the words we use matter enormously, not just in clinical outcomes, but in how people with cancer feel about the decisions they’ve made, years later.
Can a good doctor, or a nurse, or a physical therapist, or any other person employed by the health care system, serve as a patient advocate?
The point is – it’s not all about the vacations in Thailand, birthdays and rock concerts. Or opera, if you’re into that. Rather, it’s the everyday stuff that fills our lives.
The author is saddened to learn that Christopher Hitchens died late yesterday evening at the age of 62, roughly a year and a half after receiving a diagnosis of esophageal cancer. He was a prolific and articulate man; I respected him for his words. His essays on the language and cancer might be of particular […]
A short note on Cutting for Stone, a novel I’ve just read by Dr. Abraham Verghese. He’s an expert clinician and professor at Stanford. The author uses rich language to detail aspects of Ethiopian history, medicine and quirks of human nature. The book’s a bit long but a page-turner, like some lives, taking a strange […]
A metastasis refers to a lump of cancer cells that’s physically separated from the original tumor. A metastasis can be local, like when colon cancer spreads to a nearby lymph node in the gut, or distant, as when lung cancer cells generate tumors in the adrenal gland, liver, bone or brain. Sometimes metastases cause serious […]
The latest NEJM features a big story about a small trial, with only 39 patients in the end, on the potential for placebos to relieve patients’ experience of symptoms. This follows other recent reports on the subjective effectiveness of pseudo-pharmacology. My point for today is that placebos are problematic in health care with few exceptions. First, […]
A journalist who covers medical matters of the heart grabbed my attention on the Fourth of July. In The Voice of the Patient: Time To Bring Out the Muzzle?, Larry Husten at Forbes’ Cardiobrief blog, insinuates that the women who spoke at the FDA’s Avastin hearings are simpletons. In his short strip, Husten skips the possibility […]
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to hear Dr. Don Berwick speak at the annual meeting of the Association of Health Care Journalists. Berwick now heads the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. When he spoke in April, on transparency and how we might simultaneously cut costs and improve care, I thought his […]
The two-letter acronym specifies a molecule, or antigen, usually on a cell’s surface…