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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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Each year, ASCO presents awards to leading scientists, clinicians, and advocates whose contributions to our understanding and treatment of cancer and to the delivery of cancer therapy have bettered the lives of the patients for whom we care. Most of these awards are presented at the ASCO Annual...
Facing professional stress and burnout, some oncology professionals find emotional support in reaching out to an empathetic online community of their peers.
By Blase Polite, MD. Entitlement reform is going to be high on the agenda for Congress and the President in 2013. The budget agreement and its resulting sequester will force the debate, one buttressed by long-term fiscal math that just does not work out without entitlements added to the equation....
During Multidisciplinary Gynecologic Oncology Tumor Board at Massachusetts General Hospital, a case was presented of an older woman with stage IV ovarian cancer who was deemed inoperable. Following review, we recommended a course of chemotherapy.
By Luke Nordquist, MD, FACP.  The typical community oncologist in the U.S. is spending progressively more time each day providing services that are necessary in order to provide quality care that each patient with cancer expects and deserves. These services require more time to complete and a...
Check out twheel, a new iPhone/iPad app for visualizing Twitter feeds released just yesterday, August 7, by Fluid Interaction. It uses cognitive science and circles to display and interact with complex data sets.
I have been thinking about the cancer experience—what it must be like to be on the receiving end of a cancer diagnosis, to live with cancer, and to experience the treatments; to receive the news that treatment worked or that it didn’t. I also have been thinking about what it must be like to “carry...
About eight years ago, before blogs and twitter were part of our daily world, I was intrigued by entertaining and informative syndicated radio programs such as ”Car Talk” (the talk show featuring “Click” and “Clack”) and “...
Throughout the course of my career, one issue that has remained close to my heart is encouraging women to pursue careers in medical leadership and clinical practice.
Not many of us make house calls anymore. Certainly not those of us in academic medicine. There is just so much to do: patients to see, research to conduct, grants to write and rewrite. A house call can take up the whole day or more. A house call for an oncology patient at the end of life is also...
What does “global health equity” mean? There are so many different aspects of health care affecting us all. There are disparities in the world; there are disparities within countries; there are disparities within cities. How do we tackle these enormous issues? First, we need to level the playing...
On a recent trip to Philadelphia, I caught up with Dan, a friend of mine since college. He is an artist in Philly, where he lives with his wife and daughter. He had asked me about being an oncologist, told me he had read my ASCO blogs. We spent hours discussing everything—parenthood, careers, and...
I think that one of the lost arts in medicine is observation. I thought about this on my morning walk today. We had a terrible storm, a derecho, last week which knocked the power out in the Washington, DC, area for over one million people. As I walked the neighborhood every day, I noticed a lot...
Last week, I had the privilege of joining the Yale Cancer Center’s contingent on a visit to University College London in the U.K., where we share a number of scientific collaborations. Between discussions of pathways, particles, and personalized medicine, some of the “tea time” conversation turned...
I am really looking forward to the upcoming Breast Cancer Symposium in San Francisco. For me, the smaller, more intimate setting is what “old” meetings used to be like before we expanded to mega meetings. Not that I have anything...
One of the best things about blogging for ASCO is the feedback from others, which in honesty, I never counted on. For example, I’ve “met” Terry Hourigan through ASCO Connection. He is a nurse who provides care in home-based infusion services to patients, many in hospice.
As oncology professionals, we are confronted daily by tough choices. One of the toughest is weighing the potential value of a test, treatment, or procedure versus the potential of the same to cause added suffering, risk, and expense without a real possibility for evidence-based results. ASCO,...
I have had the good fortune to travel to many places in the world in the last few years. It is such an important aspect of my work. It is incredibly eye-opening to experience different cultures and ways of life. I learn something from every trip I take.

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