"As our office begins to return to pre-COVID operations, it has been uplifting to have a relative sense of normalcy, even though morale seems to be reduced. It is difficult to promote team building and improve morale when everyone has to maintain social distancing. I would love to go out for a meal with my staff, hug my patients, and lecture ...

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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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The recent death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has brought immense attention to the future of the Supreme Court with the scrutinized nomination of Amy Barrett amid the COVID-19 pandemic and upcoming presidential election. As an oncologist and public health physician, however, I cannot help but to focus on the medical causes of her death rather than the political consequences and see a stark contrast in her passing from cancer ...

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My head used to be my greatest asset, and back in 2012, I had my life on track because of it. With a medical education and a few years of work experience on my back, I felt that I had options in life. I had even saved up to be able to buy a home. Then illness caught up with me. And not just any illness, but one of the kinds ...

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Lung cancer screening is a process that is used to detect the presence of lung cancer in otherwise healthy people at high risk for cancer. In 2020, 229,000 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer, and 136,000 people will die from the disease, making it the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. Data show that screening for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) reduces the risk of dying ...

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“Is there anything more we could have done?” I am not the first person to ask this question, and I will not be the last. This past week I learned that an ex-boyfriend from my graduate school years, who had moved overseas in 2016 and disappeared off the grid, was recently diagnosed with lymphoma, developed severe complications, and passed away. He was in his late twenties and a month from moving back ...

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The summer of 2020 is easily one that I would rather forget but has been one that, I believe, will be etched in my memory for a very long time. After a brief vacation to visit my maternal relatives in India during last winter break, I welcomed  2020 with some good news: I had been selected for a clinical research internship on an aging population study at the National Institute of ...

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"As an oncologist, perhaps the hardest part I play is as witness. I am there to give a diagnosis that, more often than not, will alter someone’s life forever. For some, I see resignation—a sense that they’ve known something was wrong and that it’s what they thought they had. For others, I see an almost immediate acceptance and, with it, perseverance; ...

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An excerpt from Dying with Ease: A Compassionate Guide for Making Wiser End-of-Life Decisions. Used by permission of the publisher Rowman & Littlefield. All rights reserved. In 2017, there were 2,813,503 deaths in the United States. About a quarter of Americans die of heart disease, some 22 ...

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asco-logo Many health care facilities are enacting policies during this time of COVID-19 that restrict the number of people attending appointments in person. Family care providers are asked to wait outside or drop off the patient for their appointment and come back to pick them up later. There are, of course, exceptions made for those receiving a new diagnosis or when the ...

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"When doctors ignore the evidence showing that a support system doesn’t have to be traditional in order to be effective, that’s not a medical judgment. It’s a personal prejudice that puts singles at serious risk. Classifying patients as married or unmarried when studying the effects of social support undoubtedly makes research easier, with groups determined by a simplistic either-or. But since social ...

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That’s the question that will be on the minds of many as the Food and Drug Administration releases a second study on the absorption of sunscreens. The reality is that answering the “safe” question is becoming more complicated—and more important as well, given the fact that so many of us use sunscreens as part of our own sun safety efforts, while others (me included) use sunscreen as part of our daily ...

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Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed during pregnancy. In fact, 5 percent of invasive breast cancers occur in women less than 40 years of age, and 7 to 14 percent of premenopausal breast cancers occur in pregnant women. Harrington and other surgeons in 1943 felt that the prognosis was so poor for pregnant women with breast cancer that radical mastectomy was not justified. As women delay both marriage and ...

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An ecosystem of inpatient medicine moved at full speed around me as the news came in. It was the fall of my intern year, and my mother’s glioblastoma was back. Just months earlier, I had begun residency as a liability – a brand new, unproven doctor whose parent in another state was in remission from an almost universally fatal disease, one that was now rearing its ugly head. Someone, a ...

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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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It was only my first week in the hospital as a third-year medical student when we met. I entered your room early Tuesday morning. Only knowing your chief concern, I knocked on your door and entered the room. You didn't complain when I awakened you. You didn't complain when I asked many questions about a story you had already relayed multiple times to others. You didn't complain when ...

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The long debate about rationality and conformity in both medicine and religion has been intense on many levels. Some people claim science requires certainty, validity, and reliability; others believe faith and optimism are essential for scientific advancement. Some reasons for this argument might include the enormous prosecution of scientists
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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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I walked into Room 30 to find two eager sets of eyes awaiting me. One set belonged to a young man, late-20s, 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 ...

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This new virus is changing everyday life-hospitals are doing their best to protect their staff and patients.  One thing I've learned is that they need to do a better job of communicating with families. My husband was 70 years old when he died of cancer and COVID-related issues.  He was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, lung mets to the brain on December 23, 2019. Because he had only one lesion in ...

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