Art of Oncology

The Man in the Vest

James W. Lynch, MD  / November 25, 2017

It had been an uneventful Sunday morning, and I was writing my final note for the day, hopeful to make a stealth exit and perhaps join my family at church. But as I closed the chart and looked up, I saw Ruthie, my oncology fellow, approaching with a grim expression. “I just left the room of a youn...

How a Child With Cancer Moved From Vulnerability to Resilience

Tracey S. Danaher, PhD, Sarah R. Brand, PhD, Lucy S.S. Pickard, MBBS, MPH, Jennifer W. Mack, MD, MPH, and Leonard L. Berry, PhD  / September 25, 2017

At the time this article was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Dr. Danaher was practicing at Monash -University, -Melbourne, Australia; Drs. Brand and Mack, at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston; Dr. Pickard, at the Imperial College -Healthcare NHS Trust, Lond...

To the Last Drop

Daniel Rayson, MD  / September 10, 2017

It was 2:15 PM, and my afternoon clinic had not yet begun. The morning had been particularly trying as a result of disastrous clinical developments for two of my long-standing patients. Jessica had metastatic breast cancer, and I had been taking care of her for 7 years. Multiple lines of palli...

Searching for Happiness

Andrea Ferrari, MD, Paola Gaggiotti, Matteo Silva, Laura Veneroni, Chiara Magni, Stefano Signoroni, Michela Casanova, Roberto Luksch, Monica Terenziani, Filippo Spreafico, Cristina Meazza, Carlo Alfredo Clerici, and Maura Massimino  / August 10, 2017

This is the story, told through their own photographs, of a group of adolescent patients with cancer in their search for happiness. Their images relay their hopes and fears, their desire to be normal, and their urge to escape. These photographs are the outcome of a creative arts–based support initia...

Genomics/Genetics

‘It Is What It Is’

Jan C. Oosterwijk, MD, PhD  / May 25, 2017

Mark looked at me shyly through his oversized Elvis Costello–style glasses. Was he feeling embarrassed by his own reply or just waiting for my reaction? He was sitting between his mom and dad, wearing a t-shirt with a huge Minion print. His braces showed when he smiled, something he does often in ...

What Have We Got to Lose?

Catriona M. McNeil, MBBS, PhD, FRACP  / January 25, 2017

Tuesday morning was the regular time for the departmental meeting—an opportunity to discuss cases, troubleshoot, debrief, and expedite the necessary allied health referrals. As usual, patient cases were being discussed in alphabetical order of the attending oncologist. We were already three quarte...

Profound Answers to Simple Questions

Ceilidh Eaton Russell, PhD, and Eric Bouffet, MD, FRCP(C)  / December 10, 2016

A few years ago, I had the good fortune to join a research team that intended to create a device to help dying children express their wants and needs despite communication challenges. The brain tumor team at SickKids [also known as The Hospital for Sick Children] had cared for several children who...

Gynecologic Cancers

Making Peace With Cancer

Christiane A. Voit, MD, PhD, and Alexander van Akkooi, MD, PhD  / November 25, 2016

Next to me sounds the buzzing of my Lympha Press machine, which substitutes for the constant visits of the physiotherapist who performs the lymph drainage. This gives me more freedom, and we have more privacy at home. I can use the machine whenever I need it, and my 5-year-old daughter, Christina,...

Issues in Oncology
Supportive Care

Talking to Children With Cancer: Sometimes Less Is More

David N. Korones, MD  / November 10, 2016

I still remember the day I met Kensie. It was Valentine’s Day. I had sneaked out of the hospital to get my wife a Valentine’s Day card, taking my place among scores of other husbands and boyfriends in front of the rapidly emptying rack of cards. As I started browsing, my beeper sounded. It was the...

A Space to Heal

Reena A. George, MD, and Ramu Kandasamy, MD  / October 10, 2016

We pass them every day on our way to the hospital, the street dwellers of our town in India. Their home consists of a plastic sheet suspended between four poles on the pavement. One day, two women sat under the plastic sheet in happy conversation. It had rained heavily the previous night, and I w...

