cancer

Blair Horner: Sequestration Comes to Albany

Feb 25, 2013

The nation faces its latest budget crisis resulting from gridlock in Washington.  On March 1, budgetary “sequestration” kicks in.  Barring an unlikely last-minute deal, about $85 billion is set to be cut from military, domestic and certain health care programs beginning this Friday.

Governor Cuomo last week unveiled his proposed $140-plus billion budget for New York State.  The goals of the governor’s budget were to close a $1 to $2 billion deficit without raising taxes, as well as to offer his blueprint for spending federal dollars expected to flow to New York to rebuild after Superstorm Sandy.

On the health front, there was some good news: the governor proposed full implementation of the federal health care reform law – aka Obamacare – and to expand Medicaid coverage to tens of thousands of uninsured New Yorkers.

Blair Horner
C.W. McKeen / The Post - Standard, 2006

  New York State – and much of the nation – has made tremendous strides in reducing smoking rates.  In the mid-1960s, nearly half of Americans smoked; today it’s roughly half that nationwide and lower still in New York.

The successes have come as the result of scientific findings that have linked smoking to lung cancer and other health problems.  Those scientific breakthroughs also identified the health risks faced by nonsmokers who were exposed to second hand smoke from tobacco products.

Will Schwalbe - The End of Your Life Book Club

Jan 8, 2013

When Will Schwalbe’s mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer life for her family and friends didn’t come to a stop, but morphed into something even more beautiful. Her compassion towards others never faltered, her grown children learned more about themselves and her, and a bond solidified as Will and his mother unconsciously formed The End of Your Life Book Club.

Blair Horner: A Look Back on the Fight Against Cancer

Dec 31, 2012
Blair Horner
C.W. McKeen / The Post - Standard, 2006

The dawn of a new year is the time to reflect and to plan a new course.  When it comes to fighting cancer, in 2012 New York took one significant step forward by restricting the use of indoor tanning booths.  As 2013 dawns, more steps are needed.

First some background:  In July, Governor Cuomo signed into law a new restriction on the use of tanning beds by children.  The law, which went into effect in August, bans the use of indoor tanning beds for those aged 16 years old and younger. 

Tobacco kills more than 400,000 Americans every year and costs the country about $100 billion in health care bills.  Despite successes in curbing tobacco use over the past four decades, it still is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States.  

Blair Horner: The Case for Expanding Medicaid

Dec 3, 2012

A new report issued by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Urban Institute – two health care think tanks—described the benefits to states which choose to expand Medicaid coverage as allowed under the federal health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act.  The report found that states will receive more than $9 in federal money for every $1 they spend to cover low-income residents.

That’s right: a $9 to $1 ratio.

On this edition of Medical Monday on Vox Pop we’ll take your questions on cancer detection and medical thermal imaging with Dr. Anthony Piana, co-founder and director of Breast Thermography International.

A graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic, Dr. Piana formed BTI in 2008 to educate doctors on the scientific principles of thermology and to train technicians to properly perform exams.

Blair Horner: The Great American Smokeout

Nov 19, 2012

The nation just celebrated its 37th annual “Great American Smokeout.”  The Great American Smokeout has been offered as an opportunity for smokers to think about quitting and as an opportunity to reflect on society’s gains against the tobacco menace.

And big changes have occurred over the decades.  Nationally, the smoking rate peaked at 42 percent when the U.S. Surgeon General’s report was issued and proved the link between smoking and cancer.  Today the nation’s smoking rate is 19 percent, and here in New York that rate is even lower.

Susan Cummings’s surgeon proclaimed to her a few weeks after her mastectomy, “You’re cured now, that’s it.” But, that wasn’t it by a long shot for Cummings, who has just written a memoir about her first six years after treatment for early-stage breast cancer.

She writes about being a struggling New York actress and wrangles with her fear of more cancer and shame of her altered body.

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