The impact of social media on cancer careI recently had the privilege of participating in a meeting hosted by the President's Cancer Panel on the role of social media in improving cancer control and treatment. The goal was to give advice to the Panel on a planned series of meetings they will be convening to discuss the topic. It was the range and quality of ...

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A prostate cancer breakthrough: The good and not so good newsThe annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology is a place where many commercial interests jostle for attention to make their latest promising therapy the star of the show. But a standard widely available generic drug stole the show by producing incredible results in improving survival for men with advanced prostate cancer. And that has some of us ...

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Address the racial disparity of colorectal cancerAn article published recently in the American Cancer Society journal CA: A Journal for Clinicians received a lot of media attention. The report showed dramatic declines in the rate of people being diagnosed with colorectal cancer, as well as decreases in the rates of colorectal cancer deaths over the past number of years. But the press didn't say much about the fact that not everyone ...

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Health technology must improve patient safetyThis was the dream: We would use technology to create a seamless health care system, one where people, computers and machines would work together to improve patient care in many different ways. Health care would be more efficient, it would be safer, it would be less expensive, we would be able to transfer health-related information quickly and accurately. After ...

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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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