Dont forget those where cancer screening didnt make a differenceI had the opportunity recently to participate in a Twitter chat on the topic of colorectal cancer awareness. The chat was intended to bring attention to a nationwide campaign called "80 by 2018" designed to increase colorectal cancer screening rates to 80% of the population over the next 4 years. If it is successful, we should see a decline in both incidence ...

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News reports covering a prostate cancer study recently in the New England Journal of Medicine have all pretty much come out with the same message: men diagnosed with prostate cancer who had radical surgery did much better than men who were assigned to "watchful waiting" after they were diagnosed. But guess what? There's a critical fact that seemed to be missing in much of the coverage I saw. And that fact ...

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Skin cancers are never truly benignI spent 4 hours on New Year's Eve sitting in the surgeon's chair getting a skin cancer taken off my nose. Nothing about the experience fits the "benign" label so many professionals, including yours truly, have used:  routine; easy to treat; nothing to worry about.  Friends, after this experience, which left me looking like a tall, white-haired Rudolph the ...

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How to realize the promise of personalized medicineI attended a meeting recently that got me to thinking about the fact that as we revolutionize cancer research and treatment, we are also going to have to revolutionize cancer care. And that  may prove to be an even more daunting task than finding new treatments for the disease itself. The meeting was sponsored by a collaboration called "
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The promise and the peril of big data in health careThere was a memorable scene in the movie "The Graduate" from 1967. You may know it or have heard of it, when the older man turns to the college graduate and says the future is all about one word: "plastics." Well, plastics may have been then, but this is now. And the core themes I keep hearing these days there are two central ...

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Seeking an end to the prostate cancer and finasteride discussionWe've all heard the phrase, "When you come to a fork in the road, take it."  Well, that saying may hold particular relevance while reviewing a new research report published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The report is an important one. It is an 18 year follow-up of a study designed to show whether the use of ...

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Make the difficult journey of cancer patients a bit easiernewspaper story recently caught my eye when it headlined: "Senators Revive Push for End-of-Life-Care Planning." It reported on new legislation making the rounds in Washington to address care planning for those with advanced illnesses. You remember "end of life care planning," don't you? It was part of the Affordable Care Act debate several years ago, and quickly became translated into
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Directing cancer resources in a limited resource worldAs we walk the halls and sit in the lectures at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, there's an elephant in the room. It is right there in front of us, but not many of us seem willing to talk about it. Fewer still are making any commitments to do something about it. So what is ...

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Genomics and personalized medicine: Is it really different this time?Another year and another annual meeting for the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago. This is a meeting that regularly attracts many thousands of doctors, researchers, pharmaceutical folks and others interested in the science and business of cancer from around the globe to learn, to discuss, to persuade, to educate on the progress being made in clinical cancer ...

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Why Im skeptical of a test for newly diagnosed prostate cancerComing to an office near you: a new test that can "confidently" predict whether or not you need to have aggressive therapy for your newly diagnosed prostate cancer. Really? That's what the press reports would lead you to believe. And it's really going to catch your attention if you're one of the tens of thousands of men who will have ...

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