Topic: disease awareness

February 25th, 2014

Honoring Rare Disease Day: Spotlight on Multicentric Castleman’s Disease

by Joanne Vanak, RN, MSN; Senior Director of Medical Affairs Scientific Advocacy, Janssen Scientific Affairs, LLC

Rare Disease Day

Imagine living with a disease so rare it’s hard to get the proper diagnosis. Picture life as a patient with a condition so unique you can barely find a physician with the experience to treat it. Unfortunately, for the nearly 25 to 30 million Americans who suffer from one of the approximately 6,800 rare diseases recognized in the United States,[1] this uncertainty is a reality. And it’s one of the primary reasons Johnson & Johnson and Janssen remain committed to uncovering treatment options for those facing unmet medical needs.

In the United States, a disease is considered rare if it affects fewer than 200,000 Americans.[1] Some rare diseases affect only a fraction of that. For example, in the case of a disease called Multicentric Castleman’s disease, or MCD, the patient numbers are so low that it’s difficult to get an accurate estimate of the number of people impacted. However, based on approximate calculations, experts believe there are fewer than 2,000 Americans with this condition.[2]*

So what is MCD? It is a disorder in which lymphocytes, a certain type of white blood cells, are over-produced, causing enlargement of lymph nodes or other internal organs containing lymphoid tissue.

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September 18th, 2013

Continuing to Lead by Example – Johnson & Johnson Recognized for Global Cancer Prevention and Support in the Workplace

by Fik Isaac, MD, Vice President Global Health Services and Chief Medical Officer, Wellness & Prevention, Inc., a Johnson & Johnson Company

Back in 2001, Former President George H. W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States, asked a gentleman named Robert Ingram (CEO of Glaxo Wellcome at the time) to chair the CEO Roundtable on Cancer in support of an initiative known as the C-Change.  This national forum brought together key leaders from business, government and academia, who shared the common goal to eliminate cancer.  Specifically, Mr. Bush asked Mr. Ingram to form a separate organization of action-oriented chief executive officers that would “do something” about cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment for their own families, as well as their corporate families.  And, well, the rest is history.

Today, the CEO Roundtable on Cancer is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that remains committed to fulfilling Former President Bush’s challenge to be “bold and venturesome” in considering the health of employees and the war against cancer.  This rings true in each of the organization’s three key categories: risk reduction, early detection and quality care.  And more than four million employees and family members are benefiting from the vision and leadership of nearly 150 employers who’ve chosen to become Gold Standard accredited.

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May 7th, 2013

Second Chances: How a Blood Test Helped The Voice’s Jamar Rogers Live with Purpose

By Eric Compton, Worldwide President, Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics, Inc.

At Ortho Clinical Diagnostics (OCD), celebrating National Minority Health Month in April was an opportunity to shine a light on the health disparities affecting our country. While we are all at risk for chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and in some instances HIV, these diseases can affect minorities at a much higher rate. As a company and as part of the broader healthcare community, we encourage everyone to take control of your own health and Know Your Numbers; so we can stand together by preventing, diagnosing and managing chronic disease.

We’re proud to say that our cause recently benefited from some star power. Jamar Rogers, known for his incredible performances on NBC’s The Voice, visited OCD to share how a blood test result helped him decide to live with purpose. We were so inspired by his talk that we asked him to submit a blog so that everyone could benefit from his message.

Here is Jamar’s story:


Ever since I was a little boy, I loved singing and dreamed of doing it professionally some day. However, by the time I was a teenager, those dreams were becoming out of reach.

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April 29th, 2013

Show Your Stripes for Prostate Cancer

By Joanne Vanak, Senior Director of Scientific Advocacy at Janssen

I play many roles in my life and in my work. I am part of the scientific advocacy team at Janssen Biotech. I’m a former oncology nurse. I am a member of Johnson & Johnson’s Veteran’s Leadership Council. And, I’m also the daughter, wife and mother of men who have served in our country’s military. These are just a few of the reasons I’m so proud and honored to help my company launch a new campaign — Show Your Stripes for Prostate Cancer Awareness — to educate and support veterans and their families about prostate cancer.

There are lots of reasons this campaign is important. Did you know:

  • Among the general population, approximately one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. It’s the second most common cancer next to skin cancer and the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths among American men.
  • Approximately two-thirds of the cases of prostate cancer occur in men over the age of 65, or approaching it, and nearly two-thirds of male U.S. veterans are in this age group.
  • And, prostate cancer not only impacts the men in our lives, but it can affect his family, friends, and loved ones.
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March 26th, 2013

Recognizing Diabetes Alert Day: One Mother’s Personal and Professional Journey

By Kelsey Ginck, Global Fellow, Corporate Communication, Johnson & Johnson

In honor of American Diabetes Alert Day, a one-day “wake up call” for learning your risk of diabetes, I asked my mom about her journey with diabetes — from her diagnosis and how it influenced her decision to become a diabetes educator at LifeScan Animas, to how her experiences have shaped where she is today, both personally and professionally.

