Is a Clinical Trial Right for You?


You have cancer. In the course of your journey, your doctor suggested that a research study – called a clinical trial – might prove beneficial to you. You likely have questions. What would you be getting yourself into? What sort of chances are you taking? Should you participate? Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) hematologist oncologist Suresh Nair, MD, with LVPG Hematology Oncology–1240 Cedar Crest is here to help you answer these questions.

“Many clinical trials involve treatments that have shown significant promise in being more effective than existing therapies,” Nair says. “Additionally, the risk/benefit analysis in clinical trials is carefully reviewed and monitored, and trials are conducted in phases, each with a different purpose. This is done to ensure low risks and proper procedures at all times.” Read More »

When the Best Cancer Treatment Is No Treatment


Promising new medications recently have been approved for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), a type of cancer that affects the white blood cells that fight infection. Many people who used these medications in clinical trials went into partial or complete remission, or experienced longer periods of time in which the cancer did not progress. Even though these new medications are effective, they may not be the best treatment for every person with CLL.

“For people who have a type of cancer that grows slowly (like CLL or prostate cancer), often the best thing to do is watch and wait,” says Lehigh Valley Health Network hematologist oncologist Harvey Hotchner, MD, with Lehigh Valley Physician Group Hematology Oncology—Alliance Drive. “Active treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy or radiation are not always the first recommendation.” Read More »

Check In: What’s Your Risk for Colon-Rectal Cancer?

Check Your Colon-Rectal Risk

Usman Shah, MD

Usman Shah, MD
Hematology oncology
Watch a video to learn more about him.

What do these people have in common?

  • Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court
  • Sharon Osbourne, television personality and wife of heavy metal legend Ozzy Osbourne
  • Cartoonist Charles Schultz, creator of “Charlie Brown”

Each was diagnosed with colon-rectal cancer. Ginsberg and Osbourne survived their disease. Schultz did not.

“Over the years, colon-rectal cancer has had occasions when it is a ‘talked about’ topic, thanks to well-known people revealing and sharing their illness,” says Usman Shah, MD, hematologist-oncologist with LVPG Hematology Oncology–1240 Cedar Crest. “But it is still a condition people feel awkward discussing or being screened for, and that’s where I say, ‘Let’s talk about this,’ because the disease is worse than momentary embarrassment.” Read More »

Supporting Cancer Patients with Ribbons of Hope, Love and Courage

cancer ribbonWas it your mother? Maybe it was it your father, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, cousin or friend? The sad truth is that every one of us is likely to be affected by cancer in one way or another. You may not ever get the disease yourself, but chances are you’ll know someone who will.

So let’s all celebrate the cancer survivors, the caregivers, the family and friends who have ever been touched by cancer. Do your part for Lehigh Valley Health Network’s special Cancer Ribbon Wall.

Join us in celebrating those that have faced cancer and won. Join us as we fondly remember the ones who lost. Join us as we celebrate our family members who helped us on our own cancer journeys, and the friends who stayed by our side throughout. Read More »

Category: Uncategorized

Get Screened for Colon Cancer

1 in 20 people get colon-rectal cancerOne in 20 people will develop cancer of the colon or rectum, which are parts of the large intestine. Because colon and rectal cancers have many features in common, they sometimes are referred to together as colon-rectal cancer. Such cancers are the third most common.

“Colon cancer is preventable and treatable when detected early,” says Lehigh Valley Health Network general surgeon Guillermo Garcia, MD, with LVPG General Surgery–Hausman Road. “That’s why it’s important to have a screening colonoscopy.” During a colonoscopy, a flexible, lighted tube called a colonoscope is inserted through the rectum into the colon to examine the entire length of the large intestine.

Here’s what you need to know about having a colonoscopy and getting screened for colon-rectal cancer. Read More »