Blogs

Blogs

ASCOconnection.org is a forum for the exchange of views on topical issues in the field of oncology. The views expressed in the blogs, comments, and forums belong to the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Please read the Commenting Guidelines.

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As a physician and a mom, I'm doing what all human beings do every day: making decisions about my life, career, and relationships, and hoping for the best.
As we move forward in oncology, my hope is that we will see miraculous recoveries more often, guided not by chance but by a better understanding of cancer biology. The promise of precision medicine remains a real one that I firmly believe in.
As oncologists, we are shaped and molded by our patients. December is a perfect time to reflect on our patients and ourselves, with the hope that we will be able to improve our future.
Survival rates for many types of cancers have continued to improve over the past several decades, contributing to a growing number of long-term cancer survivors. With longer survival, attention to the chronic and long-term adverse treatment effects has become increasingly important.
Writing a prescription is the easiest part of we do in clinic. The harder part is truly understanding the financial burden a cancer diagnosis inflicts on patients and their families.
Many of the couples that I see in my practice grow closer after the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. But for others, the experience of serious illness exposes existing weak points in their relationship.
When we are at the bedside, eye to eye with the patient and their families, we can do more than any website, journal, or even Dr. Google can to help our patients understand their cancer and their treatment.
A medical clinic is not set up for those who take their time, and efficiency is important. But in the short time we have for each patient visit, we must make an effort to be truly present with that person.
Not everyone shares my view of what constitutes a good death, and I’ve come to realize that when a patient has a very different view of the end of life from mine, it can be very difficult to do what’s right.
When the word “cancer” is evoked and you are asked to see an oncologist, a flood of emotions can occur. Often you are even unsure of what questions to ask. I hope this blog will help create a quick reference sheet for a patient during their office visit.
I will never forget the first patient I lost as an attending. Yes, I know that is cliché, but first-time experiences always resonate in our minds.
The foundation of the guideline update is that palliative care should apply from the time of diagnosis, and through treatment, recurrence, and long-term survivorship or the end of life.
If you really want to help someone, you have to understand the context of their lives, because that context influences if they are able to listen, what they will hear, and what they will do with the information you tell them.
“When are we going to cure cancer?” If I had a dime for every time I’ve been asked that...The trite answer is that we already cure many cancers, just not enough of them! But the real question should be, “Why don’t we cure all cancers?”
As physicians, Dr. Michael K. Keng writes, we have the responsibility not only to care for our patients, but to improve patient care. Quality improvement is often known as a mechanism to reduce cost, but it is also an opportunity to improve the full patient experience. 
It's a mistake to assume that we become more prepared for death as we get older.
We all strive to provide evidence-based medicine, yet putting it into practice can sometimes be the most challenging part of being a doctor.
It's up to us to advise our patients not to share medications, despite their generous natures. At best, the medications are ineffective because they aren't used properly; at worst, misuse can cause active harm.

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