Prevention

A New Simpler Blood Test To Screen For Colorectal Cancer May Help Save More Lives

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

Message From “The Deathclock”: “Your Time Has Expired.” Really???

“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???

Primary Medical Care For The New Age: What About The Rest Of Us?

New models of primary care offer a lot, however can they deliver for everyone? My hunch: they are focused on a younger, healthier, less demanding population.

For me, I have no expectation (or desire, for that matter) that I will be getting my medical care in my PJ’s—until I am unable to get out of my PJ’s.

To Screen Or Not Screen For Melanoma: That Is The Question

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. So What Are We Going To Do About It?

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?

Angels Paying Forward: Clinical Trials And Breast Cancer

Clinical trials are frequently taken for granted by the cancer community–by patients, caregivers, and clinicians alike. Those trials are the backbone of the recommendations we make for cancer treatment. How often do we take a moment to think about the incredible patients and families who participated in those trials, trials which make such a difference in the lives of so many every day?

COVID-19, Vaccines, and Cancer: We Don’t Have All The Answers

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

An Actionable Framework to Address Cancer Care Disparities: A Call To Action

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

The Tragic Anniversary of COVID-19

It is hard to believe it was just a year ago when all of this started. And now to realize that after everything that we have gone through we are still not near the end of the journey. One year ago I had just started having conversations with knowledgeable colleagues about the threat of this new potentially fatal virus. It was the beginning with cases of a new viral illness reported out of China, a killer virus that was still very much a theoretical threat of what could happen here in the United States.  The back-of-the-envelope COVID-19 death projections we… Read More »The Tragic Anniversary of COVID-19