Carolyn Vachani

Now Hiring – Help Manager!

Posted October 17th, 2017

We all know that a new cancer diagnosis is challenging, to say the least. You are filled with anxiety, uncertainty, a sense of urgency and fear. We also realize that the rest of life doesn’t stop- kids still need to get to soccer, dinner still needs to be made, and the list goes on and […]


What is Health Literacy? (And why should I care about it?)

Posted October 6th, 2017

October is Health Literacy Awareness Month! What on earth does that mean? Health literacy is a hot topic in the world of patient education these days. On the outset, you might think this has to do with education level and reading ability. But, not so fast! The US Department of Health and Human Services defines […]


Working with Cancer

Posted September 26th, 2017

I happened to turn on the TV this weekend to see Senator John McCain talking on 60 Minutes about his latest cancer battle (he had been treated for melanoma in 2000). I do love to hear survivor stories – they can be so inspiring and remind me how important the work we do is, supporting […]


The Little Care Plan That Could

Posted April 24th, 2017

When OncoLink launched in 1994, it was the first cancer information website on the internet. Twenty-three years later, it remains one of the largest. Housed at Penn Medicine, with a focus on patient and provider education, OncoLink has continued to evolve as cancer treatment has changed over the years. In April of 2007, the group […]


Carolyn Vachani

It’s Not All Rainbows and Glitter

Posted March 29th, 2017

If you have never heard the words “you have cancer”, then what I am about to explain may defy logic, but bear with me. Let’s imagine you are heading to the cancer center for your last day of treatment – chemotherapy, radiation, whatever it may be. What are you feeling? What thoughts are running through […]


Happy 23rd Birthday OncoLink!

Posted March 7th, 2017

On March 7th of 1994, Dr. Joel Goldwein launched OncoLink, the first cancer information site on the Internet, from his office at the University of Pennsylvania.  Dr. Goldwein thought OncoLink would be a good way for physicians to share information.  Little did he know that this little project would become one of the most trusted […]


Webinar: Clinical Trials 101

Posted November 17th, 2016

Clinical trials are critical to improving outcomes in cancer care. There are clinical research trials for most types of cancer, and every stage of the disease. Clinical trials are designed to determine the value of specific treatments and help us find better ways of treating the disease. This webinar will help you understand the basics […]


Why is Health Education So Important?

Posted October 17th, 2016

Since 1995, National Health Education Week (NHEW) has been celebrated during the third full week of October (October 17-21 this year). Sponsored by the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE), this celebration focuses national attention on a major public health issue and promotes consumers’ understanding of the role of health education in promoting the public’s […]


The Flu Vaccine for People with Cancer

Posted October 14th, 2016

Flu vaccine information is everywhere you turn these days, from the supermarket to the news. Every year around this time, questions about flu vaccination start popping up in cancer clinics. Many people with cancer (and survivors) may be wondering how they can best prevent getting sick, and if they should be vaccinated against the flu. […]


To Ring or Not To Ring

Posted October 10th, 2016

Watch any TV show or movie about cancer and you will see the patient celebrate the end of treatment – cupcakes, balloons, all smiles. In radiation there is a tradition of ringing a bell to mark the end of treatment – a symbol of the celebration. Our society is trained to think every patient should […]