Many Faces of Breast Cancer: Staying Active Helps Margaret Boyle, 88, Keep Cancer Away

Margaret BoyleWhen Margaret Boyle was diagnosed with breast cancer at 88 years old, she didn’t panic. She kept her positive attitude and trusted in her doctors and the new technology and medicine available today.

She also stayed active. Even in her late 80s, you might see her with her binder of exercises at LVHN Fitness in the Health & Wellness Center at Muhlenberg.

“Not everyone my age appreciates that you can have cancer and still live,” she says. “I would say enjoy the day you have, even with cancer. With the treatment you can get today, there could be many more days ahead.”

She credits preventive medicine – getting her annual mammogram – and exercising regularly for helping her stay healthy and recover quickly.

“I was happy with how it all turned out. I have to look in the mirror to see where the surgery was done – it’s just a little line that I hardly notice.”

She shares her story in this eighth and final installment of the weekly winter 2015 series of Many Faces of Breast Cancer. Read 14 first-hand accounts from survivors of breast cancers.

Broken-Heart Syndrome (Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy) Demonstrates Role of Stress in Heart Disease, Cardiologist Explains

Deborah Sundlof, DO

Deborah Sundlof, DO
Watch a video to learn more about her.

Broken-heart syndrome isn’t just feeling sad if you didn’t get chocolate and roses on Valentine’s Day. It’s the name for a serious condition with symptoms similar to a heart attack and requires treatment, says Lehigh Valley Health Network cardiologist Deborah Sundlof, DO, with LVPG Cardiology—Muhlenberg.

Takotsubo cardiomyopathy got the nickname broken-heart syndrome because it’s usually triggered by a sudden emotionally or physically stressful event.

Initially described in 1998, this condition is just starting to increase in awareness, and it’s putting a spotlight on the role of stress in heart disease. About 90 percent of patients diagnosed with takotsubo cardiomyopathy are women, and they’re usually older than 60, although young people can experience it as well.

Potential causes include acute and severe stress caused by an incident such as the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, or a catastrophe. The role chronic stress plays in takotsubo cardiomyopathy is uncertain.

“We all need to take the time to reevaluate and say, ‘Is my life too stressful? What can I do to relieve my stress? Do I need to talk to my doctor about it – is it becoming a problem?’” Sundlof says. Read More »

If Your Child Can’t Sleep, This Type of Study Might Be What Your Family Needs

Dora doll for pediatric sleep study

The doll used at the Pediatric Sleep Disorders Center shows children what to expect during a sleep study.

You’ve tried everything to get your child to sleep. You’ve darkened the bedroom, instituted a specific sleep schedule, and even employed old-school relaxation strategies such as a hot bath or some bedtime reading before bed. Nothing has worked. So now your primary care physician believes it’s time to see what the sleep specialists have to say. Your doctor orders a sleep study.

Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) offers two locations for pediatric sleep disorder studies – one at Lehigh Valley Hospital-17th Street in Allentown, the other at the Health Center at Bethlehem Township. After receiving your primary care physician’s referral, LVHN’s trained sleep disorders professionals take it from there.

Here’s a look at what families can expect when a child enters a sleep study at LVHN: Read More »

LVHN Hematologist-Oncologist Authors Study About Improving Multidisciplinary Care for Cancer Patients

Eliot Friedman, MD

Eliot Friedman, MD
Hematology oncology
Watch a video to learn more about him.

Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN)’s participation in the National Cancer Institute Community Cancer Centers Program (NCCCP) from 2010-2014 resulted in improvements to the multidisciplinary care cancer patients receive, according to a study authored by an LVHN hematologist-oncologist.

Eliot Friedman, MD, with Hematology-Oncology Associates, wrote the study for the Journal of Oncology Practice. It summarizes the results of assessments at 14 NCCCP sites with multidisciplinary clinics for lungbreast and colon-rectal cancer in June 2010, June 2011 and June 2012. The American Society of Clinical Oncology reports on the study in an article that published online last week.

LVHN’s multidisciplinary clinics (MDCs) are teams of physicians and a patient navigator who review your case and meet with you together. At the conference, the team gives you a written opinion that combines all of the experts’ input and recommendations.  Read More »

Vitamin D Update: New Study Reports Evidence That Higher Levels Improve Colon-Rectal Cancer Outcomes

A new study that provides additional evidence concerning vitamin D levels in colon-rectal cancer patients will be presented this week at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2015 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium in San Francisco. The study also explores the potential impact vitamin D may have on a patient’s length of survival.

Lehigh Valley Health Network hematologist oncologist Maged Khalil, MD, discussed the connection between vitamin D and colon-rectal cancer outcomes in our November 2014 Healthy You Tip on this topic. Get Khalil’s insight, and take our quiz to learn more about vitamin D.

See all of our weekly Healthy You Tips here. You can subscribe to receive them via email.