Committed.

Currently, I work for Myriad Genetic Laboratories, and if you haven't heard of Myriad this summer, I would be surprised. This past June, the Supreme Court ruled that five of Myriad's claims covering isolated DNA were not patent eligible. Regardless of the decision, Myriad has more than 500 valid and enforceable claims in 24 different … Continue reading Committed.

Patient Support Groups Matter

Breast Cancer Patient Support Groups

One of the unique phenomenons of cancer patient care is the cancer patient support group.  Not that other disease states don't have these groups, but cancer patient support groups are generally very well attended.  Patients connect with other patients and life long mentor/mentee and friend relationships develop at these groups. Tonight I'm off  to attend … Continue reading Patient Support Groups Matter

Bringing Great Minds Together: The Society of Surgical Oncology Symposium 2013

Society of Surgical Oncology Symposium 2013

Howdy PUGTATO readers!  I'm shooting you a quick post from National Harbor, MD, where I am attending the Society of Surgical Oncology Symposium. One of the most interesting experiences at these conferences is talking with physicians from across the globe. Today I had the privilege to discuss hereditary cancer with physicians from Indonesia, Argentina and … Continue reading Bringing Great Minds Together: The Society of Surgical Oncology Symposium 2013

New hope in HER-2 Positive Metastatic Breast Cancer

Hope for metastatic breast cancer patients

Last week marked a very exciting moment for anyone with any involvement in breast cancer patient care, including, and especially, for breast cancer patients.  On February 22 2013, the FDA approved Kadcyla, a new treatment for HER-2 positive metastatic breast cancer. Kadcyla was formerly known to many in the cancer world as T-DM1 and has … Continue reading New hope in HER-2 Positive Metastatic Breast Cancer

Getting creative with breast cancer screening.

Getting Creative with Breast Cancer Screening

It's been a busy fall here at PUGTATO headquarters. Fall is the season of ovarian cancer awareness month, breast cancer awareness month, and this year, it also included moving to a new home and Breast Care for Washington's official launch. Oy vey. Outside of my outreach work with Myriad this fall, my brain has been … Continue reading Getting creative with breast cancer screening.

All I wanted was a belly rub.

PUGTATO cancer diagnosis

Until recently I've never been on the patient side of the table when it comes to receiving a cancer diagnosis. That all changed when my little guy, Otis, developed a weird bump on his chest.  He has very sensitive skin so we watched the bump come and go for a while probably six months or so. … Continue reading All I wanted was a belly rub.

A who? A patient what? A Patient Advocate.

patient advocates and navigation: PUGTATO

The first time I ever heard of a patient advocate was when I attended a talk given by Melissa Pantel-Ku.  Melissa is remarkable woman.  Diagnosed with stage III breast cancer at 34, she is a PhD, a professor, a mother, a wife, a breast cancer survivor, and founder of  Hope & Humor.  Melissa's story had … Continue reading A who? A patient what? A Patient Advocate.

Grandma doesn’t always know best.

Cultural barriers and disparities in cancer care

Turns out cancer is not contagious, breast-feeding does not cause breast cancer, surgery treatment for breast cancer won't cause disease spread, and men can, in fact, get breast cancer.    Grandma might have passed down some incorrect information over the years. Today's discussion will focus mainly on breast cancer.  Studies have shown that racial and ethnic minority … Continue reading Grandma doesn’t always know best.