Have we made great strides in cancer research and treatment? Yes. Are folks getting the care they need? Maybe not. That is the lesson learned from recent experience helping some cancer patients in their journeys. Our ability to treat cancer has advanced, but if people don’t get the right care or understand their care or feel capable of participating in their care are we really doing the best by them in their times of need? I don’t think so and I hope you would agree. Let me offer an example from real life (and I assure you there are others!!!):… Read More »Are Cancer Patients Getting The Best Care? Maybe; Maybe Not
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.
With all the talk about COVID vaccinations, cancer patients have to be asking what it means for them. And aside from some general reassurances, there is a lot we don’t know about how effective those vaccines will be in patients with cancer. What we do know that many are at risk of severe adverse outcomes should they become infected with the virus itself and vaccines are one among several strategies to keep patients with cancer safe from the ravages of COVID and its consequences. There are a couple of important points to keep in mind when we talk about patients… Read More »COVID-19, Vaccines, and Cancer: We Don’t Have All The Answers
We are facing a surge in corona virus cases. Hospitals are at their limits throughout the United States. Nurses, doctors, hospital staffs are overwhelmed. They are tired, and relief is not in sight. Does that mean we will start seeing health care rationed, especially for cancer patients whose prognosis may be uncertain? Sadly, that may be the case over the next several weeks if we don’t reverse our current course to disaster. During the early days of the COVID19 pandemic one of my worst fears was the possibility that cancer patients could not get hospital treatment if needed as a… Read More »Does COVID Winter Mean Rationing Care For Those With Cancer?
This may be one of the most important advances in cancer treatment this year, and almost no one in the major media has reported it, as best I can tell: Osimertinib (trade name Tagrisso™) made a huge difference in outcomes for patients with early stage EGFR-biomarker positive lung cancer when used as adjuvant (preventive) therapy after primary treatment (complete surgical resection in all patients; adjuvant chemotherapy in some). When I say huge, I mean huge: EGFR+ patients with stage IB to IIIC non-small cell lung cancer (the most common type of lung cancer) had a close to 90% survival at… Read More »A Major Advance In Lung Cancer Treatment: Does Anyone Know About It?