Message From the Administrator
Greetings and welcome to the Winter 2008 edition of Together We
Can, the newsletter of the Joan Karnell Cancer Center at Pennsylvania
Hospital. This edition focuses on Living Well: A Program for Older
Adults with cancer at the Joan Karnell Cancer Center. This unique
program focuses on a multidisciplinary approach to the care of the
older person facing a cancer diagnosis.
Older adults often face unique challenges when dealing with cancer,
including physical, social, emotional and spiritual distress. Our team,
comprised of physicians, nurses, social workers, psychologists,
nutritionists, chaplains and therapists, have a special interest and
experience in working with older adults. We have found in working
with older adults with cancer that we often see courage, resilience and
humor that come from years of living and developing coping skills.
Older adults make up a large portion of the 10 million cancer
survivors living in the U.S. today. In fact, the Annual Report to the
Nation on the Status of Cancer, prepared by the American Cancer
Society, the National Cancer Institute, the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention, and the North American Association of Central Cancer
Registers, recently revealed that the death rates from cancer are
This trend began in the early 1990s and the death rates have
dropped more than 2 percent per year from 2002 to 2004. The report
found significant declines in deaths from lung, prostate and colorectal
cancer in men as well as breast and colon cancer in women. This
decline in death rates is attributed to research, new treatments and
increased screening and prevention efforts.
The physicians and staff of
the Joan Karnell Cancer Center continue to work towards providing
excellent cancer care and further decreasing death rates due to cancer.
The Living Well Program is one example of the ongoing mission to
provide excellent cancer care and help patients and families achieve the
best quality of life.
Mary Pat Lynch, CRNP, MSN, AOCN
Administrator, Joan Karnell Cancer Center