No one really wants to say this about national political leadership, especially in a time of serious nationwide distress and even moreso at a time of heightened political tension and presidential elections, lest one’s comments be dismissed as being politically motivated. However given the events of the past months and especially the past few days, it must be said: Our national (and some state) political leaders are demonstrating a wanton, deliberate and callous disregard for truth and for science, and as a result we are now entering a period of intense national emergency leading to avoidable illness, death and potential… Read More »A Wanton, Deliberate and Callous Disregard for the Truth and Science Regarding COVID-19
A recent conversation among a group of physicians gave me a fair amount of distress and discomfort. The topic was an unproven treatment for COVID-19, the discomfort was the disinformation—in my opinion—being shared, and the distress was the fact that the discussion likely reflected what some doctors are actually doing for the treatment of patients who are infected with the corona virus. Evidence was left at the doorstep. As I reflected on the conversation I realized it was not unlike what I have experienced over decades as a medical oncologist, especially in years past where there was literally very little… Read More »Unproven Treatments in COVID-19: Why Do They Persist?
We have had a bit of a debate in this country whether or not we had an effective response to the corona virus pandemic. Now new data shows that not only have we done a poor job of controlling COVID-19 infections and deaths but our outcomes have been among the worst in the developed world. That’s hard to believe, but it is true. At least that’s what the data shows. The research report published yesterday in JAMA starts with the comment that “The US has experienced more deaths from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) than any other country and has one… Read More »The United States Leads The Developed World In COVID-19 Deaths. Really.
“I dunno…” That’s what our 3 year old granddaughter used to say when asked a question. What made it especially cute was when she raised her hands upward to the side of her head and gave a quizzical facial expression with her response. When she said “I dunno” it was cute. Today, when we hear it as a nation it isn’t so cute. It is deadly serious in the truest sense of the word. Today we are living what I have called “COVID truth”, a moment in time where truth is no longer true and where the alteration and repetition… Read More »COVID Truth In A Post-Truth World: “I Dunno” Is Not An Answer
The news early this morning that the President and the First Lady have both been diagnosed with COVID-19 infections has been devastating. And for the next two weeks or so, although we pray otherwise, the journey may be difficult. We just don’t know. Many of us are now asking what those two weeks might bring. Unfortunately, there is no clear answer. No matter the fact that everyone will have their “take” on what is going to happen, the reality is that no one knows. I have learned from a lot of experience commenting in the public space about illnesses and… Read More »COVID And The President: What We Can Expect
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!
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?
The corona virus pandemic has caused a lot of heartbreak and sorrow, especially as this country has passed two hundred thousand deaths, millions infected, some seriously and others with long lasting side effects from the infection. People are afraid. That is understandable. However, Is all the fear justified? When it comes to being cautious, the answer is yes. However when it comes to caring for your personal health and well-being, maybe not as much. The pandemic is causing many people to forgo routine health care because of their fears of getting infected if they go the doctor or the hospital.… Read More »Has COVID Fear Gone Too Far When It Comes To Caring For Our Health?
Hang around medical folks and politicians long enough and you will inevitably hear that we have the greatest health care in the world. And while that may be true for some, it is not true for all. Simply stated, when it comes to our health. We aren’t getting the job done. The sad reality is that we now have evidence we are failing in two important measures of health care for our nation: high blood pressure and obesity which together have a huge impact on our health outcomes and deaths over time. Two recent online reports (here and here) and… Read More »Our Nation’s Health Is Heading In The Wrong Direction
Covid truth. Who would have thought that about 7 months into this pandemic we would be talking about truth. But we are, and that has made all the difference in the world, literally. When the pandemic started I thought we all would commit to doing what we needed to do to avoid the illness and death predicted to result from this virus. And for a while, it seemed like we did. However then something happened that took us in a different direction. Messages became garbled and conflicting, risk was emphasized by some and minimized by others; some thought this was… Read More »Covid Truth