asco-logo When I was a resident, my colleagues chided me for wanting to be an oncologist. Back then (and it pains me to be old enough to use that phrase, by the way), oncology was thought of as a field of futility. We administered toxic drugs to patients with cancer, and far more often than not, they ...

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asco-logo One of the questions that I face (and which I am certain many of us do) concerns the use of alternative therapies. Iron chelation therapy, high-dose vitamin C infusions, Chinese herbs — interest in these therapies and others like them are driven by word-of-mouth (“a friend of a friend”), claims on websites and patients curiosity. Cancer is ...

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asco-logo One of the privileges of medicine is the chance to meet people from every walk of life — many of whom you might never get a chance to know otherwise. Of course, such meetings are never spontaneous. In medicine, we are brought together by illness, and the people coming to see me are seeking advice on treatment for ...

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asco-logo I believe in miracles. That might sound odd coming from an oncologist --especially since our field is driven by the data. Our path forward continues to be built through trials and the collaboration between clinicians and patients, working together to forge a better way to treat cancer. I certainly believe in evidence, but still … I believe in ...

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asco-logo As an oncologist, I have witnessed patients go home and heard later how they died there, surrounded by family and friends. I have seen others die in a hospital room, comforted by the care of the inpatient team even as they depart this earth. These are the ones that stick with me and what I think about when ...

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asco-logo Sometimes, I think that many folks see oncology as an acute care specialty: patients get cancer, get sick, and then they die. There’s an impression that we meet patients only for a moment in time before they are gone forever. But speak to any oncology specialist, and you will see nothing is farther from the truth. While ...

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asco-logo Milly* was 82 years old and had been diagnosed with a recurrent ovarian stromal tumor — one that is typically seen in much younger women. Surgery was ruled out, and a colleague from outside of Boston sent Milly to me for an opinion about medical treatment. I reviewed her case before I met her: no significant medical problems, ...

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asco-logo She had come to see me in consultation. A professor at a local university, she was well until four years earlier when she developed abdominal bloating and pain — telltale signs of ovarian cancer. Surgery followed, then adjuvant chemotherapy with intraperitoneal treatments. (“Terrible regimen,” she said.) She was fine for two years, until the bloating recurred heralding ...

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asco-logo Evidence-based medicine. It is what we all strive to provide. It means employing the most up-to-date knowledge to the approach of medicine, from preventive care to screening to the diagnostic work-up and treatment. Wherever the data point us, that’s what we should do. Yet putting it into practice can sometimes be the most challenging part of being ...

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asco-logo Most times, I feel excited to be an oncologist. Oncology research is accelerating and every week brings more news, whether it be a deeper understanding of tumor genomics, a broader understanding of cancer genetics and risk, and, it seems, more ways to provide precision therapy. Studies are coming out showing gains in survival in many different cancers, and ...

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