Check out the full post over at JNJParents:

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November 11th, 2011

A Veteran’s Day Reflection on Mental Health

From Bill Weldon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Johnson & Johnson

Each Veterans Day, Americans take a collective pause to express our gratitude for those who so honorably serve in the Armed Forces. We say a silent thank you for all who sacrificed their lives in the cause of freedom, and applaud the heroism and bravery of returning veterans whose visible wounds often bear witness to their time on the front lines. But this Veterans Day, many of our young men and women in uniform are struggling with less visible wounds: traumatic injuries that don’t require a prosthetic or wheelchair – yet leave deep and lasting scars on the mind.

The challenge of treating and curing diseases and injuries to the brain is more critical than ever.  After nine years of frequent deployments, today’s combat veterans are increasingly suffering not only traumatic brain injuries but also the emotional and psychological wounds of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other mental conditions including addiction, depression and suicide. A 2011 study of returning soldiers conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that one in five active duty and more than four in ten reserve soldiers had been diagnosed as needing mental health treatment.

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May 9th, 2011

Protecting Your Eyes from the Sun

Most of us are aware of the importance of protecting your skin from the sun. Whenever my family and I go to the beach, the first thing we do is slather on the sunscreen in an effort to shield our skin from UV-rays. But what about our eyes? UV-rays are just as harmful to our vision, and our eyes need to be protected as well.

According to the Vision Care Institute, a Johnson & Johnson company, only about 65% of Americans wear sunglasses to help protect their eyes from the sun’s rays, and only 39% make sure their children wear sunglasses. Since children have larger pupils, clearer lenses and oftentimes spend more time outside without protecting their eyes, it’s no surprise that it is estimated a large amount of lifetime exposure to UV rays may occur by age 18.

There are some helpful ways to help keep your eyes safe and healthy. For one, wearing sunglasses can help block UV rays. For most styles however, while they prevent UV rays from entering through the lenses, do not prevent rays from reading the sides, top and bottom of the glasses. Hats with brims also offer protection from the sun. However, they don’t protect our eyes from the rays reflected off surfaces like water, sand and pavement.

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March 31st, 2011

Raising Awareness of Blood Clot Risk

From Shaun Mickus, Director, Product Communication, Internal Medicine, Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Services

It is estimated that every minute of the year, at least one person in the U.S. develops a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), an unwanted blood clot in a deep vein (usually in the leg). If left untreated, part of a DVT can break off and form a pulmonary embolism (PE) – an unwanted blood clot that travels to the lungs. At least every five minutes, someone dies from a PE. 

DVTs can affect people of any age and health status, and this March marks the sixth annual DVT Awareness Month. Public and health care professional awareness of DVTs, including signs and symptoms, has increased over the years, yet more education about clots and risk factors is needed.

To coincide with DVT Awareness Month, Ortho-McNeil, Division of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. – the Johnson & Johnson company that I work for – is posting a five-part “Healthy Body, Healthy Mind’ video series on the Johnson & Johnson Health Channel on YouTube to educate about the prevalence, signs and symptoms, risk factors, prevention and diagnosis of DVTs.

The DVT videos feature several stories of people who have been impacted by a DVT, including a 25-year-old Brooklyn, N.Y.

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February 4th, 2011

World Cancer Day 2011

From William N. Hait, MD, PhD, Global Therapeutic Area Head, Oncology, Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development

Cancer. It’s a disease that affected an estimated 15 million people in 2010. That number is projected to rise dramatically to 27 million by 2030, according to the World Health Organization. These numbers are indicative of a public health concern that deserves to be a priority.

Throughout Johnson & Johnson, there are people who are working to combat cancer and its effects, whether through innovative products or collaborations, such as a recent partnership between Veridex and Massachusetts General Hospital, to develop technology to capture, count and characterize tumor cells found in patients’ blood. This collaboration, which also involves Ortho Biotech Oncology Research & Development, a unit of Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, has been discussed on JNJ BTW before…it aims to develop a next-generation, automated diagnostic test that’s can detect a cancer cell from a billion blood cells. The test will be strong enough to reveal the biology of cells at the DNA, RNA and protein levels.

In all segments of our business, pharmaceuticals, consumer and medical devices & diagnostics, we are using our expertise to address cancer.

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December 1st, 2010

Jon Lovitz wants to work with us to raise awareness of psoriasis? Are You Serious?

From Craig Stoltz, Director, Product Communications, Immunology, Centocor Ortho Biotech Inc.

Earlier this year, I received a very interesting voicemail message from someone I didn’t know, but it was a voice that I instantly recognized.  It belonged to renowned Saturday Night Live actor and comedian, Jon Lovitz, who was calling with a proposition: help him raise awareness for a disease that he’d suffered with for nearly a decade – severe plaque psoriasis.  Thankfully he had recently worked with his dermatologist to find a treatment that worked for him and he now had his psoriasis under control.  Basically, Jon wanted to use his comedy to raise awareness about psoriasis, without making fun of having the disease. 

This week, we are launching a disease awareness campaign with Jon, called Are You Serious?TM, following several months of telephone and in-person creative meetings, production shoots, editing sessions, and coast-to-coast trips between Philadelphia and Los Angeles. I was also fortunate to be a part of a few very serious meet-and-greets with Lovitz and his longtime friend, Hollywood director Jerry Zucker (the legendary director behind hit movies including AIRPLANE!, The Naked Gun series, and Ghost) who worked with us on the campaign’s public service announcements. 

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