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Why Seniors Fail to Get the Shingles Vaccine, This Week on Sound Medicine

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Although the shingles vaccine Zostavax is effective at protecting people older than age 60 from shingles, two recent studies show that few older adults actually get the vaccine. Why not? Sound Medicine host Barbara Lewis puts the question to IU’s Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber, M.D. Dr. Rohr-Kirchgraber is an internist and associate professor of clinical medicine and pediatrics at the IU School of Medicine.

Recent research published in the journal Cell reveals striking evidence that chromosomes can abruptly explode and cause cancer in the host cell – a swiftly commencing action that is unlike a cancer that develops gradually, via cell mutations. Although not involved with the study, Harvard cancer biologist David Pellman, M.D., will explain what the finding means in terms of cancer evolution. Dr. Pellman is the Margaret M. Dyson Professor of Pediatric Oncology at Harvard Medical School.

A key provision of the healthcare reform law would provide Medicare funding for doctors who offer end-of-life planning for their patients. Critics believed such planning would lead to “death panels.” What is the status of this palliative care provision?  Sound Medicine’s healthcare policy analyst Aaron Carroll, M.D., will bring us up to date. Dr. Carroll is associate director for research of the Children’s Health Services Research Program at Indiana University and a regular contributor to Sound Medicine.

Politics don’t mean much to a family facing end-of-life decisions. Social worker and author Joanne Harvey will talk with Barbara Lewis about her book, Dying to Live: Embracing the Journey. Harvey specializes in hospice care and grief counseling.

Sound Medicine is an award-winning radio program co-produced by the Indiana University School of Medicine and WFYI Public Radio (90.1FM). Sound Medicine is underwritten by Indiana University Health, Indiana University Health Physicians, and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Reports on Primary Health Care topics are sponsored by Wishard Health Services.

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