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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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...
There are over 33,000 ASCO members now, and the size and diversity of our membership increases the challenge of keeping the Society in touch with the concerns and opinions that matter the most to our members, the concerns that wake us up in the middle of the night or occupy a good part of our...
Several weeks ago, I attended the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network (MBCN) Annual Meeting, hosted by MD Anderson Cancer Center. I had been invited to talk on sexual health and intimacy, and was delighted to do so. Right after...
I am struck by the complex signals we now live with as each of us proceeds through our day of clinical, research, or administrative matters. Daily, we navigate through a forest of information from our multiple emails, texts, tweets, phone messages, snail mail, and conversations with colleagues and...
We took off from Logan Airport four minutes before United Airlines Flight 175, the second plane to crash into the Twin Towers on 9/11. For us, September 11, 2001, started with all the heady mix of excitement and stress, a transatlantic Virgin flight, sympathetic hostess smiles, and four kids with...
In my first ASCO Connection blog post (10/25/11), I talked about “Participatory Medicine in Oncology” by asking: “What does a healthy medicine and oncology “ecosystem” look...
Each time I reach the point of recommending radiation treatment for someone with a brain tumor or head and neck cancer, I ask for a higher level of trust from each patient than usual: let us make a mask to keep you safe.
I was lying in bed, watching something with my son when a chat message popped up on screen. It was my dear friend, Narin, whom I haven't seen in years but remain in contact with (thanks to the wonders of social media)."Did you hear that Dave died?" she had written; "I just read it in our...
It was an awkward moment—the uncomfortable silence and her smarting reply. I regretted biting my lip and the nonverbal message that gesture implied. I felt bad for the obvious pain that I’d unmasked in her face. Her eyes had narrowed, and she’d withdrawn as if I’d hit her.
Ordering CT, MRI, or PET scans for my patients when they feel well always makes me nervous. As a radiation oncologist, I’ve chosen to frequently make observations that potentially find active, progressive cancer. And this creates an existential crisis that scares me—but not as much as it scares my...

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