Colorectal cancer (CRC) remains one of the most common and deadly forms of cancer in the United States. That sobering reality is in no small part because we don’t do enough screening to find the cancer at its earliest stages when it is most treatable or find and remove a colon polyp before it turns into cancer. Despite all the awareness and all the attention, we don’t get enough folks screened. For almost all of us who are 45 years of age and older and are at average risk of the disease (meaning we don’t have a strong family history,… Read More »A New Simpler Blood Test To Screen For Colorectal Cancer May Help Save More Lives
“I am sorry, but your time has expired. Have a nice day!” Nope, not a friendly message from a parking meter app. This was from Deathclock.com, a site that purports to tell folks their predicted date of death based primarily on their date of birth. Mine was May 3, 2020 according to “the clock”. Uh, I don’t think so… Clearly—and fortunately for me as I write this blog—the date was more than a little off. Frankly, predicting a date of death is not something to laugh about. Too many folks facing serious illnesses deal with the burden of their mortality… Read More »Message From “The Deathclock”: “Your Time Has Expired.” Really???
To screen or not to screen for melanoma in people at average risk seems to be an open and shut case: melanoma is a lethal skin cancer. Finding it early must be a good idea! That’s what a lot of people—including many dermatologists—believe and preach. However, from a science point of view it is difficult to prove. That is the essence of a research article and two dueling editorials (see 1 and 2) in a recent issue of JAMA Dermatology. This is not a new question: There are lots of believers, including skin cancer organizations, advocates, dermatologists and others who… Read More »To Screen Or Not Screen For Melanoma: That Is The Question
March is National Colorectal Cancer Month, a month devoted to bringing attention to the third most common cancer in men and women, as well as the third most common cause of cancer deaths in each birth gender. Screening and improvements in treatment for colorectal cancer (CRC) have proven effective in reducing both incidence and death from the disease, yet despite the considerable progress that has been made over the past 30 years we still have a long way to go if we are to further reduce that burden. We often say that we want to make progress in cancer treatment,… Read More »March Is National Colorectal Cancer Month. So What Are We Going To Do About It?
There is an even more tantalizing possibility: what if we could diagnose, treat and monitor patients with localized lung cancer without even using surgery and radiation therapy as primary treatment? Now, that would be amazing. And yet as I gaze into my crystal ball, I really do think that may just be a possibility sometime in the future. And that may not be so far away.
Health equity has been top of mind for many this past year, in large part because of the impact of the pandemic especially on people of color and underserved communities. Now that we recognize that health equity is not a reality for far too many, the question remains what are we actually going to do to make certain that everyone has the tools they need to pursue a life of health and healthy behaviors? And more specifically, what are we going to do in the cancer care sphere—from prevention to diagnosis to treatment to end-of-life care—to address the glaring inequities… Read More »An Actionable Framework to Address Cancer Care Disparities: A Call To Action
Getting Back To Cancer Screening: It’s Time To Give Priority To Those Most In Need, Not Those With The Loudest Voice
“How will be certain coming out the pandemic that those who should be a priority for cancer screenings based on risk and need in fact get to the head of the line? And how will we be certain that those who lack voice in the healthcare system are heard and their needs addressed?” That was the question I asked frequently a year ago as we went into the initial shutdown phase as a result of COVID-19. It was a time when there was fear and a lack of understanding about the pandemic, when resources had to be shifted to acute… Read More »Getting Back To Cancer Screening: It’s Time To Give Priority To Those Most In Need, Not Those With The Loudest Voice
16 million cancer survivors in the United States, growing every year. Success stories we never would have imagined even a decade ago. And yet, when it comes to genuinely understanding the impacts of cancer treatments and what happens over the long term to young and older survivors alike, we are woefully uniformed and under-prepared—and as a nation don’t have a unified plan to address the issue. That’s my take away nugget from a two day workshop just completed on “Addressing the Adverse Consequences of Cancer Treatment,” convened by the National Cancer Policy Forum, which is part of the National Academies… Read More »It’s Time To Address The Needs Of Cancer Survivors
COVID-19 remains top of mind for many of us. As the virus lingers on, taking a terrible toll in lives and life-threatening illnesses, our capacity to deal with the reality of this pandemic gets less and less. That’s why it is so important that we remember to pay attention to the important things in our life, so we can continue to enjoy our lives as best we can today and as we want to do for the future. Part of that attention has to be for our health, and cancer detection/prevention needs to be on that list. The reality is… Read More »Cancer Screening In The Age Of COVID: The Time Is Now!