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
Values based cancer care. Yes, you read that right: VALUES based, not value based. Isn’t it about time we made the effort to define the values that patients and families expect from us when they have a diagnosis of cancer and need treatment? That was the topic of a webinar hosted by Executives for Health Innovation featuring Amy Low (a person living with advanced colon cancer who is Managing Director, Fellowships and Nonprofit Media for the Emerson Collective), Adam Pellegrini (the CEO of Jasper Health, Inc. which is a company focused on using digital technologies to improve the journey for… Read More »A Person Living With Cancer Reminds Us It Is Values Based Care That Counts
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
One cannot ignore that fundamental change is coming to how we deliver cancer care. And although we don’t know how all of this will work out, we should be concerned that with change we run the risk there will be folks who could be left behind. And that is not a good thing. This past week’s annual conference for the National Comprehensive Cancer Network—an organization I admire for its efforts to keep cancer treatment guidelines up to date in real time—gave some hint as to how these shifts are taking hold. Usually this is a meeting chock full of updates… Read More »How We Deliver Cancer Care: Time For A Change?
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
A patient and physician are faced with the difficult choice of a medicine that isn’t affordable and the option of surgery. But the real question is why does the medication cost so much?
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.
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?
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?