MashupAdmittedly, my extra reading has been limited recently due to other priorities. That’s okay, I’ve still caught bits and pieces of some really great stuff lately such as:

What have you been reading lately?


Here’s some of what I’ve been putting into my brain this week:

So what has caught your attention this week?


MashupHere’s a smidgen of the goodness I’ve been reading and watching this week:

What are you filling your brain with currently?


Here’s a snippet of what I’ve been reading (and even watching) lately.

What about you? What are you reading this week?


The Article: Luo, J., Chen, Y., Narsavage, G. L., and Ducatman, A. (2012). Predictors of survival in patients with non-small cell lung cancer. Oncology Nursing Forum, 39(6): 609-616.

Big Idea: Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer deaths both in the U.S. and worldwide. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) makes up 80%-85% of lung cancers. Patients typically present with advanced stages, and the median survival time is 4 to 15 months. Chemotherapy slightly increases five-year survival rates. The authors retrospectively studied several factors of 110 rural-Appalachian hospitalized NSCLC patients’ charts to determine one-year overall survival outcomes.

Survey Says!: The researchers found several significant predictive factors of NSCLC one-year survival including: low BMI, elevated neutrophil counts, elevated platelet counts, and advanced cancer stage.

Quotable: “The current study confirmed that cancer staging and low BMI are powerful predictive factors of survival” (p. 613).

“As with elevated neutrophil counts, elevated platelets also may have inflammatory significance; whether inflammation relates directly to prognosis or is merely associated warrants further exploration” (p. 614).

“The study findings were limited to investigating short-term (one year) lung cancer survival rather than long-term survival outcomes. However, in predicting short-term lung cancer survival, the study results demonstrated significant clinical prognostic factors that could be meaningful in clinical trial research with survival outcomes, clinical care, and related areas for treatment” (p. 614).

So What?: This article is fascinating to me. I learned a lot about already extensively-studied predictors of NCSLC survival as well as about the Charlson Comorbidity Index, or CCI, a validated comorbidity tool that helps weigh the impact of comorbidities on mortality.

NSCLC is a common cancer diagnosis with a relatively poor prognosis. It’s important for oncology professionals to understand predictors of survival – common parameters – in order to create early interventions impacting those predictors.


Are You Perpetuating Cancer Myths?

by Nursetopia on February 4, 2013

WCD_Logo_RGB_2012Today is the Union for International Cancer Control‘s (IUCC) World Cancer Day. A lot of myths surround cancer. As healthcare professionals, it is our duty to help dispel these myths. Often, though, we are part of the perpetual myth-movement, standing silently by the wayside.

Are you perpetuating or dispelling the cancer myths?


Copyright HiMY SYeD/photopia, Copyright HiMY SYeD/photopia,


Two of my three kiddos are battling influenza type A, one with a bonus of strep throat and the other with the added joy of pink eye. Needless to say, my home is one giant petri dish at the moment. Strict routine hand-washing and disinfectant wipes are the norm today. It’s made for lots of lying around and cuddling, which means mommy can still be productive while catching up on the ole RSS reader. It made me happy in the midst of body fluids, whines, and supportive medication administration. Here’s a sampling of what I’ve read lately:

When Color Could Kill: Stories from the History of Paintfrom Houzz

Who is the Healthcare Consumer?from HealthWorks Collective

Linda Scheu and Angela Baldasare on Using Good Presentation Principles to Increase Potential Impactfrom AEA365

Ambiverts, Problem-Finders, and the Surprising Secrets of Selling Your Ideas, from Brain Pickings

Business Can’t Solve the World’s Problems – But Capitalism Canfrom Dan Pallotta at the Harvard Business Review Blog

Medical Consent App is a Great Idea but Raises Controversial Security Implicationsfrom iMedicalApps

Lessons from the Ordinaryfrom Intentional Leadership

Organizations that Can’t Fall…Die on Their Feetfrom Not Running A Hospital

How Healthy is Your City, State, or Country? 40 Web Apps and Infographics to Find Outfrom The Health Hut

Rio de Janeiro puts QR codes in its mosaic pavementsfrom So much SCIENCE!

