Valerie Harper Pushes for More Cancer-Research Funding

“Seventy-five percent of all lung cancers are found too late, actress and cancer survivor Valerie Harper told a Senate committee hearing on cancer on Wednesday, saying funding is desperately needed for early detection in “people like me who didn’t think they were at risk. The hearing by the Senate Special Committee on Aging focused on federal funding for cancer research and the challenges facing aging survivors. Harold Varmus, M.D., director of the National Cancer Institute, who also testified, noted that …

If You Smoke, a Lung Scan May Save Your Life

If you are age 55 to 80 and either a current or former heavy smoker, getting an annual lung CT scan could cut your risk of death from the nation’s leading cancer killer, according to final guidelines issued this week by a federally appointed panel of experts. Lung cancer kills 160,000 Americans a year, more than the total number of deaths from breast, prostate and colon cancer combined. Catching the cancer early by detecting it on a CT scan could …

In Going Public, Valerie Harper Is in Good Company

Actress Valerie Harper’s March 11 appearance on the Today show to discuss her diagnosis of terminal brain cancer made her the latest celebrity to go on television to talk about a personal life-and-death health challenge. There was a time the famous tended to keep quiet about serious illnesses behind a protective cocoon of press agents, limousines with tinted windows and mansion walls. Often fans found out about their conditions through terse press releases asking for privacy, or though hints picked …

Valerie Harper’s Rare Brain Cancer: What Caused It?

Actress Valerie Harper, who’s been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, has a rare type that often spreads from another form of cancer, such as breast, melanoma or, in Harper’s case, lung cancer — which she battled in 2009. Called leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, it affects about 5 percent of cancer patients and the first signs are “similar to stroke symptoms,” including trouble speaking, numbness of the face, double vision, or difficulty swallowing, says Keith L. Black, M.D., professor and chair of the …

It’s Never Too Late: Quit Smoking Now For the Sake of Your Health, Your Wallet, Your Pets

Tomorrow is the Great American Smokeout, a day when smokers are encouraged to quit or to make a plan to quit smoking. Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the U.S., yet more than 46 million Americans still smoke. However, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 68.8 percent of current smokers want to completely stop smoking and 52.4 percent of smokers made a quit attempt in the past year. The …

The Takeaway: Warren Buffett; Back to College; Seniors in the City

Warren Buffett’s op-ed piece in the New York Times sparked a fury on the Internet yesterday. If you missed it, here’s the takeaway in his own words: “My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice.” What do you think? From earlier this year: Warren Buffett on “value investing.” … Back to school.  An interesting report highlights how the economy and the growing number of …