Oncologist’s Guilt

Megan E.V. Caram, MD  / September 10, 2016

The best part of my day is hearing that little voice yell, “It’s ­Momma!” as my son rushes to greet me with a hug. It is humbling, and sometimes terrifying, to realize that I brought a little person into the world who is completely dependent on my husband and me for survival. Few would argue again...

A Ruby Anniversary

Jonathan L. Finlay, MB, ChB, FRCP  / August 10, 2016

On July 16, 1975, at 26 years of age, after almost 6 months of observing a left epididymal mass slowly enlarge, with workup for epididymal tuberculosis, I finally underwent a left inguinal orchiectomy and resection of what proved to be a pure seminoma. A subsequent lymphangiogram was reported to b...

Regarding Beau

William H. Meyer, MD  / July 10, 2016

Like most pediatric hematologists/oncologists, my career has been a journey, hoping to discover ways to improve the outcomes for children and adolescents with cancer. I have been blessed to work with outstanding colleagues in the United States and throughout the world. And of equal importance, I h...

Rising

Alison W. Loren, MD, MS  / June 10, 2016

There were once two patients with leukemia. Other than their diagnoses and their ages, these two men had nothing in common. Meet Michael Michael was an artist—a sculptor. He had large, sensitive, blue eyes and a quiet, pensive manner. His acute observational power led him to ponder deep question...

White Knuckling

Daniel Rayson, MD  / May 25, 2016

The ASCO Post is pleased to reproduce installments of the “Art of Oncology” as published previously in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO). These articles focus on the experience of suffering from cancer or of caring for people diagnosed with cancer, and they include narratives, topical essays, h...

Compartmentalizing Cancer

Laura Melton, PhD, ABPP  / April 10, 2016

I was the last one on the oncology team to meet Mel. He was 36 years old, and by then Mel had been living with metastatic colon cancer for several years. During that time, his clinicians had never referred him to our psycho-oncology team because of his strong attitude and outlook. Mel’s outward pr...

A Drop of Blood

Rebecca Karp Leaf, MD  / March 25, 2016

I was a third-year internal medicine resident, rotating through the oncology service, when I was asked to perform my first circumcision. My team was rounding on Tom, a 52-year-old gentleman currently receiving third-line treatment for metastatic esophageal cancer; we were discussing at length his...

Issues in Oncology

Pieces of Grief

Erica C. Kaye, MD  / January 25, 2016

The ASCO Post is pleased to reproduce installments of the “Art of Oncology” as published previously in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO). These articles focus on the experience of suffering from cancer or of caring for people diagnosed with cancer, and they include narratives, topical essays, h...

Beautiful Imperfections

Richard M. Boulay, MD  / December 25, 2015

The ASCO Post is pleased to reproduce installments of the “Art of Oncology” as published previously in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO). These articles focus on the experience of suffering from cancer or of caring for people diagnosed with cancer, and they include narratives, topical essays, h...

You’ve Lived A Good Life

Brendan F. Curley, DO  / December 10, 2015

The ASCO Post is pleased to reproduce installments of the “Art of Oncology” as published previously in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO). These articles focus on the experience of suffering from cancer or of caring for people diagnosed with cancer, and they include narratives, topical essays, h...

Issues in Oncology

A Selfless Act

Susan L. Cohn, MD  / November 25, 2015

The ASCO Post is pleased to reproduce installments of the “Art of Oncology” as published previously in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO). These articles focus on the experience of suffering from cancer or of caring for people diagnosed with cancer, and they include narratives, topical essays, h...

What Do You Say When She Is No Longer Living With Cancer?

Martee L. Hensley, MD, MSc  / October 25, 2015

The ASCO Post is pleased to reproduce installments of the “Art of Oncology” as published previously in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO). These articles focus on the experience of suffering from cancer or of caring for people diagnosed with cancer, and they include narratives, topical essays, h...

Let It Be Hard

Andrea M. Watson, MD, MS  / September 25, 2015

The ASCO Post is pleased to reproduce installments of the “Art of Oncology” as published previously in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO). These articles focus on the experience of suffering from cancer or of caring for people diagnosed with cancer, and they include narratives, topical essays, h...

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