Invasionfrom A Molecular Matter

A Look Into the Archives: Giant Sequoiafrom the American Museum of Natural History

How Our Brains Judge Risk and Effortfrom Neurotic Thought

21 Emotions for Which there are No English Wordsfrom PopSci via Radiolab

If you’re not following these blogs/sites, consider adding them to your RSS reader now. You just might need a plethora of reading material at the tips of your fingers.

What are you reading these days?



The November 2012 special issue of the National Cancer Institute Cancer BulletinThe Science behind Cancer Screening, has a great infographic and accompanying article about the benefits and harms of PSA screening for prostate cancer. Currently, routine PSA screening for prostate cancer is not recommended, and the infographic helps show why. Various cancer screening remain controversial among many. The entire special issue is quite interesting and sheds light on several topics.


‘Don’t Give Up. Don’t Ever Give Up.’ -Jimmy V.

by Nursetopia on November 29, 2012

It’s Jimmy V Week. It’s okay if it’s new to you; it was new to me. My husband actually educated me on it and the namesake of the Jimmy V. Foundation for Cancer Research – Jimmy Valvano. Apparently there was even a made-for-TV movie about Jimmy V., his life, and his legacy. (I apologize to all the ESPN watchers, sports fans, and made-for-TV movie lovers…my husband was just as disgusted at my lack of knowledge.)

Jimmy Valvano started his basketball coaching career at Rutgers University, and he coached the North Carolina State University basketball team, the clear underdog, to the 1983 NCAA championship against the Houston Cougars, 54-52. Jimmy was diagnosed with cancer – metastatic adenocarcinoma of unknown origin – at the age of 46. His 1993 ESPY speech is as inspirational as it gets. He passed away weeks after that speech but not without first forming the Jimmy V. Foundation for Cancer Research with the help of ESPN, which provides funding for translational cancer research. According to their website, the Jimmy V. Foundation has granted more than $90 million in grants to researchers.

Reading more about Jimmy V. inspired me. He made my day because I definitely laughed, thought, and cried. I hope the same for you today. Remember his words.


The Article: Chesson, H.W., Ekwueme, D.U., Watson, M., Lowy, D.R., Markowitza, L.E. (2012). Estimates of the annual direct medical costs of the prevention and treatment of disease associated with human papillomavirus in the United States. Vaccine,

Big Idea: Human papillomavirus, or HPV, infection is linked to numerous diseases, both benign and malignant. Cancers linked with various HPV strains include cervical, vaginal, penile, anal, and certain head and neck cancers. Two HPV vaccines are currently available within the U.S. and could potentially reduce the incidence of the benign and malignant HPV-related diseases. The study authors updated the direct medical costs of HPV-associated diseases to stress the overall health and economic benefits of HPV vaccination.

Survey Says!: After all the computing, the researchers reported the direct cost of HPV-related diseases in the U.S. is $8 billion, most of which is attributed to the burden of cervical cancer.

Quotable: “Cervical cancer screening and follow-up together account for about $6.5 billion of the $8 billion total, or a little over 80% of the total estimated costs. This observation is consistent with findings from numerous studies that the cost-effectiveness of HPV vaccination could be enhanced greatly if vaccination is combined with reductions in routine cervical cancer screening costs through a delayed age of onset of screening or less frequent screening, or both [references]. Further, vaccination can help to reduce the follow-up costs of cervical cancer screening, such as costs associated with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (p. 3).

So What?: $8 billion is quite a number. This is only direct costs, and does not include indirect costs such as loss of work, etc. for those living with HPV-related illnesses. It is clear the economic burden of HPV-related cancers is high. This article is helpful as leverage to increase HPV vaccination. I found that I was lacking comparison, though, to help me think through the study. What is the economic burden of other cancers? Preventable cancers? Virus-linked cancers? With the current cost of HPV vaccination and FDA vaccination guidelines/recommendations, what is the estimated financial impact on the estimated annual direct medical costs if vaccination increased? Overall, this is an interesting and useful article, and it left me wanting and wondering more.