About Valerie Matthews-Mehl

Posts by Valerie Matthews-Mehl:

Waiting Room Observations


Over the last thirty years, about every decade I’ve found myself in a cancer center waiting room--first in 1984 with my husband, in 1999 with my father, and now this year with my mother.  Last week, I accompanied my mother on her regular visit.  It was a busy day in the clinic, and as I(...)

Top Three Lifestyle Changes to Prevent Cancer


Important Tips from Cancer Prevention and Control Expert Dr. Elizabeth Platz Focus on changing your lifestyle behaviors where we have evidence of a strong link. Often these lifestyle changes can also reduce your risk for other major chronic diseases, like heart disease and diabetes. You might as well get the most from your efforts, so(...)

Sequencing our Genes: Is Cancer Written in our DNA?


This is the first blog in a three-part series about Genome Sequencing and Predicting Cancer. Technology called next generation sequencing can be used to reveal an individual’s complete and entire DNA (whole genome).  Right now, it costs about $5,000 to sequence an individual’s whole genome, but the price tag is decreasing rapidly. With its increasing(...)

Engineering Cures


I entered uncharted territory when I began the feature story for the latest issue of the Kimmel Cancer Center's magazine Promise & Progress.  I was unaware that Johns Hopkins engineers had joined our cancer experts in the fight against cancer and equally unaware of the great body of work that was coming from this new(...)

Avastin: Good Drug, Bad Decision?


Recent news that the FDA will not approve the use of the drug Avastin for breast cancer has many patients who have benefitted questioning why.  Kimmel Cancer Center director William Nelson believes it is a perfect example of why personalized cancer medicine—getting the right drugs to the right patients—is so important. “Often in trials, drugs(...)

Cancer Screening Tests Everyone Should Know


Kimmel Cancer experts frequently say that “the best way to cure cancer is to prevent it from ever occurring.”  Most experts agree that currently-available cancer screening tests have lead to a decline in cancer deaths.  Moreover, they allow cancers to be detected early, making more treatment options available to patients. Let me say up front,(...)

Lacrosse vs Childhood Cancer


In my “other” life, outside of Johns Hopkins, I am a devoted lacrosse mom, spending most of my weekends at the lacrosse field supporting my son and his team. So, it is particularly enjoyable to see my two worlds combine—as the lacrosse community partners with us to raise important funds for pediatric cancer research.  I’m sure(...)

Science is Cool!


Whether it’s making a sticky, rubbery substance like Flubber, turning a clear solution blue, or figuring out how a normal cell turns into a cancer cell, it’s all science. Those of us at the Kimmel Cancer Center think science is cool, and we’re hoping, with the right introduction, young students will begin to think so(...)