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Art of Oncology

Issues in Oncology

The Mystery of Grace

Jennifer Lycette, MD  /  April 10, 2017

The day after I told Nell she had seven metastases to her brain, she sent me flowers. She was my patient; I was her oncologist. I had met her 1 year prior, when she was well into her cancer journey, stage IV breast cancer at diagnosis. I took over from her current oncologist, who was mo...

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...

Brave Journey Home

Samuel X. Stevens, MBBS  /  September 25, 2018

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

A Hallmark Moment

Mikkael A. Sekeres, MD, MS  /  April 10, 2020

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

Personalizing Medicine

Timothy Gilligan, MD  /  September 25, 2019

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

Grace and Forgiveness

Catriona M. McNeil, MBS (Hons), MScMed (Hons), PhD, FRACP  /  May 10, 2020

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

Laughter in Oncology Is More Common Than You Think

Suneel D. Kamath, MD  /  July 25, 2019

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

Love in the Time of Cancer

Lawrence H. Einhorn, MD  /  September 10, 2018

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

A Cello for Michayla

David P. Steensma, MD  /  March 25, 2020

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

Out of the Mouths of Babes: A Physician Discusses Her Cancer Diagnosis With Her Two Young Children

Heather A. Thompson Buum, MD  /  August 10, 2019

  In medical school, I learned a five-step model on how to deliver bad news to a patient. I still fall back on this method, time and again, in my primary care clinic; I have even used it when giving really tough feedback to a learner who is struggling in some aspect of performance. But I honestly...

On Not Being Ready

Laura Rooms, MD  /  August 25, 2018

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

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, London; and Dr. Ber...

The Boy I Never Knew

Richard M. Boulay, MD  /  April 25, 2019

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

Issues in Oncology

Spring

Melanie D. Seal, MD, FRCPC  /  May 10, 2018

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

The Bomb

Andrea M. Watson, MD  /  July 10, 2019

I sit paralyzed at my desk. Everyone else has left the clinic. I can hear the sound of the broom in the hall as the after-hours cleaning begins. No phones ring, no patients hurry to appointments, no chatter lingers in the air. The silence is oppressive, the air is heavy, and the distance from my off...

Never Say Never

David S. Ziegler, MBBS, FRACP, PhD  /  September 25, 2020

She was elderly, slightly confused, and very, very worried. I was not quite sure why. It was a minor procedure—a routine angiogram, one of a dozen to be performed that morning. The risks were so small that the job of admitting her had been handed to me, then a final-year medical student, with a simp...

Art in Oncology: How Patients Add Life to Their Days

Evan J. Lipson, MD  /  September 10, 2020

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

Denial’s Many Faces

Adrienne R. Boissy, MD, MA and Mikkael A. Sekeres, MD, MS  /  February 10, 2020

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

A Tale of Two Eugenes

Edmond Ang, MB, BCh  /  October 10, 2019

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

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 palliati...

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...

Searching for Evidence-Based Reassurance Where None Could Be Found

Rozalina G. McCoy, MD, MS  /  February 25, 2020

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

How Patients Add Life to Their Days

Evan J. Lipson, MD  /  November 10, 2019

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

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...

Doctor, Where Art Thou?

Daniel M. Geynisman, MD  /  September 10, 2019

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

A Pathologic Fascination With Humanity

Timothy Gilligan, MD  /  October 10, 2018

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

Supportive Care
Solid Tumors

The Toxicity of Time

Karen Daily, DO  /  February 10, 2018

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

The Art of Medicine: Our Role as Patient Advocates

Paul L. Weiden, MD, FACP  /  October 25, 2019

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

Palliative Care
Supportive Care

Sweet Surrender

Daniel Rayson, MD  /  March 25, 2019

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

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...

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...

Chemotherapy and the Sweat Lodge

WILLIAM S. SHIMP, MD  /  April 25, 2020

The ASCO Post is pleased to reproduce installments of Art of Oncology as published previously in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. 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...

Should I Have Lied?

Hyo Jin Ryu, MD, and Jeong-Seon Ryu, MD, PhD  /  December 25, 2018

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

Issues in Oncology
Supportive Care

Hearing Loss

Katie A. Greenzang, MD, EdM  /  June 10, 2018

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

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...

Denial’s Many Faces

Adrienne Boissy, MD, MA, and Mikkael A. Sekeres, MD, MS  /  December 10, 2018

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

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...

The Gambler

Katherine E. Reeder-Hayes, MD, MBA, MSc  /  June 10, 2020

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

Lost in Translation: A Fisherman’s Tale

Michael J. Overman, MD, and Daniel E. Epner, MD, FACP  /  August 10, 2020

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

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...

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,...

Seven Haircuts

Sola L. Kim, MD, and Daniel E. Epner, MD, FACP  /  January 25, 2020

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

Pigeon English

Athalia Rachel Pyzer MD, PhD  /  June 25, 2020

The ASCO Post is pleased to reproduce installments of Art of Oncology as published previously in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. These articles focus on the experience of tolerating cancer or of caring for people diagnosed with cancer, and they include narratives, topical essays, historical vignet...

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...

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...

The Puzzle Table

Jennifer Lycette, MD  /  December 25, 2017

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

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...

The Piano

Catriona M. McNeil, PhD  /  July 10, 2020

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

At Sea

Alison W. Loren, MD, MS, FACP  /  November 25, 2018

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

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