asco-logo I believe in miracles. That might sound odd coming from an oncologist --especially since our field is driven by the data. Our path forward continues to be built through trials and the collaboration between clinicians and patients, working together to forge a better way to treat cancer. I certainly believe in evidence, but still … I believe in ...

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A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is one of the most beloved stories of all time. It is a classic story with a theme that resonates as we end the year and commence a new one. The story revolves around the main character examining his past, present, and future. He realized that key events have shaped his life and turned him into the man he is. Before the story ends, ...

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The most exciting and difficult part of my job is keeping up with all the rapid changes occurring in the field of cancer treatments.  It is amazing how each day there seems to be a breakthrough treatment coming along, shifting old cancer paradigms.  Although this is a good problem to have, finding time to stay current is easier said than done.  Even more difficult is making sure we can explain these ...

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It was recently pointed out that one of my partners had made an error in a patient’s electronic hospital chart. Did I want to correct the mistake? Curious, I looked at the computer screen. There in 12-point-black-on-white Cambria was the culprit documentation. The words were: “Our therapy goal is palliative. Prognosis is good.” Now, this was clearly not what the author had intended. In common practice when someone is so sick that ...

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You will probably never meet me in person. Your name will be on the bill my insurance receives from the hospital. Your signature will be on the line after the end of the report as you mumble report after report into the system. You will never know my story. I am my organs to you; organs will anomalies that you have to squint and sometimes lean back to look for.  You ...

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asco-logo Ten years ago, I first met this patient, newly diagnosed with intermediate-risk prostate cancer. As I walked into the examination room, I was struck by the juxtaposition of his wife, crumpled in a chair and weeping silently, with the patient himself, pacing the 12'-by-4' room with a look of either anger or frustration. This difference in response between the man and ...

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I remembered staring at the computer screen with the radiologist hoping that by staring at the images, they would change in some way. It did not seem fair that a nice lady that I was evaluating in the emergency room would be consigned to such tragic images. I was rotating through the emergency room during my second year of residency, and one of the patients had come in just for ...

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"It's strange how the worst day of your life often starts just like any other." - Joanna Cannon I prepare for each clinic by reviewing the tests and scans of the patients who will be seen that day. Today, I am dismayed as I read a report for a longstanding patient. The news is not good; his scan shows that his cancer has returned. Twenty years ago on a day like today, I ...

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As a physician and mom, I hate the work culture that generates the glass ceiling for women. Like many professional environments, Medicine is a hierarchical culture dominated by men. The leadership positions are mostly filled by men- including the hospital CEOs, department chairpersons, and medical school deans. This reality begs the question: if nearly half of medical school graduates are women, why don’t we see more female ...

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This morning, I diagnosed a 49-year-old female with stage 4 colon cancer. She will probably not be alive in 5 years. She could have possibly prevented this diagnosis if she had known her family history. Many people don't know the health history of their family. This holiday season is a perfect time and opportunity to delve into this history and prevent more senseless deaths. The apple really doesn’t fall too far ...

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