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issues in oncology
cost of care

Understanding the Different Perspectives on Cost and Value in Cancer Care

The estimated cost of cancer care in the United States was $125 billion in 2010 and is expected to rise to $175 billion by 2020.1 In an effort to reign in spiraling costs and deliver better care, the term “value” has become part of the new oncology lexicon, as providers, patients, and payers seek...

Wally Curran, MD, FACR, FASCO, Reflects on a Career in Academic Oncology

GUEST EDITOR Dr. Abraham is the Director of the Breast Oncology Program at Taussig Cancer Institute, and Professor of Medicine, Lerner College of Medicine, Cleveland Clinic. Find him on Twitter @jamecancerdoc. For this installment of the Living a Full Life series, guest editor, Jame Abraham, MD,...

lung cancer

Lung Cancer Expert Leora Horn, MD, Recalls Her Journey to a Career in Oncology and a Home in Nashville

The tumultuous history of modern South Africa has numerous stories that lie beneath the surface of the sociopolitical headlines, such as the story of lung cancer expert Leora Horn, MD. “I was born and reared in Johannesburg, South Africa, a second-generation African family. In 1987, because of the...

breast cancer

Male Breast Cancer: An Understudied Malignancy

Male breast cancer is a rare and understudied malignancy when compared with female breast cancer, with conflicting literature on survival outcomes in men and women. The ASCO Post spoke recently with breast cancer expert Sharon Giordano, MD, MPH, FASCO, Professor at The University of Texas MD...

hematologic malignancies
lymphoma

A Story of a Mother and Daughter and Cancer

BOOKMARK Title: The Cookie Cure: A Mother-Daughter Memoir of Cookies and CancerAuthors: Susan Stachler With Laura StachlerPublisher: SourcebooksPublication date: February 2018Price: $19.95, paperback, 320 pages Cancer memoirs vary in their voice and message. Some are slapstick humorous attempts to ...

A Daughter Struggles Through Her Father’s Battle With Cancer

BOOKMARK Title: White Hot Grief Parade: A Memoir Author: Alexandra Silber Publisher: Pegasus Books Publication date: July 2018 Price: $25.95, hardcover; 288 pages   The sudden death of a loved one produces a different type of trauma for family and friends than the protracted fading away of cancer. ...

issues in oncology
cns cancers

A Firsthand Account of Cancer and Mental Illness

Brain tumors are among the most challenging clinical scenarios faced by the oncology community. Along with devastating physiologic damage, brain tumors often have a dramatic effect on the patient’s cognitive, neurologic, and psychological functions. However, the body of literature focusing on...

issues in oncology
survivorship

Oncofertility: An Emerging and Much-Needed Field

The American Cancer Society estimated that in 2015 in the United States, more than 86,000 women younger than age 45 were diagnosed with cancer. Many of them face reproduction and fertility concerns, which could lead to long-term distress and impaired quality of life in survivorship. To shed light...

issues in oncology

Psycho-oncology: After Decades of Acceptance, Still an Emerging Field

As the field of psycho-oncology continues to mature, new studies are being conducted to evaluate ways to better address the needs of patients with cancer and their families. The ASCO Post recently spoke with Michael Hoerger, PhD, MSCR, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Psychiatry, and Oncology at ...

Breast Cancer Surgeon Hannah Hazard-Jenkins, MD, Deftly Balances Career and Family

GUEST EDITOR Dr. Abraham is the Director of the Breast Oncology Program at Taussig Cancer Institute, and Professor of Medicine, Lerner College of Medicine, Cleveland Clinic. For this installment of the Living a Full Life series, guest editor Jame Abraham, MD, spoke with breast cancer surgeon...

issues in oncology

Obesity and Cancer: Complex Interplay of Multiple Factors

The evolving concept that dietary fat plays an important role in the etiology of human cancer emerged more than 50 years ago. Ernst Wynder, MD, whose seminal epidemiologic work led to identifying smoking as a contributory cause of lung cancer, presented a paper in 1967 showing a decided correlation ...

issues in oncology

Ensuring Quality With Patient-Reported Outcomes and Electronic Health Records

Accurately assessing the quality of cancer care over the continuum of treatment requires a special set of metrics and data-gathering methods. Moreover, with a growing number of cancer survivors, the post-treatment care involves primary care providers who are adept at managing the comorbidities...

genomics/genetics

Is Some DNA Worthless?

