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Blogs

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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"2020 will be a year we at CancerLinQ look back on with mixed emotion because, in the midst of the pandemic, we achieved a momentous milestone," said Dr. Danielle Potter.
In their roles as patient advocates, Ms. Janine Guglielmino and Dr. Sue Friedman have observed growing patient confusion about breast cancer subtypes and the difference between acquired and inherited gene mutations.
This is a time of significant and multi-layered anxiety, especially for our patients living with and beyond cancer. 
"My motto is to stand up for all the people who face casual racism, sexism, and injustice, and my aim is to protect international trainees in medicine when it is my turn to be a mentor," Dr. Viju Chandrasekhar affirms as she shares a personal experience with bias based on her accent.
Meeyoung Lee and I discuss expectations, goals, realism, and hope when recommending a phase I clinical trial to a patient with cancer.
Countries like Lebanon, with delays in vaccination, carry the risk of herd immunity by the coronavirus rather than by the vaccines—which could mean tens of thousands of more deaths, more suffering, and health care system collapse. 
I’ve been thinking about the word “performance” a lot lately. Why is sexual activity described this way? 
In this new year we must remain alert to our own prejudices, and be vigilant about keeping our personal biases out of the charts and out of our discussions with colleagues, patients, and caregivers. 
"It is far too common that patients with less access to care or different skin color or unfamiliar language are assumed to not understand," writes Dr. Jacquelyne Gaddy. "Maybe it is in fact that we didn’t take the time to understand."
As her patient struggled to find the words, Dr. Viju Chandrasekhar found that some forms of connection and communication transcend speech. 
If you're increasingly tired of "hopping on another call," "sending a Zoom invite," or "unmuting yourself," Dr. Aakash Desai and Dr. Ariela Marshall offer tips and empathy for managing videoconference fatigue in the new year.
Despite the virtual nature of the AMA House of Delegates meeting, the decisions made there have a very real impact on our profession and the patients we serve.
When a couple sought my advice on reconnecting after one partner's breast cancer treatment, I prescribed a regimen of practical, step-by-step sensate focus exercises.
"On top of an overwhelmingly difficult year, and after many months, we still face many challenges as it looks like we are hitting a new critical point as the reported COVID-19 admissions are surging," writes Dr. Dawood Findakly.
Every day in clinic, Dr. Narjust Duma is reminded of the importance of sexual health in cancer care. 
We owe it to this vulnerable population to check our assumptions and deliver the highest-quality cancer care in a safe and welcoming environment.
As 2020 begins to wind down, members reflect on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as how they intend move care forward into the new year. 
"This pandemic really threw a wrench at an already delicate work/life situation that now looks a lot like a house of cards," write Dr. Richa Dawar and Dr. Estelamari Rodriguez.

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