cancer

Albany is well known for its overblown promises and rhetorical hype.  Often newly passed laws are promoted as “historic” and criticisms of health reforms paint a picture of the end of civilization as we know it.

In The Philadelphia Chromosome, journalist Jessica Wapner tells the story of the breakthrough cancer drug Gleevec, which has saved the lives of thousands of patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and other cancers since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved it in 2001.

Blair Horner: From one cliff to the next

May 6, 2013

Tobacco companies are an extreme example of how greed trumps morality in America’s marketplace.  Every year roughly 500,000 smokers die from tobacco use and the industry knows it must at least replace those lost customers – plus the ones who successfully quit the addiction.

Blair Horner: Colon Cancer Awareness Month

Mar 4, 2013

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, a month dedicated to raising awareness about the need for regular colon cancer screenings.  Also known as colon cancer, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the nation.  Each year in New York State, more than 9,300 new cases of colorectal cancer are diagnosed and over 3,000 preventable deaths occur.

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.  

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