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NIH study reveals social interaction helps patients during chemotherapy

  • Published in News

A study conducted by researchers at the National Institutes of Health suggests positive social interaction may help chemotherapy patients survive longer.

“People model behavior based on what’s around them,” said Jeff Lienert, the lead author of the study. “For example, you will often eat more when you’re dining with friends, even if you can’t see what they’re eating. When you’re bicycling, you will often perform better when you’re cycling with others, regardless of their performance.”

Lienert, who is currently a doctoral student at the University of Oxford and a fellow at NIH, explained the results showed that chemotherapy patients were likely to live five years longer following the end of their regimens if they interacted with other patients who also survived five years.

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Beating the odds while suffering from cancer takes humor and determination

  • Published in Local

Ken Lourie 2012Kenneth Lourie   COURTESY PHOTO

BETHESDA – At the convention for Cancer Survivor Day on Saturday, Burtonsville resident Kenneth Lourie occasionally slipped in a joke while telling his story of surviving stage four lung cancer.

“I guess I’m living proof, no pun intended, that if …” Kenneth said.

According to Kenneth’s oncologist Dr. Leon Hwang, Kenneth had 13 months to live. That was seven years ago.

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Hogan has advanced cancer, will keep working

  • Published in Local

HoganANNAPOLIS – Governor Larry Hogan has an advanced form of lymphoma and will undergo an “aggressive” chemotherapy while still retaining his position, he announced Monday afternoon.

“The truth is that I’ve learned over the past few days that this cancer is very advanced and very aggressive. When I embarked on our trade mission a few weeks ago, when we went to Asia, I had no idea of my condition. I’ve learned a heck of a lot more in the past 10 days or so,” Hogan said. “I’m going to face this challenge with the same energy and determination that I’ve relied on to climb every hill and overcome every obstacle in my life.”

Hogan said he will receive aggressive chemotherapy treatments and may lose his hair as well as some weight over the next few months. The cancer is an aggressive B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, according to Hogan, and it has reached at least advanced stage 3 and may be stage 4, but test results he will receive later this week will tell him for sure.

Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford is prepared to make decisions for the state during the times Hogan has to be put to sleep for procedures, but Hogan said he will continue to work throughout his battle .

“It’s a tough time to go through and I’m going to miss a few meetings, but I’m going to have every capacity to make decisions,” Hogan said, adding with a laugh, “even if I were to work half time it would be twice as much as any other governor’s worked.”

Hogan said his odds of survival are very good—“much better than the odds I had of beating Anthony Brown to become the 62nd governor of Maryland,” he laughed.

Hogan said he discovered the cancer on the last day of his trip to Asia when he was shaving and noticed a golf-ball-sized lump in his neck. He went to his doctor and over the next few days tests revealed 12 more nodes in his neck and chest area, and then 20-30 more in his core and groin area.

However, Hogan said he is in little pain and still has energy, although he acknowledged the chemotherapy treatments will be exacting.

“It’s just something I’ve got to go after before it gets worse,” he said. He has already in the past few days undergone multiple MRIs, CT scans and other tests which caused him to miss some meetings and public appearances. According to the National Cancer Institute, B-cell is one of the most common forms of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma for adults.

“The fact is I’m just like the more than 70,000 people diagnosed with lymphoma every single year who fight it, beat it and continue doing their jobs at the same time. With my faith, my family and my friends, I know that I won’t just beat this disease, but that I’ll be a better and strong person and governor when we get to the other side of it,” Hogan said.

Hogan appeared at the press conference with his wife, Yumi, his two daughters, his granddaughters and extended family as well as his entire cabinet.

 

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