Tag Archives: cancer

How oncologists are getting cancer patients involved in discussions about costs, quality

Joseph Burns

About Joseph Burns

Joseph Burns (@jburns18), a Massachusetts-based independent journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health insurance. He welcomes questions and suggestions on insurance resources and tip sheets at joseph@healthjournalism.org.

Physicians and other health care providers are just beginning to talk with patients about health care costs and quality. On the leading edge of this trend are oncologists, some of whom are developing tools to stimulate these conversations with cancer patients.

For journalists interested in this topic, a recording is available of a webcast we did on this topic last month. Continue reading

Upcoming webcast: How oncologists are involving cancer patients in discussions about treatment, costs

Joseph Burns

About Joseph Burns

Joseph Burns (@jburns18), a Massachusetts-based independent journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health insurance. He welcomes questions and suggestions on insurance resources and tip sheets at joseph@healthjournalism.org.

In 2013, Nick Mulcahy reported for Medscape that oncologists at the Duke Cancer Center used the term “financial toxicity” to describe the high cost of cancer care and its effect on patients.

“Out-of-pocket expenses related to treatment are akin to physical toxicity, in that costs can diminish quality of life and impede delivery of the highest quality care,” Mulcahy wrote, citing a pair of articles in Oncology by S. Yousuf Zafar, M.D., a medical oncologist at the Duke Cancer Center, and Amy P. Abernethy, M.D., a medical oncologist at the Duke University School of Medicine. Continue reading

AHCJ, National Cancer Institute to partner for new National Cancer Reporting Fellowships

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates social media efforts of AHCJ and assists with the editing and production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

Cancer-Reporting-fellowship-finalThe Association of Health Care Journalists and the National Cancer Institute announced they will collaborate this year to present the first National Cancer Reporting Fellowships.

Up to 15 journalists will be selected to spend four days on the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., to increase their understanding of and ability to report accurately on complex scientific findings, provide insight into the work of cancer researchers and to better localize cancer-related stories.

Read more …

New tip sheet gives guidance for reporting on opioid use among the aging

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in Kaiser Health News, The Atlantic.com, New America Media, AARP.com and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health, Media & Policy at Hunter College in New York City, and co-produces HealthStyles for WBAI-FM/Pacifica Radio.

Photo: Sharyn Morrow via Flickr

Photo: Sharyn Morrow via Flickr

Opioid addiction is at crisis levels in the United States. Over two million people are addicted to opioids, which include prescription painkillers, heroin and morphine. The total number of opioid pain relievers prescribed in the U.S. has skyrocketed in the past 25 years.

Data from the American Society of Pain Medicine (ASPM) indicate that of the 21.5 million Americans age 12 years or older who had a substance use disorder in 2014, 1.9 million involved prescription pain relievers.

The trend has led to more emergency department admissions and a tripling of overdose deaths. Continue reading

Recent headlines examine impact of racial disparities on cancer, longevity

Susan Heavey

About Susan Heavey

Susan Heavey, (@susanheavey) a Washington, D.C.-based journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on social determinants of health and curates related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on resources and tip sheets at determinants@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: MEC Toronto Race Four 5K 10K The Summer Classic 2014 via photopin (license)Recent headlines have taken another look at black women and rising breast cancer rates, worsening health among middle-aged whites, and other race-related health issues.

Photo: MEC Toronto Race Four 5K 10K The Summer Classic 2014 via photopin (license)Recent headlines have taken another look at black women and rising breast cancer rates, worsening health among middle-aged whites, and other race-related health issues.

First there was the “dubious milestone,” as The New York Times called it, of black women for the first time facing an equal rate of breast cancer as white women. Then last week, a headline on the sharp uptick in the death rate among middle-class, white Americans, a finding startling enough to merit front-page treatment in The Washington Post.

It’s no secret that there are racial disparities in cancer rates, longevity and other areas, so why the recent headlines? Continue reading