LVHN Cancer Institute Named Second Member of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance – VIDEO

LVHN_MSK_LockUpVERTICALmsk with CI-tag OUTLINES (2)After more than two years of planning, the Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) Cancer Institute is now a formal member of the Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Alliance. Representatives of both organizations made the announcement today during a news conference at Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest.

Established in 2013, the MSK Cancer Alliance is a partnership between Memorial Sloan Kettering – the world’s oldest and largest private cancer center – and community oncology providers. Its goal is to bring the most current knowledge and advanced cancer care into the community setting. The LVHN Cancer Institute’s membership in the Alliance will enhance research capabilities at LVHN, allowing the health network to deliver world-class, research-based treatments directly to patients.

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Message for Men: Take Charge of Your Prostate Health

Angelo Baccala Jr., MD Urology

About the author: Angelo Baccala Jr., MD, is Lehigh Valley Health Network’s chief of urology. He practices at LVPG Urology–1250 Cedar Crest in Allentown. He also serves on the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Task force for prostate cancer and related conditions.

Let’s face it. If you’re like most men, you are uncomfortable talking about your prostate gland. The truth is, it’s something you simply can’t afford to ignore. That’s why my message to men is to “man up” and take charge of your prostate health.

The announcement today that Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf was recently diagnosed with a mild form of prostate cancer is one example why men need to take charge of their prostate health early.

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in America. In 2015, the American Cancer Society estimates that about 220,000 U.S. men were diagnosed with prostate cancer, and an estimated 27,500 died from it. Early detection offers the best chance for a cure, yet many men are reluctant to get checked. This reluctance can impact their health in more than one way. Read More »

Allentown Teacher Avoids Pancreatic Cancer Through LVHN Early Detection Research Study

Wanda Brubaker doesn’t teach genetics to her sixth-graders at Allentown’s South Mountain Middle School, but if she did, she’d have a real-life lesson for them.

The teacher would tell her class, “Know your family history; early detection can save lives.” She knows how true this is; she’s lived it.

It started when Brubaker, 56, found a mole on her right leg in 2014.

Her primary care doctor, Kenneth Ryder, MD, sent her to Rohit Sharma, MD, with LVPG Surgical Oncology – 1240 Cedar Crest, who removed the suspicious growth.

When he found that it was malignant melanoma, Sharma encouraged Brubaker to have genetic testing at Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)–Cedar Crest. She was found to be a carrier of a dangerous mutation in the p16 gene, which is linked to both melanoma and pancreatic cancer. Her mother and many family members had died of pancreatic cancer, putting her at high risk for the disease.

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Clinical Trials Provide Hope, Innovation

Suresh Nair, MD
Suresh G. Nair, MD
Hematology oncology
Watch a video to learn more about him.

Nearly three years ago, I cared for a man with stage 4 cancer that had spread to his bones, liver and abdomen. Although he received the best treatments, his cancer progressed, and he began discussing funeral arrangements. He remained hopeful, however, because he agreed to participate in a clinical trial at LVHN.

A clinical trial tests new medications or treatments in patients to ensure they’re safe and effective.

The patient received investigational medication that boosts the immune system, rather than attacking cancer cells like chemotherapy. As months passed, his cancer diminished. Today, he is alive and cancer-free.

When considering participation in a clinical trial, patients and their loved ones have many questions.  Read More »

At ‘Pathways to Santa,’ a Cancer Survivor Meets the Man Whose Kindness Inspired Her Two Years Earlier


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As Deeana Bedics was receiving chemotherapy treatment inside Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)–Muhlenberg’s Infusion Center during the 2013 holidays, she was handed an envelope. Inside was a gift card from Applebee’s.

“My caregivers told me I received it because of a kind gentleman who ran an event called Pathways to Santa,” says Bedics, 51, of Lehigh Township. “I was told he beat cancer, and this was his way to give back. Right then I decided to do the same.” Read More »