Sarcoma Support Group | Penn Medicine

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Feeling Better about your Appearance


Looking good is not a matter of vanity. Studies show that people who are pleased with how they look have more energy, more resilience and a better attitude. 


This helps them handle the "ups and downs" of cancer treatment more easily.


The Faith and Hope Boutique at the Abramson Cancer Center and Solutions for Women boutique at Pennsylvania Hospital feature many articles chosen specifically for cancer patients. Personal image programs also give patients ideas on how to look their best.


The Look Good, Feel Better Workshop is a free program of the American Cancer Society that teaches beauty techniques to women who are actively undergoing cancer treatment to help them combat the appearance-related side effects of radiation and chemotherapy. 


The Look Good, Feel Better Workshop is held quarterly at the Joan Karnell Cancer Center at Pennsylvania Hospital.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Cancer Survivor signs with New York Giants; Appears on 60 Minutes

Mark Herzlich (left) pictured with Dr. Staddon
and his mother, Barbara.
A little over three years removed from being diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, Mark Herzlich signed with the National Football League’s (NFL) New York Giants. Recently, Mark's story appeared on 60 Minutes.

A native of Wayne and graduate of Conestoga High School, Mark was an All-American linebacker at Boston College and named Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Defensive Player of the Year in 2008.

Following his award-winning season, Mark was told he had cancer and was referred to Arthur Staddon, MD, director of the Joan Karnell Cancer Center and a renowned specialist in the treatment of bone or soft tissue sarcomas. Mark underwent chemotherapy with an excellent response, followed by chemo-radiation. He then had surgery performed by Penn Orthopaedics at Pennsylvania Hospital to have a tumor removed from his leg and a titanium rod inserted.

After sitting out the 2009 season, Herzlich made a full recovery. He returned to the football field for his senior season at Boston College in 2010. Then, on July 26, Mark signed a contract to play professional football for the New York Giants.

Dr. Staddon and all of the staff at the Joan Karnell Cancer Center congratulate Mark on this momentous achievement and wish him continued success as a football player (except when he plays the Eagles) and as an advocate for cancer survivors everywhere.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

"Chemo Brain" - Memory Loss after Chemotherapy


People with cancer report memory and attention problems after chemotherapy. This is sometimes called “chemo brain.” Many survivors report they have problems paying attention, finding the right word, or remembering new things.

Research is starting to explore why some people develop problems with memory and concentration while others don't. People who have had chemotherapy or have had radiation to the head area are at higher risk for these problems.

Cancer patients should speak to their physicians if they:

  • Have memory and thinking problems
  • Think a medicine could be causing or adding to the problem
  • Suffer from depression or anxiety, which can cause problems with concentration and memory

Support groups can be helpful when transitioning from active treatment to survivorship, allowing you to talk to others who may have similar experiences.

In addition, professional counseling is available at both the Abramson Cancer Center and the Joan Karnell Cancer Center at Pennsylvania Hospital.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Changing Feelings about Intimacy


Feelings about close physical and intimate relationships are related to the way people think about how they look to others, their ability to handle physical activity, level of fatigue, and anxiety or stress level. These things can place a strain on normal expressions of sexuality and can create concern about sexual desire or desirability.

The effect of cancer treatment on sexuality is different for everyone. Some people are unaffected, while others have changes in their desired level of activity. Some find the experience brings them closer to their partner. Others may find sexual activity to be less important for a time.

Patients should speak to their doctor or nurse about any concerns they have. He or she can provide advice or information about people who can help. Some basic suggestions include:

  • Get information, rather than worrying, discuss questions or concerns with a doctor or nurse
  • Share feelings with a partner
  • Try different ways of expressing intimacy
  • These feelings are not unusual; don’t delay getting information or counseling if problems arise

Counseling services at Penn Medicine offers support and information about intimacy and the issues around intimacy cancer patients may face as they undergo cancer treatment.

For information about individual or couples counseling, or to make an appointment at the Joan Karnell Cancer Center, call 215-829-6466.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Walk, Run or Cycle to Support Sarcoma Awareness

The stands at the River Winds after the 2010 "Walk, Run, or Cycle"
Patients and staff from the Joan Karnell Cancer Center at Pennsylvania Hospital are invited to participate in the fifth annual Team Sarcoma Walk, Run or Cycle as part of the Team Sarcoma Initiative.

