can show your love by giving one of the most important gifts of all—life.

On any given day, over 100,000 people are waiting for an organ, and every 10 minutes someone new is added to the wait list. While 79 people on average receive an organ transplant each day, 18 people die waiting for one (

Future of cancer research is cloudy due to low participation in adult clinical trials

Glen Weiss, MD

A recent Associated Press article revealed what many of us in cancer research have known for some time: Too few adult patients enroll in cancer clinical trials and the consequences for future advances are dire.

Given that many modern advances in cancer care have in some way or another been shaped by information stemming from clinical trials, this news represents a crisis in cancer research.

CTCA pulmonologist responds to CVS tobacco decision


Video: CTCA Doctor Comments on CVS Decision

CVS Caremark announced last week that it would stop selling tobacco products on Oct 1. Hear what Dr. Visco has to say about the drugstore chain's ban of tobacco products and the connection between smoking and lung cancer.

CVS Caremark announced last week that it would stop selling tobacco products at its more than 7,600 stores nationwide on Oct 1. The decision has received praise from physicians, including Dr. David Visco, a Pulmonologist at our hospital in Philadelphia.

Dr. Visco also is the hospital's Medical Director of the Hospitalist Program and Medical Director of Sleep Medicine. Hear what Dr. Visco has to say about the drugstore chain's ban of tobacco products and the connection between smoking and lung cancer.

CVS pledges to stop selling cigarettes by Oct. 1


With smoking as the leading cause of lung cancer, this week’s decision by drugstore chain CVS Caremark to stop selling tobacco products is an important step toward saving lives.

The ban makes the statement that tobacco products are unhealthy and should not be sold in businesses that promote health. The move could have a ripple effect, prompting other retailers to stop selling cigarettes, too.

Debunking cancer myths on World Cancer Day


Today is World Cancer Day, a time when people across the globe can join together and commit themselves to the fight against cancer. For anyone currently undergoing treatment, think of this day as the world is saying, “We’re with you.”

In 2012, 8.2 million people died from cancer, making the disease the leading cause of death worldwide.  One-third of these deaths could have been prevented if the cancer had been caught early or treated appropriately. That’s 2.7 million lives lost prematurely.

10 tips to help you eat better for your heart


For people fighting cancer and heart disease, it’s especially important to eat right. This February is American Hearth Month, the perfect time to start eating better for your heart and your well-being. Two of our clinical oncology dietitians, Megan Gutierrez and Crystal Langlois, have a handful of suggestions to help you get started. Along with maintaining a healthy weight and regular physical activity, they recommend 10 tips.

Concerns about innovative cancer treatments versus commercial interests

Maurie Markman, MD

News reports over the past several months have highlighted highly encouraging reports of a novel “gene therapy” strategy in the treatment of children with acute lymphocytic leukemia.

While great success has occurred over the last several decades in improving the survival outcome of children found to have this difficult cancer, if the malignancy is found to progress after delivery of standard chemotherapy treatments (including bone marrow transplantation), the prognosis has been dire.

Seek a second opinion for orthopedic issues related to cancer

Richard Schmidt, MD

At our hospital in Philadelphia, we talk a lot about the “starfish story” (adapted from The Star Thrower by Loren Eiseley), which symbolizes the power to make a difference in another person’s life.

At some point we all end up feeling like a starfish stranded on the beach; we need someone to lift us up and place us back in the ocean of life. This is especially true for the patients I meet.

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