I'm not much of a tennis fan, but I am a fan of Serena Williams. Who wouldn't be after hearing her story? Her rise to the upper echelon of athletics was remarkable, and her longevity is incomparable. All the while, she has challenged the sporting world's notions about who and what an elite tennis player is supposed to be. I watched her interviews after this year's Wimbledon finals and was ...

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Fear can show up at inappropriate times uninvited and unexpected, like a knock on the door in the middle of the night. We have all felt it. Sometimes, it can stop us from an adventure or getting into trouble. Sometimes, it can prevent us from living up to our potential or considering a new path. Sometimes, it can stop us from taking care of our health. A few years ago, in ...

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I remember visiting my pediatrician as a child, and even at a young age I was in awe of his degrees hanging on the wall. Looking back, I think I may have looked like the kid in Norman Rockwell’s Doctor with my behind in the air waiting to get a vaccination while staring in fascination at my pediatrician’s diplomas. Even at that young age, I could appreciate that these placards ...

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The headline scrolling across the bottom of an evening news show certainly grabbed my attention: a new blood test had the possibility of detecting early melanoma and saving thousands of lives. And then there were more reports elevating this early research report to a point that I became quite interested -- and frankly concerned. News flash: The research is far from being shown to have proven value in the early diagnosis of ...

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asco-logo I am a medical oncologist specializing in breast cancer. I often try to conceal what I do for a living when I meet people for the first time as it always leads down a particular road. “Is that so depressing? I don’t know how to deal with that all day, every day.” But in truth, it ...

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asco-logo In an era where health information is freely flowing thanks to the internet and Dr. Google, I’ve come to expect that patients who see me for the first time will have done their homework -- about their cancer, treatment options, and yes, even about me. To be frank, it’s not uncommon for patients to mention they’ve ...

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My first patient of the day has metastatic pancreatic cancer. She's had it, in fact, for two years. Getting chemo for two years. Her hair has fallen out, her pain is becoming uncontrollable and she's been in and out of the hospital. Her daughters came to the clinic with her. She is tearful. Her daughters pull me aside. "Tell her to focus on the positive," they request. I wonder if there ...

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It’s 9:30 a.m. on a Wednesday, I get on the elevator, and I hear a man in his 40s, having a conversation on his cell. He says: “He had a brain bleed yesterday, and they had to put a breathing tube in, they don’t know how much damage his brain has suffered at this point.” He gets off on the adult ICU floor. I quickly think “that sucks” and carry ...

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The American Cancer Society (ACS) recently released new guidelines regarding colorectal cancer screening for the average-risk individual. The big news is that they now recommend that screening for colorectal cancer begin at age 45 rather than age 50. This reduction in the starting age was in reaction to recent data showing that colon cancer is increasing in younger Americans for unclear reasons. By screening people at a younger age, ...

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"I feel very dizzy when standing," was Ms. A's* chief complaint. She originally came to the ER for sudden onset double vision and severe balance issues. After briefing myself, I took the stairs to the fourth floor and found her. When I arrived, Ms. A was the only person there. She was wearing a silver visor and a crisp white shirt. As a native of west Texas, she loved her BBQ, ...

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