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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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This past week, I was elated to keep the appointment I scheduled with myself and the iPad to start planning my Annual Meeting experience! Yes, I would like to emphasize that I am starting to plan as this is indeed an elaborate process, and I have to say I do get quite a bit of mileage...
In oncology, there are certain words and phrases that (no matter how carefully said) suck the air out of a room, like "you have cancer," "you've recurred," "incurable," "terminal," and "hospice." Such phrases require careful consideration before they are spoken, and most (if not all) oncologists...
To help me make sense of stress and burnout, I sought to model  the opposite—that force, “buoyancy,” that holds us up and keeps us from sinking in the face of the inevitable stressors that life and work send our way on a daily basis.
I was recently asked to speak at Hematology-Oncology Grand Rounds at Rhode Island Hospital. Instead of my usual topics on gynecologic cancers or sexual health, my colleague, MaryAnn Fenton, had asked me to speak to them about...
ASCO is the most important oncology meeting in the world, with more than 30,000 attendees and hundreds of presentations. Recently, I have been asked by many people how to get the maximum benefit from the Annual Meeting, so I have put together the following tips:Review the...
Note—All the information below has been publicly reported by the principals involved and this comment involves no HIPAA violations. An 81-year-old male had a screening PSA performed and was subsequently found to have prostate cancer. The Gleason score was not reported but the patient elected to...
Does telemonitoring (remote monitoring of patient vitals or other biometric data) have a role in oncology? Telemedicine
One of the hardest jobs in oncology is to deliver bad news—like telling someone that their disease is metastatic and no longer curable. In such a situation, I try to be as direct as possible—not to mince words—yet, at the same time, not to deprive anyone of hope. Still, I often wonder what...
Dear Colleagues: I am pleased to share with you the second installment in our preview of ASCO’s 2012 Annual Meeting, which includes an introduction to the scientific sessions by Scientific Program...
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.

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