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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Sometimes, it seems like the easiest way to raise some physician’s hackles is to bring up something that “administration” is doing. Maybe it’s a practice change felt to make things run more smoothly. Maybe it’s a new iteration of the EMR. Maybe it’s data monitoring or asking the physicians to look...
The good kind of problem is having too many choices; the bad kind of problem is having too few choices. Today, I am writing about the ultimate in the good kind of problems: Being an exceptional responder to cancer treatment. I am even trying to enroll in the NCI Exceptional Responders Initiative.
By Don S. Dizon, MD, FACP, and Elaine M. Doroff Significant psychological distress often accompanies the first diagnosis of cancer, but for most patients, I find the distress fades as the cancer gets treated and ultimately becomes a part of their past. Life resumes a new normalcy, interrupted only...
I’m sure I am not alone in saying that I am almost obsessively conscious of time. Namely, that there never seems to be enough of it. As busy oncologists, we all have constant demands on our time, from our leadership, colleagues, drug company reps, insurers, and our families, not to mention the time...
The auditorium was designed for around 400 people, but only a quarter of the place was occupied. Some people were sitting next to each other; some were hiding alone at the end of the hall.
Effective communication is vital in all aspects of medicine. In today’s multidisciplinary health care setting, the many members of each patient’s health care team need to work together to deliver optimal care...
I had taken care of her for many years; recommended the adjuvant treatment for her triple-negative breast cancer, then later—walking her through treatment when we found it had recurred in her liver. We had hoped for a long-lasting remission, but then she developed bone and lung metastases.
I am a psychiatrist, but I have never regarded myself as a particularly patient one. In fact, I have become even less patient since I was diagnosed with stage IV gastric adenocarcinoma in 2010 and given a prognosis of less than a year to live. This blog is not meant to reflect the thoughts of a...
Dr. Robert Mayer and Dr. Gabriel N. Hortobagyi were named as distinguished members of the OncLive 2015 Giants in Cancer class.
“Let’s cut to the chase, doc,” she said. “I know it’s bad, but I want as much time as I can have. I’m not ready to die.”
Please join the Conquer Cancer Foundation as we extend the momentum of The Campaign to Conquer Cancer. As much as we need your donations to raise $150 million, we need your leadership and your voice even more.
I see patients in three kinds of supportive scenarios. There are those who come to their visits with me by themselves. I understand why they come alone to address their sexual problems; they think that the problem is theirs to fix.
We all have our fair share of so-called “difficult” patients. And, I would suggest that how we define “difficult” is as diverse as we are as health care providers and as individuals. Some patients come to us with that reputation—perhaps, a vague descriptor in a referral letter or a note in the...
Everyone deserves a chance to be healthy. Physicians, of course, focus on helping patients. Unfortunately, I often see patients’ frustrations with the health care system itself directed toward doctors. Doctors are under increasing pressures on multiple fronts. Yes, we’re imperfect, but making...
Facebook is a remarkable thing. I use it for private matters—to keep in touch with family and friends from long ago. Because of it, I’ve reconnected with people from every stage of my life, as far back as third grade to high school to college and beyond. One of the nicest things about Facebook is...
One of my favorite aspects of my job is giving Continuing Medical Education (CME) talks around the country and getting the opportunity to speak to a broad range of oncologists about what they do in practice. While I treat lung cancer patients at an academic center, traveling gives me the chance to...
Since the 1970s, we have been involved in a war against cancer. But how do military metaphors and battle imagery affect people who are trying to cope with the challenges of a cancer diagnosis? Longtime patient advocate Diane Blum explores common language used to describe cancer and its treatment.
The patient was a young looking 74-year-old woman, accompanied by her husband. She was not exactly sure why she was seeing me and nodded as I explained that I see all women with...

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