Michigan CPAP Bank for Patients in Need

Man_With_CPAP_MaskImagine not being able to afford a good night’s sleep. Unfortunately, that’s the case for many people who have been prescribed continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and other sleep disorders. That’s why I created the Michigan CPAP Bank, a recycling program that provides free CPAP machines and supplies to patients in financial need.

In 2012, one of my patients brought in his old CPAP machine hoping that another patient might be able to use his equipment. Because he was getting a different CPAP machine to help him breathe at night, he didn’t need the used but still functional equipment. The idea was brilliant.

Today, we have CPAP, BiPAP, auto-CPAP, auto-BiPAP, ASV (adaptive servo-ventilation) and AVAPS (average volume assured pressure support) machines at the Bank. And we have given more than 90 machines and various supplies to people who qualify for them.  Continue reading

U-M doctor plays cupid to help patient wed

Thanks to an eloquent letter from a U-M doctor, Ivan Maillard, M.D., an engagement ring was within reach of his patient Robert Wood, who is now planning an October wedding with his fiancée Becky.

Dr. Maillard, a hematology oncologist at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center, treats Robert for relapsed refractory Hodgkin lymphoma. At one appointment, Dr. Maillard learned that his young patient’s chance encounter with an old friend had sparked romance, leading to love, a marriage proposal and plans for a future together.


Continue reading

Multiple myeloma treatment options are better than ever

Many new treatment options for multiple myeloma have been developed in the past several years.

Daniel Couriel, M.D.

Daniel Couriel, M.D.

mCancerPartner sat down recently with Daniel Couriel, MD, a professor of hematology and oncology to discuss multiple myeloma treatment options. Dr. Couriel treats patients with blood disorders such as multiple myeloma and he is an expert on graft-versus-host disease, a complication of stem cell transplantation. Dr. Couriel is participating in a round-table discussion at the upcoming Wine and Dine in the D, an annual fundraiser to benefit the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. It takes place Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013 at the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel in Detroit.

mCancerPartner: Dr. Couriel, what is multiple myeloma?

Dr. Couriel: This is a kind of cancer that most often is found in the elderly. It affects a subset of blood cells called plasma cells, which normally live in bone marrow, the same place where all blood cells are generated. With multiple myeloma, too many plasma cells become malignant, and proliferate without restraint.  This prevents other kinds of blood cells – like red blood cells – from growing. As they get crowded out, the number of red and white blood cells go down, and this has serious side effects: we all need white blood cells to fight off infection, and red cells to transport oxygen.

Other serious problems occur when the malignant plasma cells Continue reading

Celebrating 25 years as an NCI-designated cancer center

It started with notes on a napkin

Max Wicha, M.D., director of the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center

Max Wicha, M.D., director of the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center

The University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center is celebrating 25 years as an NCI-designated cancer center. Max Wicha, M.D., the center’s founding director, reflects on the Cancer Center’s past and present in a guest post to Medicine That Speaks, a health care blog from the CEO of the University of Michigan Health System, Ora H. Pescovitz, M.D.

Read Dr. Wicha’s remarks, including how doodles on a napkin started the journey which resulted in the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center of today, one of the national leaders in research and patient care.

You can also read more about our accomplishments over the past 25 years at this commemorative timeline that starts in September 1988 when the National Cancer Institute awarded U-M a cancer center designation. This designation is given to cancer centers at universities and cancer research centers in the United States that are developing and translating scientific knowledge from promising laboratory discoveries into new treatments for cancer patients.

Do you have a story or reminiscence about patient care or research over the years at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center? Feel free to share below. Continue reading

U-M doctors discuss major lung cancer screening study

The National Cancer Institute published details yesterday in the New England Journal of Medicine about a recent study showing a 20 percent decrease in lung cancer mortality among heavy smokers who were screened with CT scans rather than X-rays. But what does this mean for you? Hear what University of Michigan physicians Ella Kazerooni, M.D., and Douglas Arenberg, M.D., have to say.