The Peter Skelton Sarcoma Research Foundation (PSSRF) brings the excitement of this worldwide campaign to southern New Jersey on Sunday July 17 with Team Sarcoma Walk, Run or Cycle at the Riverwinds Community Center in West Deptford, NJ.

Team Sarcoma Initiative is a global movement focused on increasing sarcoma awareness and raising research funds during International Sarcoma Awareness Week. Since its inception in 2003, the initiative has grown thanks to the support of caring individuals, families and communities who volunteer to host a variety of local events across the world.

The event allows participants the option to cycle, run, or walk in order to raise awareness for sarcoma. In addition to the activities, there will be live entertainment and prize raffles.  Refreshments, T-shirts and bracelets will also be available for purchase with all proceeds going to support sarcoma research and programs. 

PSSRF was founded by Peter Skelton’s brother and sisters in memory of their brother who passed away from soft-tissue sarcoma.  In their brother’s honor, their wish is to help others fight sarcoma and work towards finding a cure for the disease.

Part of the proceeds raised from this event benefit patients with sarcoma at the Joan Karnell Cancer Center at Pennsylvania Hospital by supporting research and patient programs.

To register for this event, visit http://www.sarcomaps.org/event-registration/.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Young Cancer Survivors Share Thoughts on Program

Participants from the first sessions of the Joan Karnell Cancer Center's "Walkabout Program: Looking In, Looking Out," took time to share their impressions about the cancer survivorship program for young adults. This new program is funded by the Lance Armstrong Foundation and offered at the Joan Karnell Cancer Center.

The Walkabout program mixes two approaches, (1) meditation and yoga to reduce stress and support managing energy resources and (2) creative expression using digital photography, art materials, collage and writing. These approaches to well-being have proved successful in decreasing distress from illness including physical pain, anxiety, depression and fatigue. Each participant is provided a camera during the sessions to collect images to creatively explore the present and imagine a meaningful future.

Following are some comments and the art from the first young adult cancer survivors who participated in the fall program:

Seth
On collage making from his digital photographs:"I like collage. It's kind of a middle ground between raw creation of art and my work as a web designer. With collage, you work with bits of things to make something new. It's easier to get into and very rewarding."

On informal mindfulness practice:"The advantage for me has been the awareness of my physical state internally when I am having a thought.  I'm definitely less reactive to the world around me now after experiencing mindfulness. It just gives you the ability to short circuit your reactions earlier on in the process before you get worked up and react physically….more control over interaction with the environment, that's definitely a good thing.


Melissa
On formal mindfulness meditation practice:"Participation in Walkabout has been very helpful. I find myself practicing mindfulness meditation three or four times a week to have some personal time for myself.  This is something I wouldn't have known about or thought to do before Walkabout."

Chris
On managing emotions:"I have been struggling with ways to figure out what went on. I came to Walkabout because it would help me with the anger stuff and maybe help me relax and stay calm and not be so anxious. It helped me a lot."

On creative expression:"I liked the art (collage) making. At first, I was intimidated. I made something pretty cool and everybody liked it and I liked it. I guess that's more important that I like it. That's what matters."

Moving Forward

The directors of the Walkabout program are looking for ways to increase participation in the program for 2011 by changing the session format. Some of the planned changes include:
  • An orientation workshop to be held the second Saturday of each month.
  • After attending the workshop, participants can join weekly drop-in sessions to build 20 hours of participation during the year. Sessions are held on Wednesdays from 4:30 to 7 pm at the Joan Karnell Cancer Center.
The first Walkabout orientation workshop for 2011 is scheduled for 1 tp 5 pm, Saturday, February 12. For more information, call 215-829-8700 or 215-629-6466.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Duke Street Brass and The New Age Brass perform a benefit concert for sarcoma research at Penn Medicine’s Joan Karnell Cancer Center.

The Duke Street Brass and The New Age Brass perform a benefit concert for sarcoma research at Penn Medicine’s Joan Karnell Cancer Center.

