Posts Tagged ‘Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center’

What U2 Can Teach You About Building a Corporate Culture

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

The Grammy Award-winning Irish rock band U2 is an excellent case history in how to create a powerful culture of connection.  This is the opinion of Michael Lee Stallard and Jason Pankau, partners in E Pluribus Partners, the world’s leading experts on how rational and emotional connections can boost productivity, innovation and organizational performance in the workplace.

In a recent interview for the Alter+Care Inspire Podcasts, Stallard and Pankau trace U2’s culture of connection back to the time when Bono’s mother died suddenly when he was just 14.  Because his father was so grief-stricken, he was unable to console his son, leaving Bono to grieve alone – a very difficult process for an adolescent.  When his friend and fellow band member Larry Mullen, Jr.’s mother died, Bono consoled his friend and created a lifetime bond with him.

That culture of connection has stayed with Bono throughout his adult life.  When Edge’s went through a divorce, the band members rallied around their friend to help him through a difficult time.  Later, Adam Clayton started abusing drugs and alcohol.  Instead of abandoning him, U2 decided that no one gets left behind, and the band supported his rehabilitation process.  A death threat was made against Bono because he planned to sing “Pride (In The Name Of Love)” – a song about Martin Luther King – in Arizona.  During the song, Clayton stood in front of his Bono to shield his friend.  Clayton literally was willing to take a bullet for Bono.

U2 is an extremely close band, powerfully crystallized in the fact that they and their long-time manager split all profits five equal ways, which is unusual and makes all members feel equally valued.

Stallard also talked about the connection culture that permeated the unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center where his wife underwent treatment several years ago.  Later – and at the Stallard’s recommendation – a friend went to Sloan Kettering but was treated in a different unit where the atmosphere was completely different.  The result was a far less pleasant experience and proof that culture emanates from the ground level.

To listen to Michael Lee Stallard’s and Jason Pankau’s full interview on how U2 represents a culture of connection, click here.

To sign up for Michael Lee Stallard’s and Jason Pankau’s newsletter and receive a free digital download of their book, click here.

Breast Cancer Surgery Doesn’t Always Require Lymph Node Removal

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Many women with early breast cancer don’t always to have their lymph nodes removed, as is often recommended. The federally funded study, involving nearly 900 women who were treated at 115 sites across the country, found that those who kept their lymph nodes were no less likely to survive five years after the surgery than those who did not, the researchers reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association.  Breast cancer is diagnosed in about 200,000 women each year in the United States, with the cancer reaching the lymph nodes in about 33 percent of the cases.

The study’s finding turns a century of standard medical practice on its head.  According to Dr. Armando E. Giuliano, the lead author and chief of surgical oncology at the John Wayne Cancer Institute at St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, CA, approximately two-thirds of these women will match the study criteria and one-third will not. For that one-third — about 10 percent of breast cancer patients overall — node removal might be needed.  An additional five percent of all patients have “distant” disease at the time of diagnosis, meaning the cancer has already spread to organs or bones.  In the remaining two percent of cases, the stage of the disease at diagnosis is not known. There is still a risk of lymphedema even after only a few nodes are taken for biopsy, but the risk is significantly reduced than when multiple nodes are removed.

Dr. Monica Morrow, an author of the study and chief of the breast service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York said that “Genetic breast cancer doesn’t influence how we treat the nodes.  Due to the increased risk of second breast cancers, many of these women chose mastectomy.  Women with mastectomy require axillary dissection if the nodes are involved.”

“Removing all of the lymph nodes under the arm is, first of all, for many women a second trip to the operating room” said Dr. Elisa Port, Mount Sinai Medical Center’s chief of breast surgery.  “And secondly, there’s a lot of side effects associated with removing all of the lymph nodes under the arm.  There’s a higher risk of developing what we call lymphedema, which is swelling of the arm.  There is some numbness on the inner part of the arm that you can get from cutting through the little nerves that run near the lymph nodes, and some women even have mobility issues.  So sparing them this bigger surgery is certainly significant for a large number of women.”

Professor Robert Mansel, professor of surgery at University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff, an expert in breast cancer research, said the study is very controversial with a lot of practice “based on feelings, not data.” Mansel currently favors lymph node removal, believing the research on leaving them intact is so far inconclusive.   He urged caution about the study, pointing to “lots of warning signs,” such as failure to include as many women in the study as they would have liked – meaning the trial was “under powered”.  When faced with the prospect of lymph nodes not being removed, many patients chose not to enter the trial, he said.  He also pointed to the study’s five-year follow-up, which he believes is too short.  “Breast cancer, if nothing else, is a long-term disease, which makes this study only half way to being reliable.”

Mt. Sinai’s Dr. Port acknowledges that not all breast surgeons will agree with the new study.  “But there is no question that for many people the results that you don’t have to remove cancer are very counterintuitive and go against the sensibility of what we, as surgeons, have been ingrained to do, which is remove cancer.  And the more cancer you can remove, the better.  Doctors are supposed to do what they know to be the safest thing, and many of us erred on the side of caution, which is to take out those lymph nodes to make sure we weren’t missing anything.”

Tanorexia An Addiction, Physicians Say

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Like that tanning bed too much?  It’s an addiction.  A rite of spring when anticipating an upcoming prom finds many young women heading to the tanning parlor to get that certain glow to complement their special dress.  Little do they know that too much tanning can turn into an addiction and make them more prone to skin cancer.

Brittany Cicala of Chesapeake Beach, MD, learned about the dangers of tanning the hard way.  At age 17, she headed to the tanning salon so she would look “tan and healthy” in the white lace dress she had chosen to wear to her prom.  Even after the event, Cicala – a blue-eyed blonde with fair skin – kept on tanning, often spending 20 to 25 minutes in the bed seven days a week.  In the summer of 2004, Cicala found a mole about the size of a nickel on her back.  When the mole started to bleed, she went to the doctor, was diagnosed with melanoma, and in the six years since has undergone 34 surgeries.  Cicala today describes herself as “tanorexic”.

According to Dr. Robin Hornung, a pediatric dermatologist in Washington state, melanoma rates are growing fastest among young women, and notes that many experts are suspicious of tanning beds.  A study by the University of Minnesota determined that melanoma risk increased as much as three times among people who tanned more than 50 hours, or had spent more than 100 sessions in a tanning bed.  The World Health Organization has classified tanning beds as carcinogenic and recommends banning young people under 18 from using them.

Tanorexia points out the importance of getting outpatient screenings in community-based settings to preemptively prevent melanomas and other cancers.