The sun rises and the sun sets. It seems like the sun rotates around the Earth. Cancer cells rise and are killed by surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. It seems like cancer is a disease. But the sun does not rotate around the Earth, and cancer is not a disease. The many kinds of cancer cells are the products of the disease neoplasia that can emerge in our bodies’ organs and tissues. Strange ...

Read more...

Several years ago, a few colleagues and I performed a systematic evidence review to help update the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force's recommendations on screening for prostate cancer. One of our key questions asked about the harms associated with prostate cancer screening, other than the overdiagnosis (and resulting unnecessary treatment) of clinically insignificant tumors. Since routine prostate-specific antigen screening had been going on for nearly two decades by then, we expected to ...

Read more...

I walked into room 30 to find two eager sets of eyes awaiting me. One set belonged to a young man, late-twenties, muscular and imposing, sitting in a chair in the corner of the room. His eyes were hazel brown, big and inviting, relieved at seeing my entry into their sheltered world. The other set of eyes, darker brown and magnified by her gold-stemmed glasses, belonged to my patient, a ...

Read more...

The mortality from colorectal cancer has decreased substantially in the U.S. during the past decade. While some of the improvement is due to better cancer treatment and reduced risk factors, the largest proportion is thought due to screening. The concept that early detection saves lives has now become well recognized. The harms of screening -- particularly among individuals with limited life expectancy -- are less well appreciated. Royce et al. recently published a ...

Read more...

medpagetodayFrom MedPage Today:

  1. Turbulent Future for Oncology. The nation's cancer care system risks slipping into a socioeconomic vortex that threatens the ability to meet a growing demand for care, according to a report from a leading organization of cancer professionals.
  2. Newer Stents Fall Flat in Multivessel Disease. Surgery still beats stents in ...

    Read more...

medpagetodayFrom MedPage Today:

  1. CT No Better than Stress Test as Chest Pain Diagnostic. Anatomic CT as the initial screen for suspected stable coronary artery disease didn't improve clinical outcomes compared with functional testing but did increase overall radiation exposure.
  2. The Primary Care Cliff. Just about everyone in Washington knows that the Medicare ...

    Read more...

medpagetodayFrom MedPage Today:

  1. Lupus Nephritis Histology Predicts Long-Term Outcomes. In lupus nephritis (LN), renal histology with World Health Organization (WHO) class IV pathology predicts a decreased long-term remission rate.
  2. Biosimilars Must Be Tightly Regulated. Following the approval of the first biosimilar agent in the United States -- Zarxio, for the prevention of ...

    Read more...

The concept of “personalized medicine” gets thrown around a lot these days. And as an oncologist and a palliative care doctor, who advocates for using data to get information that can provide more personalized cancer care, I believe strongly in it. But what would truly personalized oncology look like? More than 14 million people are living with cancer in the United States, according to the National ...

Read more...

For 25 years, I have taught medical students how to give bad news.  Step one: Be prepared.  Step two: Find a safe, personal, quiet environment.  Step three, and this is most important: Before you speak, ask.  What do the patient and family understand? Fail to follow this vital rule and reap the whirlwind.   So, therefore, you might ask, if I have such wisdom and experience in this critical area ...

Read more...

asco-logoEvery so often I see a patient who views cancer as a constant threat to be handled. The cancer becomes so significant that she feels she can never let her guard down. I always worry about this -- partly because that singular focus on fighting cancer can sometimes detract one from other aspects of life, and those facets that give ...

Read more...

Most Popular