WHEN: Sunday, November 7th at 7:30 pm
WHERE: Steinman Hall
42 North Prince Street
Lancaster, PA
$5 to 10 suggested donation

The concert features works by: Joaquin Rodrigo, Dave Brubeck, Samuel Barber, John Williams and many more.
Sponsored by Millersville University

Thursday, October 7, 2010

What's Fun, Free, And Near Philly?

2010 LIVESTRONG/Planet Cancer Retreats for Young Adults

Who: Open to young adult cancer survivors ages 18-27 years of age

What: A weekend designed to bring young cancer survivors together to build connections, have fun and maybe learn something along the way

When: October 15th- October 17th

Where: ACE Conference Center in Lafayette Hill, PA

*Space is limited and the weekend will be here before you know it!!!!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Lunch With Experts!


Even if you aren't in school anymore it can still be fun to reminisce, so cut off the crust on your PB and J and tune into Oncolink's Brown Bag Chat: a live internet-based discussion!

This month:
Issue's Facing Young Adults After Cancer Diagnosis
Thursday September 16th, 2010
12:30-1:30 pm

Ask the experts your questions about the issues facing young adults before, during and after treatment.

Visit Oncolink to learn more, log on or submit a question ahead of time!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Start Your Engines!

Please come join us at the Radnor Hunt Concours d’Elegance: September 10, 11, and 12. This is not your typical “car show”, this is an elegant invitational classic car event. Guests are invited to experience the historical and aesthetic qualities of cars that have been hand selected while enjoying the English garden party setting of the historic grounds of the Radnor Hunt in Chester County.

A black-tie dinner party is held the night before the Concours to benefit a major charity as well as perennial beneficiaries, this year Joan Karnell Cancer Center has been honored as one of the event’s beneficiaries.

We would appreciate your support by attending this exceptional event.

We hope to see you there!

Coming This Fall To Joan Karnell Cancer Center:

The Walkabout Program: Looking In, Looking Out

This new program for young adults (18-30 yrs old) with cancer has been funded by the Lance Armstrong Foundation and offered at the Joan Karnell Cancer Center.The Walkabout program mixes two approaches, (1) meditation and yoga to reduce stress and support managing energy resources and (2) creative expression using digital photography, art materials, collage and writing. These approaches to well-being have proved successful in decreasing distress from illness including physical pain, anxiety, depression and fatigue. Each participant will be provided a camera during these sessions to collect images to creatively explore the present and imagine a meaningful future.

Please email Caroline Peterson for more information about this program or to enroll.

See you this fall!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

There Was Sand And Sun And Lots Of Fun!




Sand Castles for Sarcoma wasn't just a day at the beach these talented sand sculptors raised $5,000 for sarcoma research! Congratulations and nice sand sculptures!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Anyone Up For A Sand Castle Building Contest???

Sandcastles for Sarcoma Awareness

Sunday July 25, 2010 from 9:00 a.m. to noon.
This fun event will be at The Cove Beach – south end of Beach Avenue in Cape May, New Jersey. For a $20 donation your team can enter this unique contest. Prizes will be awarded in many categories. Have a fun filled day in the sun creating your dream castle!!!!

Proceeds will benefit the Sarcoma Program at the Joan Karnell Cancer Center at Pennsylvania Hospital

Thursday, July 22, 2010

PSSRF Walk 2010-The Biggest One Yet!

This year, International Sarcoma Awareness Week officially started with 274 people waking up early Sunday morning, despite the blazing sun and record temperatures, to participate in this year's Peter Skelton Sarcoma Research Foundation Walk and I am sure everyone would agree (myself included) it was totally worth melting like a Popsicle!

Hope to see you all and more next year!

Be sure to check out the video on PSSRF's website

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sweet Treats For Weary Feet

Thank you to everyone who supported Joan Karnell Cancer Center's Team: Together We Can Burn Rubber. To kick off International Sarcoma Awareness Week we held a bake sale and raised $300 in just one afternoon! Your generosity will go toward our team's contribution to the Peter Skelton Sarcoma Research Foundation.