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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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At mid-point in my career in oncology, I decided I wanted to make a switch from the NIH to direct work with underserved communities, and five years ago, I began a wonderful and evolving journey as Medical Director of the Washington Cancer Institute at the MedStar Washington Hospital Center, in...
I only met her once; she was young—in her mid-thirties—and she had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer during her pregnancy. Following chemotherapy and the delivery of a healthy baby, she underwent a hysterectomy and staging. She was ultimately diagnosed with a rare ovarian cancer: small cell...
Scrolling through Twitter one day, a post caught my attention: “Early detection is not the answer. Finding and treating all stage 0 breast cancer will not prevent all breast cancer deaths.”
"Everything, or everybody, was on the move in every direction... There was no place to stop, no place to dawdle, you either moved on or got mowed down." So was I alerted by Kalpish Ratna, the pseudonym of surgeons Kalpana Swaminathan and Ishrat Syed, through their novel, “Quarantine Papers”. Mumbai...
I recently attended a session at the 2012 Cancer Center Business Summit titled “Practical Issues in Palliative and Quality-of-Life Care,” led by John E. Hennessy, CCP, Kansas City Cancer Center/University of Kansas Cancer...
In these days of economic belt-tightening, funds for oncology research and education seem to perpetually be on the chopping block. That’s why it’s more important than ever to support those who support us.
I recently visited Maine for the Northern New England Clinical Oncology Society (NNECOS) meeting in Rockport, Maine. It was a great group, and I really enjoyed meeting the docs. One of my former fellows is from Maine and in practice there. I just love seeing...
“Everything worth discovering has been discovered.”—Phileas Fogg, Around the World in 80 Days “...when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?”—Sherlock Holmes
When I was 16 my dad had a heart attack. I still recall studying in my room when my mom came in to tell me he wasn’t feeling well. At the time, I was a volunteer in the Emergency Room at our local hospital, located in the tiny Pacific Island of Guam. I recall asking him what he was experiencing:...
I recently had the honor of representing the Society at theASCO co-hosted 2012 CancerCenter Business Summit, titled “Transitioning toValue Based Oncology: Strategies to Survive and Thrive.” This unique meeting broughttogether...
I recently had the opportunity to participate in an intensive course on legislative advocacy. The "final exam," appropriately, was a visit to Capitol Hill where I spoke with Congressional staff on Hospice Care issues. Now I must confess that early on in my career, I thought legislative advocacy was...
It’s that time of year again, when ASCO solicits volunteers to serve on its committees. One of the more frequent questions that comes up among my colleagues and those I mentor, however, is how to effectively get involved? ASCO has more than 30,000 members, which can be daunting for...
I recently had the most emotionally difficult experience of my career thus far. I was on call in the inpatient service while a young mother was dying of advanced cancer. Her entire family, including her young son, was on the floor. We tried to prepare the best setting possible for the young boy by...
It is hurricane season once again and it has been 7 years since Katrina wreaked havoc on the Gulf Coast, displacing thousands of patients with cancer, many under active treatment. Since that time the world has changed, but the problems of coordination and continuity of care exposed by the Katrina...
“You look amazing!” It was the first thing out of my mouth upon seeing Sharon.* She is a woman in her mid-seventies, and she has recurrent ovarian cancer.
"Caring for patients involves the formation of multiple opinions. Traditionally, the patient's physician generates the first opinion, with other clinicians offering second opinions. However, an opinion at least as important must also be recognized in this traditional rubric—that of the...
As some of you may know, I am doing an Executive MBA in Healthcare Leadership at the Yale School of Management in my “spare” time. I love the program and am learning a ton. There was something a professor said the other day—no, not a novel way to think about linear programming, problem framing,...

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