Tag Archives: cancer

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

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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

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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

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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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Deciding About Breast Cancer Chemotherapy

As if being diagnosed with breast cancer wasn’t bad enough, many women with this diagnosis face complicated decisions about what kind of medicine or chemotherapy to take, if any, to reduce their chance of cancer recurrence.  As I discussed in … Continue reading

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Beware Overreaching Government Efforts to Detect Breast Cancer

JoAnn Pushkin’s breast cancer was diagnosed at an advanced stage because the density of her breasts obscured the tumor on her mammograms. That was shocking news to Pushkin, who only learned that her breasts were radiologically dense at the time … Continue reading

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Are Physicians Smarter than Fifth Graders?

All too often the most powerful illusions seduce us through truthful whisperings. Let’s start with an obvious truth: Living a long and happy life after a cancer diagnosis is better than living a short miserable one.

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