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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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Cancer unavoidably leads to losses. Letting go of what I have lost has allowed me to accept and be grateful for what I, for the moment, have. I wish that I could have started doing this without getting sick.
In oncology, many patients continue under our care for years and years. These patients become part of our clinic and, dare I say, our lives, and it is the merging of patient-person-friend where, emotionally, being an oncologist can become quite complicated.
Words can harm and words can heal. Using the word "partner" when scheduling an initial appointment with a patient opened the door to a more meaningful relationship, and created an environment of safety and trust.
A patient had the worst news delivered to her in quite possibly the worst possible way. We cannot let our patients feel like they are just a number in our calculated RVUs. They deserve our time, consideration, and empathy—even when we are covering.
"Scanxiety" doesn't appear in any legitimate dictionaries (yet), but it is a very real experience for patients with cancer. You can help your patients manage their scanxiety by emphasizing that you will be there to guide them based on the results of their scans.
Solving the chemical or mechanical challenges of sex after cancer isn't always enough. My work often involves helping patients connect their body to their head and their heart.
My patient chose not to share her cancer diagnosis. She shouldered so much, and did it only with the support of her husband—no friends, no neighbors, not even her children. It was the way she wanted to get through her treatment, but it was a heavy weight to carry.
Believe it or not, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 was passed more than 1 year ago, and program changes begin in less than six months, on Janurary 1, 2017.
Medicine, in the words of my friend and mentor Larry Norton, should be a calling, not a glorified profession. Medicine isn’t done in shifts. It’s a commitment made between you and your patients, to oversee their care personally, even when you aren’t around.
We survivors get lots of sympathy, while our caregivers get taken for granted, much of the time even by us. 
Subterfuge never solves sexual dysfunction after cancer. Patients and their partners need to talk to each other, and from that talk comes understanding and sharing and empathy and, eventually, solutions and resolution.
Last week I introduced the theme I’ve selected for my term as ASCO President, Together, we’ll be making a difference for our patients and in our profession with the help of some game-changing initiatives from ASCO, of which I will describe just a few.
We recently converted our electronic record system to EPIC, and the new perspective provides useful illumination. Truly patient-focused care requires that our practice and our records—verbal, written, or electronic—place the patient center stage.
When you and your patient are in uncharted territory in the cancer landscape, the words you choose to communicate uncertainty and the way you convey them matter a great deal.
ASCO has published an updated framework for assessing the relative value of cancer therapies that have been compared in clinical trials in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
A brief NCORP update. The NCTN and NCORP continue to open and modify Precision Medicine clinical trials including ALCHEMIST, LungMAP, Exceptional Responders, and NCI MATCH.
Today ASCO issued its first clinical practice guideline on invasive cervical cancer, with recommendations organized according to health system resource availability levels. I was honored to serve as Co-Chair of the Expert Panel, along with Dr. Linus Chuang.
I have seen many patients grapple with the consequences of cancer and its treatment on their own sexual view of themselves (their sexual self-schema), and how it can impact the relationship between partners.

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