Together We Can -- Newsletter of the Joan Karnell Cancer Center

Winter 2008

Are You Living Well?
Message from the Administrator
Kicking the Habit
Reaching Out
How You Can Help
Recent Events
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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 dropping.

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


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