Tag Archives: cancer

Tobacco is Taking Over the World!

We’ve done a lot of things in the United States over the last few decades to curb tobacco consumption. We’ve warned people cigarettes will kill them, created persuasive ad campaigns to scare people away from cigarettes, and added a hefty … Continue reading

Posted in Behavioral Economics and Public Policy, Ethics, Health & Well-being, Uncategorized | Tagged ,

What Mammograms Teach Us About Wildfires, Floods, and Tornadoes

In the wake of the horrific floods that struck Colorado recently, many people have debated whether global warming is to blame. The same goes for wildfires that hit that state this summer and for the massive tornado that struck in … Continue reading

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Beware of Cancer Metastasizing to Your Wallet

Joanne Reed’s breast cancer was discovered at an early stage, early enough that her doctors would be able to remove the tumor with surgery (either a mastectomy or a lumpectomy) and then, with a touch of chemo, she would face … Continue reading

Posted in Health Policy | Tagged , ,

Is There a Smart Way to Use the New Oncotype Prostate Cancer Test?

On May 8th, the makers of the oncotype DX Prostate Cancer Test presented results of a large study demonstrating that their test can help men decide whether their prostate cancer carries a low enough risk of progression to forgo surgical or … Continue reading

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Who Wants to Take a Pill to Prevent Breast Cancer?

On April 14, The United States Preventive Services Taskforce concluded that women with an elevated risk of breast cancer – who have never been diagnosed with breast cancer but whose family history and other medical factors increase their odds of … Continue reading

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Will the Sequester Cause Oncologists to Lose Money Prescribing Chemotherapy?

In a recent Washington Post article, Sarah Kliff reported that “Cancer clinics across the country have begun turning away thousands of Medicare patients” because of reductions in reimbursement caused by the sequester. Specifically, oncologists will no longer be able to markup the … Continue reading

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Should Doctors Give Medical Advice to Strangers over Email?

Recently I received an email from someone I have never met, who asked me the following: “Could you refer me to any current study results on Arimidex (Anastrozole)? My oncologist is not helpful. My oncotype dx said I have 9% … Continue reading

Posted in Ethics | Tagged , ,

What the World Got Wrong About Lance Armstrong and Oscar Pistorius

Lance Armstrong cheated and bullied. These are not shocking revelations. Oscar Pistorius had a history of altercations with his girlfriend and is now accused of murder. More shocking, by far, but hardly the first athlete to be accused of such … Continue reading

Posted in Ethics | Tagged , ,

Do Oncologists Lie to Their Patients About Their Prognoses?

Andrews was easily the most anxious patient I took care of that month, a gray Michigan February (is there any other kind?) which I spent in the hospital caring for patients admitted to the general medical ward at the Ann Arbor Veterans Affairs … Continue reading

Posted in Ethics, Medical Decision Making | Tagged , ,

Breast Cancer Hotline Reveals Widespread Communication Problem with Doctors

I got an email recently from someone who read Critical Decisions, and who said it resonated with her in part because of work she does with a breast cancer hot line. “I’ve been volunteering as a Helpline worker for Living … Continue reading

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