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issues in oncology

When Is It Time to Pass?

Assisted suicide gets a lot of press, as if it were a new event. About 20 to 30 years ago, it was ever present but neither defined nor acknowledged. When patients left the hospital for what they and I believed to be the last time, I did one or both of two things: gave them my home number or, if...

The ASCO Post and Narratives in Oncology Through the Years

THE ASCO POST is pleased to acknowledge its 10th anniversary. Our first issue was launched in June 2010 at the ASCO Annual Meeting. Beginning in 2012, The ASCO Post introduced Narratives in Oncology, a special commemorative issue profiling leaders in the oncology community. To nominate an...

issues in oncology

Value: Is the Benefit Worth the Cost?

AS A YOUNG CLINICIAN, I was interested in making a difference; it did not matter how much of a difference, as long as I could claim some patient benefit. And I really didn’t care what benefit: better survival, less local recurrence, shorter hospital stays, fewer narcotics—the specifics did not...

Databases: Where Math Meets Medicine

About 4 decades ago, as a young physician, I observed that most surgeons were numerator doctors; they remembered their successes and their failures, but they did not remember the frequency of either. There was no denominator. Worse, the approach to any specific surgical problem was always the...

Winning the Lottery

I was born at the beginning of World War II in a country half way around the world from the fighting. As a child, I was immune to the carnage. My father was too old to be included, although his elder brother had been killed in World War I. Thousands of families in many countries lost a father, a...

issues in oncology

Caring: Isn’t That Why We Went to Medical School?

YOU CANNOT write about caring; you must practice it. None of us went to medical school thinking we would be an oncologist or a neurosurgeon or a stem cell biologist. But we did have vague aspirations of wanting to help others: to be involved in other lives. It was an altruistic avocation; how...

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...

global cancer care

Unique Fellowship Aims to Lessen Global Cancer Burden by Training Foreign Medical Graduates in Surgical Oncology

Many low- and middle-income countries do not have a defined medical specialty in surgical oncology, and lack an educational infrastructure to respond to the local burden of cancer, but a Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) fellowship is succeeding in addressing this problem by training...

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