Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Sometimes Congress does good work...

Check this article out, it's about a new bill Congress is close to passing called GINA (Genetic Information Nondescrimination Act):

Imagine being able to take a genetic screening test without worrying that you'll be denied health insurance. Sounds nice doesn't it? This bill would give us that peace of mind. It would also allow people who haven't gotten testing to come out and get it because they won't fear living with skyrocketing insurance premiums. Well done, Congress. You put a smile on my face this morning.

Unfortunately though, I have to note that the bill does nothing to alleviate high costs of health insurance. Maybe that's "Step 2"? Or how about finding a cure for Breast Cancer. Can that be step 2? Please?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Susan G. Komen reminds me: I really need to get to the gyno

It's true. I need to schedule a gyno appointment. There's really no excuse considering a breast exam could save my life. A year ago I would have said screw it... I can wait a few months to have a cold metal object shoved up my vajayjay along with enough lube to make a small country slippery. But now? The gyno is not an annoyance... it's a priority and a new ally. I might even take this opportunity to shop around for a gyno that I really like! But then again... who knows what health insurance i'll have in a few months.

But on to the real reason for this post... Susan G. Komen for the cure is a great, extremely active non-profit that has a website with a lot of great resources, such as the one I posted. They also host a bunch of benefits and fundraisers, such as the Breast Cancer 3-day, which is coming to Philly in October and I'd like to round up my family to participate. I've never done a walk or anything before... and now is as good a time as any to start!

If anyone reading has participated in a similar event, I'd love to hear what it was like. Ciao!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Universal Shmuniversal?

For some reason (and I don't think I'm the only person who notices this), I've been extra involved in this year's primary. And I never really cared about politics before.

I've mostly been listening to candidate's positions on Iraq, the economy, etc... but I haven't thought much about their healthcare policies. This morning, though, I realized that as someone who is BRCA positive, healthcare is something I should really care about! Now both my parents are in the health profession (my dad a gyno, my stepmom a maternal fetal nurse), so I've always taken it for granted that my healthcare needs would be met. I've also been well-advised by my dad since he knows so much about health issues that affect women, and since my mom had cancer 19 years ago, we're good friends with doctors, nurses, counselors, etc. who have been working with breast cancer for many years.


But I realize everyone is not so lucky, and I'd love to hear what other people think. The idea of Universal Healthcare seems great to me. Everyone would get the care they need without shelling out an arm and a leg. But I'm scared about the possibility of lengthy wait times, especially if I happen to get a chronic disease. I'm also scared about the availability of resources. With so many obese people, smokers, and unhealthy people in general, who's to say someone with cancer will be a priority? (Of course this begs the question, why should some health complications take precedence, isn't that unfair? But that's for another day... or month or year).

But I also think the way healthcare works now is advantageous because it allows people who have more to get more. And as one who has more, that puts me in a good position. Again, I realize everyone is not so lucky.

So my (very general) question is... what do you think about the healthcare debate in regards to women who are BRCA positive? Which system would work best for us? Or what kinds of reforms could work in either system to give us the best possible chance at prevention, cure, recovery... etc.

(Am I even asking the right question?)

My Commute and Cancer

Check out the new link I added. Because I commute to work every morning, I spend lots of time listening to NPR (which I would highly recommend to everyone). is a website that supports NPR, and today I finally took a look at it. It's a really great site with TONS of resources, including the one I posted which is the section of the site about genetics. But you can also find information on all kinds of cancers, including breast and ovarian, and also about things like advocacy and the psychology of getting cancer. I think it's worth it for everyone to poke around. It's sponsored by the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the articles are all reviewed.

So what are you waiting for?!? Take a look.