asco-logo I’d known her for almost 3 years. She had advanced ovarian cancer -- clear cell -- and was diagnosed with disease already in her chest, stage IV. She had a terrific response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy, which had resolved her extra-abdominal disease sites after three cycles. She had an aggressive interval surgery which achieved complete resection ...

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STAT_LogoDear Sen. McCain, I was saddened to hear that you received a diagnosis of glioblastoma. I also live with this particularly aggressive type of brain cancer. On the surface, you and I are very different. I am a 35-year-old dad with three sons aged 5 and under. I have a beard and listen to indie rock. I hold ...

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I began medical school, like many of my peers, with some experience working with patients. I worked as a volunteer EMT with Cornell University EMS for four years during my undergraduate years; shadowed a cardiologist and an anesthesiologist through Cornell’s Urban Summer program at NYP Hospital–Cornell and worked with patients during Global Medical Brigade trips to rural Honduras. All of this sparked my interest in medicine, but to claim I ...

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In Sweden, back when I trained, three blood tests were the “routine labs” done at most doctor visits: hemoglobin, white blood cell count, and erythrocyte sedimentation rate. I’m trying to remember, but I don’t think everyone waited an hour to see the doctor, so they must have used a modified rapid sedimentation rate. The “sed rate,” or “sänkan” as we call it, was invented by Robin Fåhraeus, a relative of one ...

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Lost in the debate on “Trumpcare” versus “Obamacare” is the proper consideration of the factors driving increasing health care costs. In cancer, the pharmaceutical industry plays a major role setting drug prices that exceed reasonable returns on research and development. The economics of treatment were again apparent during the plenary session of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting in June, aka the cancer community’s Super Bowl. Two years ...

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Over 30,000 visitors flocked to Chicago in early June to participate in the ASCO annual meeting, the summer mecca for all things oncology. In between plenary sessions and poster presentations, some attendees found their way to one of the Hamilton Chicago performances. Having opened in Chicago about seven months ago, this version of the “hip-hop musical” has packed in audiences, striving to capture some of the success that its New ...

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asco-logoI remember meeting this patient the first time. I had just started in a new position, and she was one of my first consults. Tracey* had an aggressive sex-cord tumor of the ovary that had relapsed soon after surgery, grown through primary chemotherapy and grew once more after secondary surgery and “adjuvant” pelvic radiation. I knew ...

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Regular readers of my blog know that I believe that the harms of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening for prostate cancer outweigh the benefits — if benefits exist at all. That isn't to say that I will not order the test in a man who understands the risks and expresses a clear preference to be screened. In a recent editorial in American Family Physician, I explained ...

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By now, most readers already know that Senator John McCain has been diagnosed with a brain tumor -- specifically, a glioblastoma.  I take no pleasure is suspecting such a diagnosis, as I wrote a few days ago, based on a bit of medical logic and observation rather than what the media reported. This is a devastating diagnosis for the senator and his family, not the blood clot initially described, ...

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asco-logoI had never met the man, but from a brief reading of the notes in his medical record, I knew that this was not going to be easy. Thirty years old with stage III kidney cancer, the notes showed a long history of missed appointments and late arrivals. I had been asked to talk to him about sperm banking and so ...

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