Blogs

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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It is encouraging and enlightening to know that breast cancer awareness campaigns are being conducted all over the world, even in countries troubled with major political and military conflicts.
When a patient comes to me for help with a problem, I am often the one who learns a life lesson in grace and humanity.
My colleague and friend Christine McGinn discusses the experience of caregiving for her brother, and the lessons she now brings to her own practice.
"COVID-19 has taught us how we can both live in the present and focus on the future; how we can make the most out of our time, regardless of our physical condition," said Dr. Hilde M. Buiting.
Dr. Jennifer Temel and Dr. Daniel E. Lage discuss building a career in cancer symptom management research.
It seems obvious to me that if we talk about the side effects of treatment to patients, we should talk about all the side effects, including sexual changes.
Smriti Rana pursued a career in palliative care in part due to her mother's death from cervical cancer. "21 years later, another woman I love has died in the same excruciating agony, in spite of all the apparent medical advancements," she said.
Dr. Muhammad Rafiqul Islam describes the enormous challenge of ensuring optimal cancer treatment for patients and guiding the future medical oncologists of Bangladesh.
Dr. Shaalan Beg and I discuss the difficulties of navigating situations in which our duty to be honest to the person we treat abuts another's cultural or social norms.
Being recognized based on my social media presence can be a little creepy, but there are certainly really good reasons for health care professionals to be active on these platforms.
Many years ago I treated a patient with a rare sarcoma. We recently reconnected and she generously shared her experience of being treated for and now considered "cured" of her rare tumor, with a reminder that the cancer experience is unique to every individual.
Dr. Sanford E. Jeames and Dr. Shelley L. Imholte ask us to imagine a health care system that collaborates with and engages LGBTQIA communities and values methods of accurate data collection to improve high-quality care for this underserved population.
There is no timeline on grief, especially now, when the pandemic has increased the experience of loneliness and isolation for so many people. 
"A sad and often neglected reality is that zip code, more so than genetic code, is a fundamental factor driving many patient outcomes including mortality," said Dr. Anna M. Laucis. "We can and must do better."
Dr. Lidia Schapira and Dr. Daniel Mulrooney discuss mental health outcomes for AYA cancer survivors and talk about how young survivors can get the mental health support they need after cancer.
"It is my hope that 10 years from now we will look back on this time—one in which the pandemic laid bare glaring inequities in health care—as an inflection point," said Michael Burton.
Dr. Yeva Margaryan and Ms. Ester Demirtshyan describe an inspiring project to connect children with cancer in Armenia with pen pals in pediatric cancer centers around the world.
One year into the pandemic, I find myself answering almost as many questions about COVID-19 as I do about breast cancer, as my recent patient calls illustrate.

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