Latest Blogs

Feb 14, 2018
Patient advocate Ms. Carole Seigel discusses ASCO's new clinical practice guideline on managing immune-related adverse events for patients treated with checkpoint inhibitors.  
Feb 13, 2018
A recent event brought home the significance of how devastating news is received and how we react to a potentially life-changing message.
Feb 05, 2018
Almost every day a patient (and often many more than one) asks Dr. Evan Hall, “How will my cancer diagnosis affect my life?” This is a difficult question to answer. 
Feb 01, 2018
"Can we increase the chances to make early diagnoses in patients with cancer? Yes, we can, I can, but how?" asks Dr. Jose Angel Sanchez.
Subscribe to this column

Richard T. Penson, MD, MRCP

Richard T. Penson, MD, MRCP, is Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Clinical Director of Medical Gynecologic Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital. His oncology practice is devoted almost exclusively to gynecologic oncology and clinical research. Dr. Penson is one of the chairs for the Institutional Review Board for Dana-Farber/Partners CancerCare and sits on the QOL Committee for the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, the Gynecologic Oncology Group committee for Health Outcomes Research, and the Editorial Board of The Oncologist and Medical Humanities.

Jun 04, 2016
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.
Jan 29, 2015
By Tina Atkinson, Lauren Burns, and Richard Penson.  LB sports a perky, punky, quiff of hair that is testimony to the fact that she is a survivor, but never as long as she’d like. No chips on her shoulders, no moss on her street. She is savvy, and racey, and fun. Her hairstyle is gelled and glossed...
Apr 03, 2014
One of the most difficult issues I’ve had to face is being fired. Rather tragic to let a bruised ego have such a priority. Humility happens when you blow the smoke away from the mirrors. But, spotlight humility and it disappears into the shadows. Humility is the inverted, invisible calm of...
Feb 21, 2014
I’ve only ever had one patient with two PhDs. Gerda was a woman of huge intellect and generous humor, an appreciation for the finest detail, and was, herself, beautifully refined. She could give incisive critique, but with warmth and empathy, and a giggling smile. She was ferociously independent,...
Sep 11, 2013
We took off from Logan Airport four minutes before United Airlines Flight 175, the second plane to crash into the Twin Towers on 9/11. For us, September 11, 2001, started with all the heady mix of excitement and stress, a transatlantic Virgin flight, sympathetic hostess smiles, and four kids with...
Jul 25, 2013
It was an awkward moment—the uncomfortable silence and her smarting reply. I regretted biting my lip and the nonverbal message that gesture implied. I felt bad for the obvious pain that I’d unmasked in her face. Her eyes had narrowed, and she’d withdrawn as if I’d hit her.