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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The last few weeks before the Annual Meeting are an increasingly frenzied period for ASCO staff and for your president. Orchestrating the meeting of 30,000 oncology professionals requires a great deal of work by staff.  There is also, inevitably, some last minute reshuffling of the scientific...
In early February, my new patient was a middle-aged woman from here in Silicon Valley with a self-discovered 2 cm right breast mass. Her internist was all over this. She quickly had a core needle biopsy, was evaluated by one of our breast surgeons, and was referred to me for an opinion regarding...
Many oncologists have probably been following Dr. Peter Bach’s moving and beautifully written series, recently concluded in the New York Times, about his wife Ruth's breast cancer...
What is old, is new again. Off-label use of oncology drugs is common; and has long been the focus of controversy. Payers are often confused by the broad use of a therapeutic across seemingly unrelated diagnoses. They look to the FDA label for guidance on the specific use of a drug. Yet the FDA-...
ASCO and its members, whether we recognize it or not, are in the quality business. Our members, because society has an expectation of a high standard of care from physicians; our Society, because we are charged with helping establish the standards by which our members' claims to quality care are...
I was recently caught off guard by a couple of simply warm and beautiful days here in Boston—they seemed to be some sort of promise that spring must indeed be coming! The concept of renewal has since been on my mind. No, not the usual items that the term renewal conjures up (you know, licenses,...
Does anyone other than me find what happened on Jeopardy! this week somewhat freaky? For those of you not up with the cultural zeitgeist, an IBM computer named Watson absolutely destroyed the two best Jeopardy! contestants in a three-day contest, answering question after question correctly in an...
Finding myself with an extra day prior to the start of ASCO GU, (no offense meant to SUO and ASTRO - just what I have been calling the meeting for many years) here in sunny Florida, I have finally caught up with some of the many things left...
I just got out of yet another talk on health reform. There is no question that the current rate of health care spending is unsustainable, and something has to be done...We talk a lot about patient safety and quality, guidelines, and resource utilization, but are we just blowing smoke? If we look at...
I learn so much about my profession by listening to my colleagues speak, and attending ASCO's many committees has accelerated my education. Today I sat in on the Ethics...
A recent copy of The New England Journal of Medicine leads with an editorial from Michael E.
This is not about global warming—- ;-) ! But how many times have you thought about ecologic fallacy? Not many of us think about it and would wonder what it has to do with cancer care. This problem has been on my mind for years as I have watched cancer patients and health care professionals struggle...
While everyone else is learning about breast cancer in San Antonio this week, for those of us left behind in the freezing Mid-Atlantic, here are a few articles and links about health IT that I found interesting:
Yes, the title of this blog is a bit dry but the subject matter itself—a most interesting area to explore!I’ll start by saying that medical professionals in general tend to think about the near and distant future with a relatively high frequency. This probably could not be truer today as we...
In recent weeks, I have seen quite a number of blog posts, articles, and Tweets about social media and the medical profession that continue to illustrate how mainstream these Web 2.0 technologies and applications have become across the spectrum of medical care. Here is a sampling of items I found...
In this post, I would like to share the misunderstandings and anxieties that result when critical information is withheld from patients with cancer and from their family members.
By Jamie Von Roenn, MD. I have been reflecting on language. Both ASCO and the World Health Organization say palliative care is applicable early in the course of disease in combination with life-prolonging therapies. That fits with what my patients seem to want; to live as well as possible for as...

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