About Vanessa Wasta

Posts by Vanessa Wasta:

What to ask for when you need spiritual help in your cancer journey


You need a companion on your cancer journey, and you can expect your spiritual emotions to change as your cancer changes, says Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center Chaplain Rhonda Cooper. She offers these do’s and don’ts as a guide to what to ask for when you need spiritual help during your cancer treatment: Don’t apologize(...)

‘Individualized’ Immune Cell Engineering Therapy for Cancer Clears First FDA Hurdle

‘Individualized’ Immune Cell Engineering Therapy for Cancer Clears First FDA Hurdle

*Update Aug. 30, 2017 - The FDA has approved the CAR-T therapy tisagenlecleucel for certain leukemia patients. News of an FDA advisory committee that has reviewed one pharmaceutical company's approach to engineering a cancer patient's own T-cells, the so-called soldiers of the immune system, and injecting them back into patients with astounding success has prompted questions(...)

What should you think about before getting a mammogram?

What should you think about before getting a mammogram?

A frequent question women ask Susan Harvey, M.D. about mammograms: “Can’t you make it so they don’t squeeze so hard?” Unfortunately, some discomfort is part of the screening, as breast imagers “compress the breast to get the best quality image,” says Harvey, director of the Johns Hopkins Breast Imaging Division in the Department of Radiology.(...)

Should all prostate cancers be treated?


“Prostate cancer mortality has been declining since prostate cancer screening started in 1995,” says William G. Nelson, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins. “There’s no question that it works. The problem is diagnosing these cancers in men who aren’t threatened by the disease and then pursuing treatment." "When(...)

Who are the spiritual caregivers in your cancer journey?


“Cancer is a terrible turn in a person’s life, but it may bring out the best in their family and friends,” says Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center Chaplain Rhonda Cooper. “The best gift of all is a strong shoulder to lean on, along with an understanding heart.” She notes that you may be able to(...)

How common is prostate cancer?


Prostate cancer is extremely common in the U.S. “It’s the most common life-threatening cancer in men, responsible for 26,000 deaths per year,” says William G. Nelson, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins. But there are a lot of prostate cancers that are not life-threatening, he says. “In autopsies(...)

Natural Remedies Being Studied for Breast Cancer

Natural Remedies Being Studied for Breast Cancer

In your Facebook feed, in conversations with friends, in a magazine article—the talk about natural remedies for preventing and treating breast cancer seems to pop up everywhere. But which natural products are actually being tested in the lab and in clinical trials, and what’s the evidence for their effectiveness? Saraswati Sukumar, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins oncology(...)

What is PSA?


“PSA, or prostate specific antigen, is an enzyme that normally appears in the ejaculate or central reproduction but when there’s a cancer present, it leaks into the circulation system so you can detect it in the bloodstream, where it becomes a marker of prostate cancer and other prostate diseases,” explains William G. Nelson, M.D., Ph.D.,(...)

Top Power Foods to Eat on Meatless Monday

Top Power Foods to Eat on Meatless Monday

If the phrase “Meatless Monday” has you staring blankly into your fridge, take heart. There may already be a few “power foods” lurking in there that can help you get your week off to a healthy start, says nutritionist Lynda McIntytre. Avocado, beans, berries, broccoli, eggs, leeks, nuts, oats, spinach and yogurt make the top(...)