In the next few years, the biggest advancements in cancer care may occur at the smallest level, the level of individual molecules. By imaging individual molecules on cancer cells, malignancies can be detected when they are smaller and more easily treated.  Targeting individual molecules has also allowed groundbreaking new therapies with great precision, increasing the efficacy of treatment and minimizing side effects. This effort sounds like something out of “science fiction,” but ...

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We all think we know what a bruise looks like. Black and blue, brownish around the edges. But depending on the circumstances, the same bruise can look different from one person to another. To a well-loved child who skinned her knee, a bruise might look like a bad memory of an epic tree-climb attempt. To a patient with diabetes, a similar bruise might look like the onset of a life-threatening emergency. ...

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Radiation oncology has been around for a century, and, at first, advancements in the field came rapidly. The evolution of X-rays and CT scans to inform treatment. Intraoperative radiation therapy. Technology that allows for tailored dose distribution. But for the past 20 years, the pace of innovations seemed to slow. We remained stymied, for instance, by organs in the abdomen that move with every breath a patient takes. We struggled to ...

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November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, a time when many people in my profession shine a spotlight on the dangers of taking lung health for granted. This year, few need the reminder. COVID-19 is deadly, contagious, and upending life as we know it. It is also a lung disease. As a thoracic surgeon, I tell people that, if you’re worried about COVID-19, what you’re really worried about is lung health. And ...

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You are doing all the right things: washing your hands frequently, wearing a mask when out in public, getting the requisite sunlight needed to reduce stress and maintain your health. And the reward you're getting for all your diligence? Dry skin, damaged nails, acne, and sunburns. As we continue to live with the threat of COVID-19, more people find themselves wrestling with skin issues they never anticipated. Fortunately, there are easy and ...

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In the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic, getting a flu shot has never been more important. Many people are staying indoors, wearing a mask, and washing their hands frequently. In this environment, patients ask me, “With all this social distancing, do I really need a flu shot this year?” The answer is unequivocally, “Yes!” Even the safest practices do not guarantee that a person won’t catch the flu or the coronavirus. ...

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The most persistent problem I encounter is not nerve pain or slipped discs. It’s the tenacious misconception that someone can be “too old” for spine surgery when it’s truly needed. Many years ago, it was true that age played a significant factor in a person’s ability to tolerate and recover from surgery. Surgeries were once highly invasive, and recovery could take months. But over the decades, spinal surgery techniques have improved ...

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When COVID-19 hit, routine cancer screenings nearly came to a halt. Now those postponed appointments and overdue tests will likely result in delayed cancer diagnoses. Now more than ever it’s an opportune time to educate the community about the importance of regular cancer screenings. While we have powerful treatments for those diagnosed with cancer, nothing is more powerful than prevention or early detection. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related ...

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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of cancer screenings performed in the U.S. has plummeted. After decades of progress in detecting, treating, and preventing many types of cancers, this nation could face a “cancer pandemic” in the next ten years as a result of this delay in routine screenings. Postponed or canceled appointments for cancer screenings will likely result in delayed cancer diagnoses, recurrence of disease, and increases in cancer deaths. That ...

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