patient stories

Bladder cancer: What is a survivor?

Bladder cancer: What is a survivor? By Kathleen Hoffman, PhD, MSPH Bladder cancer is the fourth most common cancer in men. When detected early, it is considered highly treatable.1 In 2021, about 83,000 people were expected to be diagnosed with bladder cancer (64,280 in men and 19,450 in women).2 Ninety percent of [...]

Melanoma a “fake cancer”? — Public perception and research strides

Melanoma a “fake cancer”? — Public perception and research strides By Kathleen Hoffman, PhD, MSPH In a discussion of melanoma on Inspire, a caregiver said to fellow members: The doctors and drug companies are making tremendous strides in the treatment of this terrible disease!! Her message of hope resonates strongly today. Unfortunately, [...]

Are we moving beyond Levodopa for Parkinson’s Disease?

Are we moving beyond Levodopa for Parkinson’s Disease? By Kathleen Hoffman, PhD, MSPH In November, the American Academy of Neurologists (AAN) updated their 2002 guidelines for treatment of Parkinson’s Disease (PD) with dopaminergic drugs (drugs that improve dopamine release). The preeminent drug for treatment of early Parkinson’s, levodopa, creates the dopamine neurotransmitter [...]

Beating back chronic myelogenous leukemia

Beating back chronic myelogenous leukemia By Kathleen Hoffman, PhD, MSPH A patient feels fine, but a routine complete blood count (CBC) test reveals an unusually high white blood cell count. High white blood cell counts may result from many conditions, but if it’s accompanied by other signs such as high or low [...]

“Still alive and kicking” – The importance of sickle cell disease clinical trial awareness

"Still alive and kicking" - The importance of sickle cell disease clinical trial awareness By Kathleen Hoffman, PhD, MSPH Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a rare disease: an inherited and incurable blood disorder that causes red blood cells to be misshapen and rigid, affecting their ability to provide oxygen to tissues. Their [...]

New classes of psoriatic arthritis drugs in clinical trials show promise

New classes of psoriatic arthritis drugs in clinical trials show promise By Kathleen Hoffman, PhD, MSPH Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) is an inflammatory autoimmune disease affecting approximately one to two percent of the population. While psoriasis causes red and scaly patches on the skin, PsA creates mild to severe pain and swelling of [...]

Epilepsy can happen to anyone at any age

Epilepsy can happen to anyone at any age By Kathleen Hoffman, PhD, MSPH Seizures are frightening for those who have them, for their loved ones and for onlookers. Descriptions of epilepsy go back as far as the Sumerians in 2500 BC. Expressing awe and dread, Babylonians, in 1050 BC, called seizures “​​ṣibtu” [...]

Phase II studies for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma show promise

Phase II studies for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma show promise By Kathleen Hoffman, PhD, MSPH Let’s talk about lymphoma: Cancer of the lymphocytes, formed in the bone marrow and thymus that circulate in the lymph system. A previous post covered updates on research and treatments of Hodgkin Lymphoma, a cancer characterized by the presence [...]

Hope for Patients with Early Alzheimer’s Disease and Their Family Members

Hope for Patients with Early Alzheimer’s Disease and Their Family Members By Kathleen Hoffman, PhD, MSPH Losing who you are is essentially what the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease means. An irreversible and progressive brain disorder, it is the sixth leading cause of death, affecting over 6 million people in the US.1 The [...]

From Treatment Desert to Blooming Field of Breakthroughs: Multiple Sclerosis

From Treatment Desert to Blooming Field of Breakthroughs: Multiple Sclerosis By Kathleen Hoffman, PhD, MSPH Research prior to 2019 underestimated the prevalence of neurological diseases, and specifically Multiple Sclerosis (MS) by over one-half. A new algorithm, including health insurance claims data, determined that the population suffering from MS was not around 400,000 [...]