BOOKMARK Title: Junk DNA: A Journey Through the Dark Matter of the GenomeAuthor: Nessa CareyPublisher: Columbia University PressOriginal publication date: April 2015Price: $22.95, paperback, 360 pages When biologists first delved into the human wonder of genes in the 1970s, they eventually...

A Celebrity Gadfly’s Reflections on His Death and Other Things Meant to Irritate

BOOKMARK Title: MortalityAuthor: Christopher HitchensPublisher: Twelve: Hachette Book GroupOriginal Publication Date: May 13, 2014Price: $19.95, paperback, 128 pages “There are no atheists in foxholes” is an aphorism used to contend that in times of extreme fear, such as during war or facing a...

issues in oncology

The Story of a Notorious Cluster of Childhood Cancers

BOOKMARK Title: Toms River: A Story of Science and SalvationAuthor: Dan FaginPublisher: Random HouseOriginal publication date: March 2013Price: $28.00, hardcover, 560 pages The Toms River emerges in the Pine Barrens of northern Ocean County, New Jersey, and zigzags through wetlands, emptying into...

health-care policy

Is Universal Health Care a Human Right?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provided oncology services to people with cancer who had previously been denied coverage. And for that reason alone, many oncologists supported its passage. However, even though the U.S. health-care system remains in the crosshairs of partisan politics, parties on both ...

issues in oncology

Medical Preparedness for Nuclear Disaster

ROBERT PETER GALE, MD, PhD, DSc (hc), was on the faculty of the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Medicine for 20 years and has served as Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research. In 1986, he was asked by the...

Clinical Cancer Researcher Gini Fleming, MD, Firmly Believes in the Power of Ideas

Gini Fleming, MD, had a peripatetic path to her destination as a gynecologic and breast cancer expert. As a child, she moved around a lot, living in about 10 or 12 different places, so she had no real sense of being born and reared in any particular place. “My parents married young, when my father ...

Academic Oncology and Industry Offer the Best of Both Worlds for Mace L. Rothenberg, MD

GUEST EDITOR Dr. Abraham is the Director of the Breast Oncology Program at Taussig Cancer Institute, and Professor of Medicine, Lerner College of Medicine, Cleveland Clinic. For this installment of the Living a Full Life series, guest editor Jame Abraham, MD, interviewed Mace L. Rothenberg, MD,...

issues in oncology
health-care policy

Is the Move to a Value-Based Health-Care Delivery System Feasible?

In 2015, Congress passed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization ACT (MACRA), which aims to move Medicare toward reimbursement based more on outcomes and values, a goal, in theory, shared by the oncology community. To shed light on the complicated and problematic attempt to restructure the...

Four Generations of Doctors, One Oncologist, in the Family of Hanna K. Sanoff, MD, MPH

Medicine is a family tradition for Hanna K. Sanoff, MD, MPH. “I was born and reared in a suburb just outside of Philadelphia and lived there my whole life until after college. I was one of those people who always knew they wanted to be a doctor. There were four generations of physicians on my...

A Humble Beginning Built on Commitment: The Life and Times of Lee S. Schwartzberg, MD, FACP

  In this edition of the Living a Full Life series, guest editor Jame Abraham, MD, interviewed medical oncologist Lee S. Schwartzberg, MD, FACP, Executive Director at the West Cancer Center, Memphis. Dr. Schwartzberg’s major research interests are new therapeutic approaches to breast cancer,...

solid tumors
prostate cancer

A Medical Oncologist Urges Men to Keep Their Prostates

With the development of the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test in the early 1990s, the urology community advocated for population screening of all men of a certain age, igniting a heated argument about the test’s clinical value vs potential harms that has not abated to this day. Moreover, from...

hematologic malignancies

From Italy to Boston, A Love of Molecular Diagnostics Shapes a Career for Valentina Nardi, MD

Valentina Nardi, MD, is a staff pathologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, and her current clinical work includes implementing molecular assays for hematologic malignancies at the Center for Integrated Diagnostics. “I was born in Rome, but I did my high school and college education in Genoa. I ...

supportive care

Inside Look at Widowers Coping With Grief

BOOKMARK Title: The Group: Seven Widowed Fathers Reimagine LifeAuthors: Donald L. Rosenstein, MD, and Justin M. Yopp, PhDPublisher: Oxford University PressPublication Date: January 2018Price: $28.95; hardcover, 192 pages Looking back, the cancer advocacy movement took shape in two waves: the first ...

