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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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T.S. Eliot once penned April is the cruelest month.  I became conditioned to believe this after bearing witness to the tragic events in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995, as a student at the University of Oklahoma.  It was the first such tragedy I had been so close to, and sadly, not the last.
ASCO is the most important oncology meeting in the world, with more than 30,000 attendees and hundreds of presentations. I have been asked by many people how to get the maximum benefit from the Annual Meeting, so I have put together the following tips:Review the...
The explosion of food/restaurant/cooking shows has led to a greater understanding and appreciation of good food cooked well. The days of the local “supper club” being the best option available are long gone. We all have nights where the thought of cooking after work just doesn’t appeal, or we just...
I still recall my first rotation as an inpatient attending at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). Perhaps it was the anxiety that I remembered most; that I was “in charge” of a service. Fortunately, having done fellowship at MSKCC, the system was not a foreign one, and I knew exactly...
“And the sea comes, and summons our lives.”—Pablo Neruda, Chilean poet, diplomat and Nobel laureate Ulan Bator, Dalian, Seoul, Hanoi, Siem Reap, Bangkok, Kota Kinabalu, Yangon, Dhaka, Kolkata, Tashkent, Beirut, Bogota, San Jose. No, these are not the exotic locations where Pablo Neruda...
I am so excited about the 2013 ASCO Annual Meeting, and I hope that you will join us in Chicago—or if you can’t make it, through Virtual Meeting—to bring ideas, inspiration, and treatment options back to your patients.
I still remember meeting her; it was 1988 and I had just started the Spring semester at the University of Rochester. Somehow, I found myself at a party on the quad; while moving from room to room (and feeling quite like I didn’t fit in), an energetic, smiling, and fairly loud woman came up to me...
“Great,” I thought, as I stood at my desk, looking at my patient list early in the morning. She was coming in today. “She” was a patient of mine in her forties, with newly diagnosed triple-negative breast cancer, without nodal involvement. Our first meeting had been several months ago, and...
Like many other readers of ASCOconnection.org, I was inspired by ASCO president Sandra Swain’s blogs on “Women in Oncology.” Those blogs and the recent publication of...
As an oncologist who also runs a sexual health clinic for women treated (or under treatment), I am discovering that my perspective on both issues of cancer treatment (and survival) and life after cancer (and quality of life) is somewhat unique. I am conscious of how difficult it is to bring up...
Two weeks ago, I presented Yale Surgical Grand Rounds focused on “Cost and Quality in Cancer Care.” Amidst the talks in Washington regarding our unsustainable health care spending, and provisions of the Affordable Care Act rapidly taking hold, it seemed appropriate to start to critically evaluate...
By Purvish M. Parikh, MD, DNB, FICP, PhD, ECMO, CPI, MBA The cancer menace is really causing a major problem in South Asia. The number of patients now willing to come forward for treatment as well as the actual incidence is increasing. Combined with increased life expectancy, this means the...
I recently saw a new patient with advanced cancer in the intensive care unit (ICU). She had been treated with multiple lines of therapy at other cancer centers. While she already had an oncologist, I was called in to help the ICU team with any oncologic issues. There were no acute cancer problems...
It will soon be spring and that means it’s time to start planning your ASCO Annual Meeting experience. Our cover story will help you do just that with a sneak preview of the...
By Blase Polite, MD, MPP. In a previous life, I spent several years in the budget office of the Secretary of Health and Human Services, working on Medicare budgets. My experience in medicine is that very few of my colleagues understand how Medicare is actually financed. We, as health care...
In March 2002, the Institute of Medicine found overwhelming evidence that racial and ethnic minorities suffer disparities in health care and concluded that the real challenge lies not in debating whether disparities exist, but in developing and implementing strategies to reduce and eliminate them....
An email was waiting for me one morning from my wonderful nurse, Laura. "Very sad day," it said in the subject line. I opened the email quickly upon receiving it (we had just recovered from a northeast blizzard, after all) and read that one of my patients had died. This age-old dilemma again made...
By Bruce J. Roth, MD, Member, 2013 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium News Planning Team Chair, ASCO’s Cancer Communications Committee

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