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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Increasingly, cancer care is becoming more evidence-based and personalized. But there are still a lot of areas where we need to question the conventional wisdom. How much of what we learned during training is based upon evidence versus anecdote and assumption?
One of the most difficult issues I’ve had to face is being fired. Rather tragic to let a bruised ego have such a priority. Humility happens when you blow the smoke away from the mirrors. But, spotlight humility and it disappears into the shadows. Humility is the inverted, invisible calm of...
By Daniel B. Hinshaw, MD, FACS, University of Michigan
It’s a hard question, especially for a surgeon. We surgeons like the instant gratification of going in and fixing things. As a surgeon who also gives chemotherapy, managing the end of life is really hard for me in a fundamental way: it’s (in a strange and very personal sense) an admission of...
From a philosophical standpoint, one of the things I hate most about cancer is the use of “war” analogies. The “battle” may mobilize patients and families, but it may also interfere with education and informed decision making. And both patients and clinicians often take recurrence or disease...
I gave a talk recently to a group of my peers about addressing the needs of patients after a diagnosis of cancer, emphasizing points where transitions occur—from treatment, to end of therapy, surveillance, recurrence, and extending all the way up to the end of life—and how important it is to...
These two questions are among the most commonly asked in my clinic, particularly from patients who are recently diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Perhaps the most evocative essay that I have ever read is David Steensma's piece entitled "Reassurance" in the Art of Oncology section of the JCO, published in August 2004. Dr. Steensma writes an emotionally and visually powerful essay...
As I sit at my desk with the end of the year rapidly approaching, I am thinking about endings and new beginnings. I’ve just seen a pictorial about a dad and his three-year-old daughter. These were not family pictures per se...
She came to see me, alongside her husband. She was 26 years old, diagnosed with metastatic myeloma involving her bones, which had presented when she fractured her hip while jogging. Her disease had progressed on treatment and she was to start a clinical trial. Despite being pale, she looked well. I...
I attended the American Society of Hematology (ASH) 55th Annual Meeting (officially December 7-10, 2013). It seemed like the amount of Twitter activity had increased before and during the meeting compared to prior years. I asked Audun...
On the way to work recently, I heard a radio advertisement that sparked my interest. A cancer center (not my own) was advertising 3D mammography to patients as an alternative to standard mammography. As a GI oncologist, I have to admit knowing very little about 3D mammography. But as a health...
I just returned from participating in the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates (HOD) as a representative of ASCO. I, along with Drs. Chris Nunnink and Barb McAneny and ASCO staff Ms. Jennifer Brunelle and Ms. Monica Tan, attended the interim session. This session has a similar...
We are all cognizant of the studies that show the high-percentage use of supplements and herbal remedies in our patient population. This issue frequently comes up in conversation in the clinic, and often, our patients may be reluctant to inform us of their supplement use.
When I originally posted the idea of hashtags used to organize cancer information and communities online, it was more theoretical. Over the past three months...
When I told my parents I wanted to be a doctor, they were worried—would I really want a life of being on call, could I handle the stress and the sleepless nights, wouldn’t I want a family some day? Yet even while they asked me questions, they were also very supportive and quite proud of me. I think...
By my watch, I am somewhere over Lincoln, Nebraska, flying back from the ASCO Provider-Payer Initiative (PPI) Meeting. It’s the third annual PPI meeting and the fact that it exists is significant evidence of ASCO's ability to adapt in response to circumstances and of the increasing resources that...

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