Tag Archives: Kate’s Thoughts

Can Women Wait for First Colonoscopy?

Evidence that adenomas (polyps) develop later in women than in men has experts asking whether women can wait until they are sixty to be screened for colorectal cancer. Some disagree.  They point out that while women’s risk is smaller in their fifties that possibility still exists.  Obesity, being African American, and having diabetes also increases risk of adenomas and potentially cancer in women. Dr. Sidney Winawer from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center told MedPage Today, My opinion has been, and still is, that although the risk in women is lower, it is not zero. The old message was that colon cancer was a man’s disease. We have to be careful

Talk to Your Family During the Holidays

When the family is gathered on Thanksgiving or during the upcoming holidays, have a difficult — but critical — talk together. You can save anguish and conflict when a family member is close to death by knowing what their wishes are.  You can help your family know what you want, as well.  The Engage with Grace slide helps to start the conversation You can  download one slide from Engage with Grace to start your family’s discussion.

Fun and Footsore at ASCO

When I finally got on the big bus yesterday from my hotel to the Orange County Convention Center where the ASCO meeting is being held, I realized how excited I was, how much this annual event is looked forward to by doctors and patients alike. Will there be a blockbuster new drug this year for colorectal cancer?  A big biomarker like KRAS was last year?  New directions in surgery? Radiation?

Colorado Legislature Marks Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Yesterday was lump in the throat day! I was at the Colorado capitol  watching when a resolution was passed in both the Senate and House of Representatives declaring March Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.  While March is recognized nationally by the United State Congress, watching it happen in one of the many states who also help raise awareness touched me and brought a few tears thinking of how far we have come in the ten years since March was first declared Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month — and how far we have to go.

President's Cancer Panel Recommends National Priority for Cancer

In a new report Maximizing Our Nation’s Investment in Cancer:Three Crucial Actions for America’s Health the President’s Cancer Panel makes three recommendations to the President that they feel are critical to the battle against cancer in the United States. Make reducing the cancer burden a national priority. Ensure that all Americans have timely access to needed health care and disease prevention measures. End the scourge of tobacco in the United States.

Independence Day

Celebrate today! Wherever you are in this tough journey that is cancer, I hope you can take some time out to watch fireworks or listen to bands or eat a hot dog and just have fun. July is a special month of celebration for me, and it is even more so this year.  Twenty-five years ago I was first diagnosed with colon cancer.  Those were the days of surgery and not much else.  5FU could add some time, but mostly we had to depend on the surgeon’s skill and hope the tumor hadn’t spread too far.

ASCO Focuses on Personalized Medicine for Colorectal Cancer

Update from 2008 ASCO Meeting in Chicago Some thoughts from Kate Murphy. . . We’ve known for a long time that cancer isn’t one disease and that colorectal cancer isn’t one disease either.  Too often the only way to know if a treatment would work for a patient was to give it to them and wait.  Meanwhile, the patients struggled through side effects, not knowing if the treatment was going to really help or not.  And — even worse — lost valuable time that might have been spent with a more effective therapy. Probably the most important theme at ASCO this year for colorectal cancer is that we now have

Colorectal Cancer Focus on ASCO Second Day

Update from 2008 ASCO Meeting in Chicago Some thoughts from Kate Murphy. . . A very full day at ASCO.  I began with by stopping for juice and a muffin in the Advocates’ Lounge, which is a special service provided by ASCO through their programs for people living with cancer via Cancer.Net. Advocate participation in the ASCO Annual Meeting is encouraged with scholarships, the Advocates’ Lounge, and special booth in the Exhibit Hall. A somber but very meaningful first session on The Path to Self-Healing: Delivering Bad News designed to help oncologists learn how to help their patients find meaning in difficult diagnoses at the end of life included a