Tara Morrison, MD: You Will Never Feel Rushed

As a specialist who treats brain tumors and brain cancer, Tara Morrison, MD, goes through very tough times with her patients, so it’s important to her that they’re comfortable together.

“(Patients) can talk to me about anything. They can ask me anything. No question is silly. Every question deserves a good answer,” she says. “I will take as long as they need on any given day. They will never feel rushed.”

She is a neuro-oncologist with Lehigh Valley Health Network who is board-certified in neurology. She sees patients at Hematology-Oncology Associates in Allentown.

Get to know her with this video.

Guys: Fitness Improves Your Odds Against Cancer

Caution, Couch PotatoesWe’re heading into fall – prime season for endless hours of football and baseball. But would an incentive like reducing cancer risk get you (or your man) off the couch? Lehigh Valley Health Network hematologist oncologist Ashish Shah, DO, with Hematology Oncology Associates-Bethlehem wants you to know about a compelling study that shows how men can benefit from staying active.

The study, presented at the American Society for Clinical Oncology 2013 annual conference, tracked the health of more than 17,000 men for 20 years. Starting at around age 50, men in the study took a treadmill fitness test to determine their baseline stamina. “Over the course of the study, the men who started out as the most fit cardiovascular-wise had the greatest risk reduction for developing lung cancer (68 percent less risk) and colon-rectal cancer (38 percent less risk) as compared to men who were couch potatoes,” Shah says.

In addition, the study found higher levels of cardiovascular fitness also improved survival rates for men who were diagnosed with cancer. Read More »

Help for Patients Receiving Care for a Brain Tumor

Healthy You Tip Tara MorrisonAs we age, it’s normal to experience changes in memory, strength and coordination. But when severe symptoms come on suddenly, within a few days or weeks, it’s time for your doctor to investigate further. A rapid change in functioning can point to a number of conditions. For a tiny percentage of the population, these symptoms may indicate the presence of a brain tumor.

Getting a brain tumor diagnosis can shake the foundation of your life. But advances in treatment options over the past 10 years offer new help and hope. Having a wide network of support also will help you get through the recovery process.

“It’s really important to ask for, and accept, the physical and emotional support of family, friends, your religious community or anywhere you can find it,” says Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) neuro-oncologist Tara Morrison, MD, with Hematology-Oncology Associates. “Whatever you do, don’t do it alone.” Read More »

LVHN and Angel 34 Foundation Partner to Support Childhood Cancer Initiative

Shannon Rutan and Doug Sheriff with Angel 34 coloring book

Among the new initiatives announced by Angel 34 is a coloring story book written by Shannon Rutan (left), 14, a Notre Dame High School freshman. Doug Sheriff unveiled the book during today’s announcement.

The Angel 34 Foundation has some new recruits to help with a new initiative. The Nazareth-based foundation has formed a board of directors comprising local high school athletes.

The board, called “Athletes on the Field – Angels in the Community,” will oversee an annual major fundraising effort seeking to raise $3.4 million to support childhood cancer services at Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN). In collaboration with LVHN clinicians, caregivers and leadership, the students will determine how to spend the money raised based on need.

Troy Hein, sports anchor for WFMZ TV 69News, and Marty Nothstein, Olympic gold medal cyclist and executive director of Valley Preferred Cycling Center, will serve as honorary chairs for the fundraising campaign.

Angel 34 was founded by 14-year-old Nicole Sheriff, an athlete at Northampton Area High School, after she was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma. She died in 2004 at the age of 15. It was her wish that every child would have their own angel during their time of need and if possible share her angel with them. Read More »

Cancer Doctor: Hope Comes From External and Internal Sources – VIDEO

While he’s diagnosing and treating his patients with cancer, Richard Boulay, MD, also aims to nourish his patients’ spirit and mental state. The Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) gynecologic oncologist with Gynecologic Oncology Specialists focuses on hope, encouraging patients and their families to embrace positivity as part of their healing process.

In a post this month on Cancer.net, Boulay writes about the different sources of hope for people who have cancer: external and internal.

External sources of hope, he explains, include promising test results, a supportive care team and a bevy of treatment options.

Internal sources of hope include spirituality or an acceptance that everything will work out for the best. Read More »