I see more and more patients decline to participate in clinical trials. Simultaneously, I hear patient advocates on the national stage clamoring for better trial access. Why the disconnect? Let’s explore 7 reasons why clinical trial participation is right for you: 1. The smartest minds in medicine designed this for you. Clinical trials are not designed by one doctor on the fly. Most oncology drugs have been studied for at least six years ...

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When Martina Wood received a diagnosis of stage 2 breast cancer, she was scared for her life. She also wanted answers to her questions about the disease and how to best move forward with her treatment. Seventy percent of all patient care decisions are based on a pathologist’s diagnosis, and yet most patients have never met the physicians responsible for guiding their treatment. Follow Martina on her journey for ...

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When a child is diagnosed with cancer, overwhelmed parents and patients are often laser-focused on the path to cure. Even though parents do not welcome pain or discomfort for their child, they may feel that symptoms are a necessary cost of curative care. Likewise, it is easy for us, as pediatric oncologists, to accept symptoms and side effects of treatment as normal. Important new research challenges this assumption and challenges ...

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asco-logoIn 2017, results of a study were published in JAMA suggesting women are better doctors than men. While I celebrated the acknowledgment for myself and my female physician peers, it prompted me to reflect on how my gender impacts how I practice medicine. Reflection kept bringing me back to a simple truth: my ...

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The answer reflected off of her face, and I knew my news would be no surprise. Nonetheless, the lump in my throat grew as I hesitated to tell her the latest we found on her recent scans. The fact that this was a recurrence of a previous cancer and she dealt with this inhumanity in the past also did not make it any easier. It was then that Mrs. B spoke up, ...

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I recently read a post by oncologist Dr. Stephanie Graff on the experience of blame, from self and others, that people with cancer are subjected to:

The talk about risk factors and early detection makes us think we can achieve perfection, and that cancer is somehow a personal fault … let us stop making accusations and blaming persons diagnosed with cancer. They are blameless.
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That’s the question sticking in my mind after reading a recent report about a local radiology practice opening a large mammography center in an upscale shopping mall in Long Island, New York. Let’s face it: Medical care is changing. And with changes come new ideas. Some will work, some won’t. The thought of getting a mammogram while on a shopping trip may just be what the doctor ordered ...

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Jolean Olson's always spent a lot of time in the sun, but she was shocked to see a large, suspicious-looking zit pop up on her left cheek. Her medical journey led her to a pathologist who performed a biopsy and rendered a diagnosis that helped Jolean make the best treatment decisions for herself and her family. Today, she's grateful for the definitive answers that put her on the ...

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asco-logoI remember, when I was a kid, that my grandmother would spend time at our breakfast table reading the newspaper. Not cover to cover, mind you -- she seemed to always focus her attention on the obituaries. Sometimes she would look up and tell anyone sitting around her about the death of someone near her age ...

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As an oncologist, I spend my days with women and men diagnosed with cancer. My patients, particularly my advanced-stage or Stage 4 (metastatic) patients, often ask what they did wrong. How did they end up with metastatic cancer? They share with me the subtle accusations made by friends, family and acquaintances that somehow they brought this on themselves. “If only Susan had done her screening mammograms faithfully, she never would ...

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