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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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Several weeks ago, I attended the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network (MBCN) Annual Meeting, hosted by MD Anderson Cancer Center. I had been invited to talk on sexual health and intimacy, and was delighted to do so. Right after...
The Atlantic Magazine, together with the University of California San Diego, sponsored a two-day symposium on cancer, highlighting the impact of new technology and drawing upon speakers across the spectrum of the oncology...
Access to medications in general—and cancer treatments in particular—is one of the major challenges facing oncology and public health practitioners today, especially in countries with limited resources.
By Richard L. Schilsky, MD, FASCO Congress is bickering . . . while people are dying. The government is closed . . . while people are dying. Research is withering. . . while people are dying. Laboratories are dark. . . while people are dying. Clinical trials are on hold . . . while people...
This week I had the good fortune to attend the 10th Main Meeting of the Early Breast Cancer Trialists’ Collaborative Group in Oxford, England. Known widely as “the meta-analysis” or as the “Oxford Overview,” this effort has relied on very large numbers (of randomly assigned patients) to fuel the...
It took almost 24 hours of travel to reach Xiamen, China, site of the 16th Annual Meeting of the Chinese Society of Clinical Oncology (CSCO) and the ancestral home of my mother. As with most of anything in China, the growth of CSCO has been enormous and yet the challenges of caring for such a large...
Today, I had the distinct pleasure and honor to represent ASCO at the opening session of the 16th Annual Meeting of the Chinese Society of Clinical Oncology, here in Xiamen, China, with 5,000 in attendance. I presented ASCO's vision of the challenges and opportunities facing oncology over the the...
I am struck by the complex signals we now live with as each of us proceeds through our day of clinical, research, or administrative matters. Daily, we navigate through a forest of information from our multiple emails, texts, tweets, phone messages, snail mail, and conversations with colleagues and...
I remember when Susan*, a close friend of mine with breast cancer (who had been living with metastatic disease for about a year before), was told she was  terminal. Beyond the shock and fear, Susan felt grief and anguish that her life would end so much sooner than she (or any of us) had expected....
It has been a couple of weeks since our visitor has left, but it remains a visit that should be shared. The International Development and Education Award (...
Dr. Tessa Cigler reviews highlights from the September 2013 Membership Committee Meeting, including enhancement of member benefits and promotion of existing social networking tools.
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...
It often seems like the challenges associated with discussing clinical trials with your patients outweigh the probable benefits, but in the long run, it may make a difference.
While I was sitting at San Francisco International Airport waiting for my flight home to Boston, I found myself reflecting on the Breast Cancer Symposium, which I had just left (#BCS13). While I was honored to...
In my first ASCO Connection blog post (10/25/11), I talked about “Participatory Medicine in Oncology” by asking: “What does a healthy medicine and oncology “ecosystem” look...
Joan was 42, married, but appeared to be younger than that. Her husband was with her when we first met, as was her beautiful two-year-old son. “We couldn’t get a baby sitter, if you can believe that!” she said.Sarah was 38 and was also married. She and I were closer to the same age, which...
Pursuing quality measurement and quality improvement in cancer care are now mainstream expectations for the oncology community. All of us should be taking steps to ensure that quality standards are implemented at our institutions and practices, not only because quality measurement plays a role in...

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