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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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I applaud ASCO and the ABIM on the “Top Five" list—and President Link’s comments in this month’s ASCO Connection magazine (page 38) are right on the mark! It’s our responsibility to rein in costs and improve quality...we cannot...
It seems that every nephew or niece of mine who has an engineering degree is busy creating the next killer app for a mobile device. Usually it starts with way cool technology, but comes up short in figuring out why enough users would want it or what a sustainable business model might be. On the...
In a prior post, I talked about wondering how those I had met through my own patients were doing, especially after my patients had passed on. I wondered if they were all right and whether they were able to move...
In a previous life I used to be a church musician. I started piano in the 1st grade, and since I attended a pretty traditional parochial elementary school, it was natural to gravitate in this direction. Over the years I’ve been involved in church and school choirs as a pianist, organist, singer,...
As oncologists, we are often expected to “do everything possible” to prolong our patients’ lives and ensure their peace of mind. This expectation arises from within ourselves, as committed caregivers, and from our patients and their families.
Spring has sprung—Easter and Passover are upon us; the earth is waking up and trees are coming alive. For me, this time of year is a time for rebirth and renewal. This spring is especially lovely because I just became an uncle too (P.S. Congratulations to my sister, Maerica, and her husband, Brian...
Odds are that you have been faced with a similar dilemma. I have a new patient, not yet 40 years old, who was recently diagnosed with bilateral locally advanced breast cancer. Staging scans did not reveal metastatic disease. I recommended systemic therapy with doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, a...
Fellowship programs can (should) make a part of their training a discussion and explanation of the varying types of practices that a trainee can consider. Although there are more precise subcategories, it basically breaks down into academic vs. non-academic practices. Now I grant that while any...
The ASCO Annual Meeting is one of the highlights of the exchange of new information for oncologists in North America and the world.
I’m not sure when it started, but I have a favorite tradition of New Year’s Day bookstore browsing. And buying. Yes, I often buy enough books each January 1st to get me through a couple of years of leisure reading (at least). And there is much to be said for a book browsing visit to Harvard Square...
Earlier this week I passed my friend and colleague, Dr. Ekaterini Tsiapali, in the stairwell. We rarely get to catch up these days, so it was really quite a nice surprise to see her."What...
I was recently appointed the Assistant Director of the Yale Cancer Center with the portfolio of Diversity/Disparities. While I’m not sure I’m the most qualified for this, it has gotten me thinking a lot about diversity, disparities, and what it means to achieve health equity. Too often, I think...
Like many oncologists, I am picky about the books I read. I’m not ashamed to say that I favor funny, happy books that make me laugh. There’s enough drama and angst in my day job that I tend to avoid this during my free time.
In health care, we often find ourselves reacting to events rather than dictating them. Being cast in this undesirable position is often unavoidable when dealing with regulators and federal policy. However, the ability to foresee the need for change and thereby influence the direction of change is a...
I have to admit it. Even today, I find interpreting statistics for patients very difficult; not because I don't understand the concept of relative and absolute risks, hazard or odds ratios, or survival rates. It's because in the end, they do not apply at an individual level.
This is probably the question I get asked the most when I tell people that I am an oncologist. It’s a question I have asked myself a number of times in the past as well. Now it’s a question I am facing again... My first exposure to this was when my father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in...
Reading the news about the current shortage of methotrexate filled me with shame and anger and sorrow. Sometime during the past few years my country, which developed the drugs and regimens that cured most of childhood leukemia, became part of the third world. Parents in the United States now know...
The controversy that has erupted regarding the Susan G. Komen foundation and recent decisions about funding Planned Parenthood has been hard to miss. As a specialist in women's cancers and given my general interest in women's health, I've been fascinated by this dialogue online—on message boards,...

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