Posts tagged ‘cancer treatment’

Meet the First Four Diamonds Patient: Denise Voloshin

By Marianne Clay

Middle-aged white woman with blonde hair and glasses holds a photo of herself in 1975.

Denise Voloshin, the first Four Diamonds patient, holds a school photo of herself from 1975, the year she was treated for cancer.

Just days before this year’s Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON) Weekend Feb.16-18 at University Park, cancer survivor Denise Voloshin marvels at the accomplishments of the world’s largest student-run philanthropy and of its sole beneficiary, Four Diamonds. Since the days when Denise was a patient at Penn State Children’s Hospital, THON has raised nearly $150 million for the work of Four Diamonds.

Like it has since 1977, Four Diamonds will use the millions raised during this year’s THON to provide financial support to pediatric cancer patients and their families at Penn State Children’s Hospital and to fund innovative cancer research.

“The incredible ways THON and Four Diamonds help young cancer patients and their families is nothing short of amazing,” Denise says.

She should know. She was the first “Four Diamond” patient. See photos of Denise as a young girl and today on the Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center’s Flickr page.

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February 12, 2018 at 3:21 pm 1 comment

Pediatric Cancer Treatment Advances Bring New Hope to Children Battling Cancer

By Marianne Clay

Dr. Barbara A. Miller, chief of the Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at Penn State Children’s Hospital, discusses the significant improvements in the treatment of pediatric cancer over the past four decades that have boosted survival rates.

Woman with brown hair and glasses wears lab coat with Penn State College of Medicine logo.

Dr. Barbara A. Miller is the chief of the Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at Penn State Children’s Hospital.

How have treatments for pediatric cancer improved since 1974?

  • The treatment regimens are much more complex. Multi-drug regimens are very common, often with higher drug doses and incorporating new or improved drugs.
  • Risk-directed therapies are more commonly used. Patients are now often stratified into “low” risk, meaning that their disease responds better to current therapies, and they require less intensive therapy, compared to “high” risk, meaning they are at high risk for a relapse and require more intensive therapies to give a better chance of cure. The genetic and biological criteria for designing therapies are continually being better defined.
  • New drugs are available that are biologically targeted and have fewer side effects, and more of these are currently being developed. However, we still need to learn a lot about how to use them, including what diseases they are effective in, how to use them with conventional chemotherapy and with each other, and for how long. (more…)

February 12, 2018 at 9:05 am Leave a comment

Cancer survivorship clinics support patients through recovery

The Cancer Institute will host its annual National Cancer Survivors Day Celebration on Friday, June 10, 2016 that will include an educational seminar on topics relating to survivorship wellness such as exercise, diet and creative writing. For more information, visit http://inspiredtogether.org/events/penn-state-cancer-institute-survivorship-celebration-rainbow-hope/ or http://www.ncsd.org/about-us.

Although she’s a cancer survivor, neither word is in Nancy Schlegel’s vocabulary. Instead she considers herself a thriver who conquered her foe.

“I don’t use the word ‘survivor’ and I don’t use the word ‘cancer’,” Schlegel, 77, of Manheim Township said. “It’s not something I focus on and never have, even after I was diagnosed.”

Schlegel refuses to let cancer define her. It’s how she copes with life after cancer, one of many cancer patients who are treated in survivorship clinics at Penn State Cancer Institute. (more…)

June 7, 2016 at 1:55 pm Leave a comment

Free wig program provides a sense of comfort and joy to cancer patients

ACS_Wig_Celebration_11-03-2014_02

Wig Salon volunteers Linda Breniser, Louise Barto and Wendy Heffelfinger

When Patricia Greene learned she would need a stem cell transplant and probably lose her hair, she remembered signs she had seen around the Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute about a wig program where patients could get fitted for a free wig.

The Palmyra woman stopped by the Wig Salon — located inside the first floor infusion room– to chat with volunteer and breast cancer survivor Linda Breniser. Together, they tried different colors and styles until they found one suitable for Greene.

“I wanted to be prepared for when I lost my hair, but I wouldn’t have had time to go and find the best hair salon in Peachtree city GA and look for a wig,” Greene said. “It is such an awesome program. To lose your hair is really hard on a woman and they were so considerate and kind and patient… it made me feel so much better.”

Earlier this week, representatives from the American Cancer Society came to Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Wig Salon’s opening, and the fact that Salon volunteers have fitted 228 women with free wigs since then – more than any other Wig Salon in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

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November 6, 2014 at 8:52 am 1 comment


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