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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As an oncologist who also runs a sexual health clinic for women treated (or under treatment), I am discovering that my perspective on both issues of cancer treatment (and survival) and life after cancer (and quality of life) is somewhat unique. I am conscious of how difficult it is to bring up...
Two weeks ago, I presented Yale Surgical Grand Rounds focused on “Cost and Quality in Cancer Care.” Amidst the talks in Washington regarding our unsustainable health care spending, and provisions of the Affordable Care Act rapidly taking hold, it seemed appropriate to start to critically evaluate...
I recently saw a new patient with advanced cancer in the intensive care unit (ICU). She had been treated with multiple lines of therapy at other cancer centers. While she already had an oncologist, I was called in to help the ICU team with any oncologic issues. There were no acute cancer problems...
An email was waiting for me one morning from my wonderful nurse, Laura. "Very sad day," it said in the subject line. I opened the email quickly upon receiving it (we had just recovered from a northeast blizzard, after all) and read that one of my patients had died. This age-old dilemma again made...
One of the toughest situations in oncology is the discussion about next steps, particularly when it comes to treatment of recurrent or metastatic disease. I believe very much that it is realistic to offer a patient the hope of cancer as a “chronic disease,” that treatment can result in disease...
The Journal of Oncology Practice (JOP) is in its eighth year of publication and has remained focused on presenting data-oriented articles highlighting issues related to the mechanisms of oncology care delivery.
I have been asked several times why I blog and how I find the time to do it. Like some of my colleagues (virtual and real), I blog because it’s cathartic for me and in some small way, I’d like to believe I am promoting a more honest discussion among peers by participating in a forum that allows...
A few months ago I took my then 17-year-old daughter to the Operating Room with me. I had a full day of surgery and she wanted to observe. She’s not really interested in being a doctor, but she is interested in seeing what surgery is all about, and (maybe) seeing how her mother spends her days. It...
Scrolling through Twitter one day, a post caught my attention: “Early detection is not the answer. Finding and treating all stage 0 breast cancer will not prevent all breast cancer deaths.”
I recently attended a session at the 2012 Cancer Center Business Summit titled “Practical Issues in Palliative and Quality-of-Life Care,” led by John E. Hennessy, CCP, Kansas City Cancer Center/University of Kansas Cancer...
When I was 16 my dad had a heart attack. I still recall studying in my room when my mom came in to tell me he wasn’t feeling well. At the time, I was a volunteer in the Emergency Room at our local hospital, located in the tiny Pacific Island of Guam. I recall asking him what he was experiencing:...
I recently had the honor of representing the Society at theASCO co-hosted 2012 CancerCenter Business Summit, titled “Transitioning toValue Based Oncology: Strategies to Survive and Thrive.” This unique meeting broughttogether...
I recently had the most emotionally difficult experience of my career thus far. I was on call in the inpatient service while a young mother was dying of advanced cancer. Her entire family, including her young son, was on the floor. We tried to prepare the best setting possible for the young boy by...
“You look amazing!” It was the first thing out of my mouth upon seeing Sharon.* She is a woman in her mid-seventies, and she has recurrent ovarian cancer.
"Caring for patients involves the formation of multiple opinions. Traditionally, the patient's physician generates the first opinion, with other clinicians offering second opinions. However, an opinion at least as important must also be recognized in this traditional rubric—that of the...
Facing professional stress and burnout, some oncology professionals find emotional support in reaching out to an empathetic online community of their peers.
During Multidisciplinary Gynecologic Oncology Tumor Board at Massachusetts General Hospital, a case was presented of an older woman with stage IV ovarian cancer who was deemed inoperable. Following review, we recommended a course of chemotherapy.

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