Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials: Why and Who Should Participate?

Interview with William Catalona, MD, Professor of Urology, Director of Clinical Prostate Cancer Program Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, Russell Szmulewitz, MD, Assistant Director, Genitourinary Oncology Program; Assistant Professor of Medicine University of Chicago Medical Center

From the Prostate Cancer Virtual Town Meeting in April 2016, Dr. Catalona and Dr. Szmulewitz discuss clinical trials for prostate cancer patients. Watch the full video below to hear from the experts!

Who Should Participate In Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials? And Why? from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

Living Well With CLL

Interview with Patient Advocate, Jennifer Abraham

After her third cancer diagnosis of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL), Jennifer decided she and her family were going to make the most of everything. She says her life is better than it has ever been and has learn to just be and live. Jennifer considers her cancer diagnoses almost a blessing because it pushed her to do things she maybe wouldn’t have done. Check out the full video below to hear more from Jennifer.


Living Well WIth CLL from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

What is Telehealth? How Can It Benefit Patients?

According to the Center for Connected Health Policy, telehealth can be defined as encompassing a broad variety of technologies and tactics to deliver virtual medical, health, and education services. Telehealth is not a specific service, but a collection of means to enhance care and education. For example, telehealth could be as simple as two healthcare professionals discussing a case over the phone or as sophisticated as doing robotic surgery between facilities at different ends of the globe. Common examples that are being used today include teleradiology, in which test results are forwarded to another facility for a diagnosis, continuing education for healthcare professionals, and supplements to home/hospital visits, which is especially useful for elderly patients. Frequently used applications and services include video conferencing, email, smart phones, streaming media, and mobile apps. So, what does that all mean for patients? It means patients can more easily integrate their healthcare into their daily life, instead of infrequent doctor’s visits. Thus, giving them a more efficient way to manage their ongoing care. Telehealth shows great potential for advancing preventative medicine and the treatment of chronic conditions.

Patient Benefits

  • Lower travel costs and miss work income savings to patients who would otherwise need to commute to an urban location
  • Home monitoring programs can reduce high cost hospital visits
  •  Specialists “team up” with local healthcare providers to improve disease management and improved disease management reduces complications and hospitalizations
  • Less time is spent by the patient in waiting rooms
  • Some doctors charge less for a telehealth consultation than they would for an average in-person visit
  • Telehealth has also been shown to reduce the need for hospital re-admissions, which can be an inconvenience for patients and are a significant expense to healthcare facilities
  • Patients can be diagnosed and treated more quickly in distant locations
  • Hospitalized patients whose care is supervised by a specialist via telehealth have the advantage of staying in their home community where family and friends can easily visit. Studies have shown that recovery is faster when patients are close to home
  • In some specialties, particularly in mental health and ICU care, telemedicine delivers a superior product, with greater outcomes and patient satisfaction
  • Test results can be quickly sent to specialists for second opinions
  • School based telehealth allows school nurses and other healthcare providers to serve more students at more locations
  • Can bring previously unavailable levels of care to remote or rural areas of the country and the world
  • Through Telehealth consults, patients are often able to participate in clinical trials unavailable in many rural areas.
  • Empowers patients to take an active role in their health care
  • Increases their confidence to stay independent and at home

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Supportive Care: How It Can Help Men With Prostate Cancer

Interview with Judith A. Paice, PhD, RN, FAAN, Director of the Cancer Pain Program, Division of Hematology-Oncology; Research Professor of Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine Northwestern Medicine and Russel Szmulewitz, MD, Associate Director, Genitourinary Oncology Program, Assistant Professor of Medicine University of Chicago

The panel explores how men are usually reluctant to share their feelings or complain about pain. However, Judith says that it is so crucial for patients to share with their health care professionals what is going on. Don’t be afraid to speak up! Having time to talk with others, or even a social worker will lead to an overall better quality of life. Watch the full video below for all the doctors’ advice.

Supportive Care: How It Can Help Men With Prostate Cancer from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

The Effects of Chemo and Ovarian Cancer

Real patient experiences shared privately at Read more, share if you like or join in the conversation. Making sure you feel less alone navigating a diagnosis is important. Connecting you to those who can relate and provide support is what we do.
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Had my first chemo January 20th. LOVE the pre-chemo “cocktail” they give. Relaxed me so much I slept through most of it. First four days after were fine. Next four, lots of nausea and threw up a few times. Doctor added two more anti-nausea meds and finally got it under control.

Using two chemo drugs; Carboplatin and Taxotere.

Two weeks after the first chemo my hair started falling out. Nausea and vomiting I can handle. Being tired a lot I can handle. Fingertips tingling I can handle. Hair falling out by the handful……..that was just demoralizing!

I put up with it for two days. Then, we shaved my head. I do mean WE. Went into work and sold raffle tickets. Winning ticket pulled got to shave my head! It was hilarious! Got pictures and lots of video. Plus, raised $322 to help with expenses, which I really needed.

My “work son”, Andrew, was the winner. Worked out good that way, I think. His mother is going through chemo for breast cancer, started losing her hair and shaved her head. He was having a hard time dealing with that. Shaving my head seemed to give him a new perspective.June TD quote

I freely admit, if I’d shaved my head at home by myself, I’d have bawled my eyes out the whole time. But, doing it at work made it easier. Everyone was cracking jokes and laughing….it was more like celebrating a milestone than doing something that was a reminder of something bad.

One thing I’ve noticed is that the “stubbies” don’t fall out as easy once they die as full strands do. Then, when I put on a scarf or hat, they get shoved down in the hair follicle and it’s uncomfortable. BUT, I found a great fix for it: LINT ROLLER! Yes, after my shower, I stand in front of the mirror and take a lint roller to my head. And laugh myself silly the whole time!

Turns out, I don’t look bad bald. So, I’ve opted not to bother with a wig. I use a scarf or hat outside, but go au natural indoors. And, I have to admit, I love how much time I’m saving in the shower! Especially on the days when I have no energy!

Second chemo was February 10th. Used my chemo port for the first time as well as an IV. That was interesting. And they gave me some kind of IV anti-nausea meds since the first dose hit me pretty hard. Worst side effect this time was that it messed with my taste buds. For about 10 days, all I could taste was sweet stuff. Couldn’t taste meat or spicy anything. Talk about frustrating! Grrrrrrrr!!!!!!!

Took the long way home afterward. Was stopped right next to a police officer at one light. He had about as much hair as I do right now. So, he’s looking over at me, I’m looking over at him…..we both were grinning at each other. Very cute moment.