News Blog

Health News Stories We've Been Reading

Every weekday, the Department of Communications shares selected health news stories from the mainstream media that are of interest to the Penn Medicine community. Now on our blog, we'll be sharing a selection of these picks once or twice a week, plus a few added links of interest. Here is this week's selection:

The Hot Spotters: Can we lower medical costs by giving the neediest patients better care?
New Yorker - Atul Gawande, MD discusses initiatives that look at "hot spots" in health care expenditures in efforts to reach the most expensive consumers of medical care with primary and preventive services -- to potentially improve their health while reducing costs. (Now available online to non-subscribers.) See also Gawande's follow-up piece discussing criticisms of the approach.

Keri's War: An Airman Fights Breast Cancer (photojournalism piece)
A project developed by breast cancer survivor Keri Whitehead and photojournalist Jeremy Lock to illuminate and unite those who have been affected by the disease.

With Poem, Broaching the Topic of Death
New York Times - Mitzie Begay, a cross-cultural coordinator for the home-based care program at the Fort Defiance Indian Hospital in northeastern Arizona, helps Navajos deal with the complex and confusing process of decision-making at the end of life.

Novel Effort To Fight Cancer With Cancer Cells
Wall Street Journal - In an audacious twist on the concept of fighting fire with fire, scientists have developed a provocative strategy of fighting cancer with cancer -- implanting beads containing tumor cells from mice in the abdomen of cancer patients. Proteins secreted by the cells could signal a patient's cancer to stop growing, shrink or even die.

New Nutrition Labels Coming to the Front of Food Packages
USA Today - On Monday, the food industry unveiled its voluntary front-of-pack labeling, called Nutrition Keys, designed to help make healthful choices.

Consumer Reports Insights: Treatment Options For Women With Breast Cancer
Washington Post - The combination of early diagnosis and multiple treatments forces patients and doctors to make a difficult decision: How aggressively should they treat breast cancer in its early stages?

Winter Weather Draining Blood Supply
USA Today - Storms that have whipped much of the nation this month are being blamed for a serious shortfall in blood donations.

Our Selected Health News stories are primarily compiled by Greg Richter with contributions from other members of the Communications team.


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Views expressed are those of the author or other attributed individual and do not necessarily represent the official opinion of the related Department(s), University of Pennsylvania Health System (Penn Medicine), or the University of Pennsylvania, unless explicitly stated with the authority to do so.

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