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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 looked ridiculous. Dressed in the black-and-white-striped soccer referee shirt, I looked like roadkill on a black asphalt road with the white sidewalk markings. It reminded me of how uncomfortable I looked in my interview suit and tie as a medical student interviewing at residency programs....
Everywhere you look, there are things we can be doing better....on a personal level, we can be better clinicians, researchers, educators and leaders; on a systems' level, we can be improving quality, cost, and access to health care; on a societal level, we can be solving the problems of the world...
Last month, my family experienced the loss of someone very dear- Uncle Peter. Peter was an ex-Marine, father of three men, and patriarch of my spouse’s family; not to mention, husband to my wonderful and artistic Aunt Helene. He had been admitted to an outside hospital with leg ischemia and was...
Why do patients agree to go on cancer treatment clinical trials? We know that they choose to enroll for a lot of complicated reasons. As a physician and clinical investigator, it makes logical sense to me that patients with cancer want to take advantage of the best and newest treatments, even when...
June 7 was no ordinary Friday; it was my daughter’s last day in high school. Remember that day in your life? Endings are important, aren’t they? As a sports fan, endings are part of some famous quotes such as Yogi Berra’s quip, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over,” or Dick Motta’s inspiring quote for the...
I was sitting in the Fellows and Junior Faculty Lounge at the ASCO 2013 Annual Meeting, talking to Simon—a young medical oncology fellow with interests in global health, who is committed to developing the next generation of oncologic agents to bring to market in an economically feasible way. . . ....
“The past is a study for reflection, not repetition”Mario de Andrade (1893-1945), Brazilian poet and novelist
“So what did you learn at the meeting? Is there something new for me?” Sometime during my first clinic session after the ASCO Annual Meeting, I inevitably get asked these questions by patients. It’s gotten so common that I expect the questions and prepare an answer. Usually, I’m asked these...
The American Society of Clinical Oncology will mark its 50th year as an organization in 2014, during my term as your President. As I have thought about this upcoming year, I have tried to honor this milestone without using it as a sole focus for our organization.
I never thought I would see the day when two abstracts about cervical cancer would be included as plenary presentations at the Annual Meeting. Cervical cancer, after all, is a rare disease in the U.S. and developed countries— we have access to cervical cancer screening programs and the HPV vaccine...
I admit to being an aficionado of quotes, and I am particularly fond of some quotes I have heard at the Annual Meeting regarding patient-centered care.
ASCO, the Association of Physician Assistants in Oncology, and the Oncology Nursing Society came together again this year to present the Clinical Care in Oncology for the Advanced Practice Provider pre-Annual Meeting Seminar.  The education sessions and faculty were truly outstanding, and...
I often am asked for opinions about hematology/oncology cases from colleagues around the country. Additionally, whenever a family friend or relative is diagnosed with cancer, I also often am asked for an opinion. How do you handle these unofficial second opinions?
It may sound obvious, but social media is a form of media, which can be defined as “tools used to store and deliver information or data.” Social media is “media disseminated through social...
Everyone’s talking about health care costs these days. The presentations usually start with a chart of rising health care expenditures, the tip of the line pointing skywards. Next come exhaustive (and exhausting) tables, more charts, all punctuated with a final shrug of uncertainty from the speaker...
The print edition of the Educational Book is a labor of love each year, and this one was no exception.
Do you know that flying in an airplane 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for a few years is safer than being a patient in a hospital for a fraction of a day?
Our practice recently had a visiting speaker sponsored by a pharmaceutical company speaking on a new drug for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer. As part of the presentation, a Phase III randomized trial was presented demonstrating an improvement in median survival with the use of the...

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