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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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Last week I attended the semi-annual meeting of the Gynecologic Oncology Group, the cooperative group focused on trials for gynecologic cancers. Over two days I was engaged in updates of ongoing clinical trials and discussion of new trial concepts for ovarian,...
I’ve been thinking about bad habits lately. Not because of my teenage children (although they are quick to remind me of such things), but because of some recommended reading from some colleagues. One recommendation was a blog by Robert J.
When I tell people I am an oncologist, I usually get the same response: "That must be so depressing! How do you stand it?" I remember having members of my own family ask me that way back when I was a medical resident as I made the decision to enter oncology. Now that I am in a position where I...
What is the cost of cancer? We are likely to agree that such a deep probing question is exquisitely difficult to answer; the murkiness of the water increases as we move from tangible to intangible costs.
Personalized medicine has become the mantra for the 21st century—as if somehow we never before customized the care we provide to the individual patient’s diagnosis and personal needs. But the reality of choosing therapies rationally for patients with cancer has never been more apparent.
As much as we loathe wars, we should realize that we are in the midst of a global one that kills more people than all world wars, regional wars, or civil wars. The numbers of victims claimed by this war’s far-reaching effects and collateral damages are striking evidence of its massive destructive...
A recent ASCO publication ran a headline article about the controversy regarding PSA screening recommendations. It was the same story heard before in this and other malignancies. Some groups say screen and others say do not screen. So why does this merit discussion here? Sure, my clinical focus is...
Recently, a very dear friend learned that her breast cancer (diagnosed in 2010) had spread to her brain. Despite my many years as an oncologist, having faced questions from my own patients about "Why me?", "What did I do to deserve this?"—questions I am fully aware have no answer—I found myself...
Do you remember the 1998 movie You've Got Mail, starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks? I saw it on cable recently. Ryan's character runs a small bookstore in New York. Tom Hanks owns a megastore, which moves into Ryan’s neighborhood. He and Meg Ryan fall in love with each other over the (then...
Please share your favorite iPhone (or other OS) hematology / oncology mobile applications (“Apps”). A few of mine: iPhone (iOs): ASH Guides Cancer.Net (ASCO) CCF (ASCO)  CTCAE v4.0 Dropbox ePocrates Expensify – for trips Evernote FRAX Heme Calc iPlanner ASCO Molecules NCCN Guidelines...
Around this time each year I find myself thinking about patients usually—and especially those that have passed away. I wonder how their families are coping, how their children are, and whether each day has gotten easier. I think about how my patients died—and whether or not I did enough to ensure...
I just finished reading an awesome article recently published in Forbes on “pursuitology”—the concept that “great leaders are never...
Every year several thousands of cancer researchers converge on south Texas for fajitas, margaritas, and the latest in breast cancer science (not necessarily in that order, though the fajitas and margaritas are outstanding). The San Antonio...
This month we will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the signing of the National Cancer Act—the initial declaration of our country’s so-called “war on cancer.” Some have found the symbolic war metaphor distasteful, suggesting that progress against cancer is more akin to problem solving than to...
I had a phone call last week that I was expecting but dreading. Like many oncologists, I travel to smaller area hospitals for outreach clinics. This was a call from one of those hospitals telling me that they could not get one of the chemotherapy drugs for a patient there. This is a patient being...
The other morning, National Public Radio publicized a clinical study revealing that working mothers multitask more frequently than working fathers and are more likely to worry that they are inadequate parents. Talk about a perceptive glimpse into the obvious. As my friend, also an oncologist and a...
Every once in a while I get an opportunity to speak at a meeting in which oncologists are not the primary audience. Of course, it is always to speak on either gynecologic- or breast-cancer-specific issues, but I always welcome the opportunity to educate a non-oncology audience about what we can do...
A recent article in the ASCO Post has me thinking quite a bit about information and communication and the application of these concepts to...

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