Former Chair of ASCO’s Health Disparities Committee, Karen M. Winkfield, MD, PhD, Faced Her Own Barriers

Nationally regarded radiation oncologist Karen M. Winkfield, MD, PhD, was born and reared in Wheatley Heights, a suburban hamlet on Long Island, New York, that shares borders with the prosperous community of Dix Hills and one of the Island’s lowest-income towns, Wyandanch. “I was fortunate to live ...

global cancer care

Noted Oncologist Narayanankutty Warrier, MD, Battles Tobacco Use and Builds a Cancer Center in India

India, with the world’s second-largest population and more than 2,000 ethnic groups, is a vastly complex nation, noted for its rich history and boundless intellectual capital, but also for its poverty and inequities in areas such as access to health care. The State of Kerala, situated in the...

lung cancer

Valued Mentors and a Link Between Science and Medicine Paved the Road to Oncology for Alice Tsang Shaw, MD, PhD

Lung cancer expert Alice Tsang Shaw, MD, PhD, was born and reared in Gaithersburg, a small suburb located to the northwest of Washington, DC. Both her parents were chemists, and during high school, Dr. Shaw had a keen interest in science, particularly biology, yet the thought of pursuing a career...

breast cancer

Education Came First for Breast Cancer Expert Beverly Moy, MD, MPH, Daughter of Chinese Immigrants

Beverly Moy, MD, MPH, grew up in Brooklyn, New York, in a modest working-class home. Both her parents were immigrants from China. “Education is highly prized in Chinese culture, and my home life was no exception. I didn’t speak any English when I began kindergarten, so that was a bit challenging,...

genomics/genetics

A Love of Science Leads to an Esteemed Career in Cancer Research for Razelle Kurzrock, MD

Razelle Kurzrock, MD, regarded internationally for her work in translational science, was born and reared in Toronto, Canada. “My parents were immigrants from Eastern Europe. My father, who was Jewish, was a Holocaust survivor. My parents put a strong emphasis on education,” she said.  ‘The...

geriatric oncology

A Love of Older Patients With Cancer Drives a Career Path for Arti Hurria, MD, FASCO

Arti Hurria, MD, FASCO, who is Director of City of Hope’s Center for Cancer and Aging, is a first generation of immigrant parents from India. “My parents left India and moved from England to Canarsie, Brooklyn, where I was born. When I was 8, my family moved to Southern California, partly due to...

solid tumors

Pioneer in Genitourinary Oncology, José R. Germà-Lluch, MD, PhD, Sheds Light on Treating Rare Tumors

“At the age of 6, my mother threw me into the arms of Hippocrates’ discipline, giving me as a special gift a toy suitcase full of medical equipment and a little puppet to train my skills with a stethoscope, syringe, thermometer, small reflex hammer, and torch to explore the oropharyngeal airways....

Husband and Wife Leave a Giant Legacy in Oncology

The remarkable careers of Jimmie C. Holland, MD, and James F. Holland, MD, spanned collectively for more than a century, leaving an indelible footprint in oncology clinical care and research. Synonymous with cancer care itself, the Hollands were a living documentary of the rich and dramatic history ...

global cancer care

International Oncologist Nagi S. El Saghir, MD, FACP, Returned Home to Make a Difference in Lebanon and Worldwide

Internationally renowned expert on the early detection, prevention, and treatment of younger women with breast cancer, Nagi S. El Saghir, MD, FACP, FASCO, was born on January 5, 1953, in Bint Jbeil, a village in southern Lebanon. His parents moved to Beirut in 1948, at the height of the...

lymphoma

Pioneering Researcher and Oncologist Volker S. Diehl, MD, Helped Unlock the ‘Black Box’ of Hodgkin Lymphoma

Volker S. Diehl, MD, the internationally renowned hematologist and researcher, was born in Berlin, Germany, on February 28, 1938—arguably one of the most tumultuous periods in world history. Germany had just invaded Austria, signaling the dark intentions of the Third Reich. In 1943, the air raids...

For James Allison, PhD, Perseverance and Hard Science Are Paramount in Cancer Research

For this installment in the Living a Full Life series of articles, guest editor Jame Abraham, MD, interviewed immunology pioneer James Allison, PhD, Chair of the Department of Immunology, the Vivian L. Smith Distinguished Chair in Immunology, Director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Research,...

The American Society of Clinical Oncology at a Glance

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) held its first scientific Annual Meeting on April 9, 1965, in the Bellevue Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia. More than 70 members and invited guests attended the inaugural event, which featured three presentations on leukemia and multiple myeloma. The ...

