At the heart of American medicine is the concept of bedside manner, and with it the concern that doctors are cold and unemotional. Indeed, doctors are exposed to disease and misfortune on a daily basis. A patient who presents with stage IV metastatic stomach cancer is just one of the many hundreds or thousands of such patients that will walk through the hospital doors in the coming years. Quotidian exposure ...

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Overtesting -- it’s an epidemic threatening consumers of U.S. health care. The notion that testing can be anything but beneficial belies the common assumption that more information is always better, as exemplified by billionaire Mark Cuban’s proclamation earlier this year that he obtains “baseline” quarterly blood tests and encourages others to do so. Knowledge is power, right? Not always. Aside from adding economic strain to our already beleaguered health ...

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asco-logo My patient mix comes in waves -- some months it is mostly women with breast cancer struggling with adjuvant endocrine therapy or men in the aftermath of surgery for prostate cancer. These past two months, it has been young adults, and my heart has taken a beating. There is something quite different from my perspective between talking to a ...

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ZDoggMD educates with another epic Taylor Swift parody video.  Share to promote skin cancer prevention and sun protection!

shutterstock_40672264 President Jimmy Carter has been diagnosed with metastatic melanoma. Recently, he gave a press conference where he discussed the history of his illness, his plans for treatment, and answered questions from the media. It was superb. Carter, now 90 years old, demonstrated an impressive understanding of his medical circumstance. As someone who thinks and writes on patient empowerment, here are my favorite ...

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Recent research shows improvement in long-term survival rates for childhood cancer patients, but also highlights the challenges that remain for many of the almost 400,000 survivors in the United States.  Among these survivors are women facing gynecological health issues from the late effects of their treatment. What follows are several areas of concern that gynecologists and obstetricians should consider when treating women who had cancer as girls. 1. Treatment ...

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A colleague complained that during a particular type of critical conversation his advice is ignored. Women with breast cancer deciding whether to have mastectomies disregard his guidance and seem to have reached a conclusion before he discusses the issue. Given that this physician has committed his career to the study and treatment of breast cancer, communicates clearly and patiently, projects caring and compassion, I thought that his observation warranted discussion. Some ...

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asco-logo I am often asked by friends and acquaintances how I am able to do what I do for a living, which is care for patients with advanced lung cancer. Depending on the setting and how well I know the person asking, I might say that the treatments are improving all the time (i.e., the casual dinner party response), that the ...

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asco-logo "Why did this happen to me?" That question is perhaps the most common one raised by patients facing a diagnosis of cancer for the first time. There are so many campaigns about how to “avoid” cancer: no white sugar, no chemicals, all-plant diets, regular exercise, don’t smoke, don’t drink. I can see how one can get the impression that if ...

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asco-logo One day in clinic, recently, I reviewed my daily schedule with the oncology fellows who were working with me that day. With the exception of the new patients on my schedule, I recognized all of the names on my list. I opened the electronic chart of the first patient to skim the problem list, a handy spot where I ...

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