A Lifetime of Accomplishments in Oncology Brings Knighthood to Sir Murray F. Brennan, MD, FACS

Sir Murray F. Brennan, MD, FACS, was born on April 2, 1940, in Auckland, New Zealand, which lies on and around an isthmus surrounded by the sparkling azure waters of the Hauraki Gulf. “I was born at the beginning of World War II. Fortunately, my father was too old to be drafted into the army. I...

Nancy L. Bartlett, MD, Moved From Engineering to Medicine After a Stint in the ER

Nationally recognized oncologist Nancy L. Bartlett, MD, had an early love for mathematics and a swooning aversion to the sight of blood. “I was born and reared in Kansas City, Missouri and am a Midwesterner at heart. No one in the family was involved in medicine. My mom was an elementary school...

Monica M. Bertagnolli, MD, FASCO, a Cattle Rancher’s Daughter, Becomes ASCO President

ASCO President-Elect Monica M. Bertagnolli, MD, FASCO, was born and reared in Wyoming, where her family ran a cattle ranch in the foothills of the snow-topped peaks of the Wind River Range (or “Winds” for short), a place of breathtakingly uncluttered vistas where the chief feature is the air...

legislation
cost of care

New Laws Reduce Costs of Oral Cancer Drugs, but Not for All

The rising cost of anticancer drugs not only adds fiscal pressure to our overburdened health-care system, but also increases the stress on patients with cancer and their families. High out-of-pocket spending may cause significant financial toxicity, even for patients with good health insurance...

issues in oncology

Doctoring Is a Family Tradition for Medical Oncologist Virginia G. Kaklamani, MD

Virginia G. Kaklamani, MD, Professor of Hematology/Oncology at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio and leader of the center’s breast cancer program, was born and reared in Athens, Greece. “I spent my formative years in Athens, where I attended school. My father is a physician and my mom’s a...

A Career Based on Service: Both Medical and Military

For this installment in the Living a Full Life series of articles, Edith Peterson Mitchell, MD, was interviewed by Guest Editor Jame Abraham, MD, FACP. Dr. Mitchell is Clinical Professor of Medicine and Medical Oncology in the Division of Medical Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University as well as ...

hematologic malignancies
leukemia

A River Runs Through the Life of a Leukemia Specialist

GUEST EDITOR Dr. Abraham is the Director of the Breast Oncology Program at Taussig Cancer Institute, and Professor of Medicine, Lerner College of Medicine, Cleveland Clinic.   MATT KALAYCIO, MD Affiliation: Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer InstituteOn balancing priorities: “As an oncologist in...

issues in oncology
survivorship

Seeking Beauty From the Inside Out After Cancer Treatment

  BOOKMARK Title: Autobiography of a FaceAuthor: Lucy GrealyPublisher: Houghton Mifflin HarcourtOriginal Publication Date: June 1994Price: $14.95, paperback; 256 pages We live in a celebrity-obsessed society that is consumed by images of what we perceive as ideal beauty. Numerous studies show that ...

issues in oncology

Fast Food Nation and America’s Sick Diet

BOOKMARK Title: Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American MealAuthor: Eric SchlosserOriginal Publisher: Houghton MifflinOriginal Publication Date: January 2001Price: $23.95, paperback, 288 pages     The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that about two-thirds of...

solid tumors
breast cancer

Mentorship From a Past ASCO President and Others Steers a Career to Academic Research

  Breast cancer specialist Stacy L. Moulder, MD, was born and reared in Brookhaven, Mississippi, a small town southwest of the state capital of Jackson. “I was always interested in math and science, and I had a wonderful biology teacher in high school. It was when the advanced placement courses...

gynecologic cancers

Kathleen M. Schmeler, MD: A Gynecologic Oncology Activist for Underserved Women

Kathleen M. Schmeler, MD, Associate Professor in the Department of Gynecologic Oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and the Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital, was given the “Heroes in Medicine” award from Physician’s Weekly in May 2016. Her primary work is in cervical cancer...

supportive care

For Holly G. Prigerson, PhD, Psychosocial Issues Are at the Heart of End-of-Life Cancer Care

Holly G. Prigerson, PhD, Co-Director of the Weill Cornell Medicine’s Center for Research on End-of-Life Care, was born in Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn, where her father had been a resident. Her family moved to Long Island, first living in Islip, where Dr. Prigerson’s father practiced medicine...

The Telltale Heart: A Surgeon’s Memoir

We don’t feel our liver or pancreas working, but we all feel our hearts beating—the drumbeat of our mortality since we all have a finite number of heartbeats from birth to death. And unlike with most other organs, we are painfully aware of how fragile this mighty muscle can be. About 610,000 people ...

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