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  • Two Wonderful Essays

    Posted 2/26/2015 by hhill
      It feels a little bit lazy when my day's entry is really just sharing something wonderful that I have read. When the "something" is a medically important article, I can at least write an introduction that fleshes it out a bit and maybe adds interest. Today, I just want to share two pieces that I have found incredibly moving. Especially for the second one, you may want a tissue in hand. Read more... Comments (0)
  • Cancer Survival Rates Improving

    Posted 2/26/2015 by hhill
      This is all excellent news: a new study reported in JAMA Oncology indicates that five year survival rates for (almost) all types of cancer are improving. That is the good news. The less good news is that the incidence of cancer is not declining, and the survival rates are not good enough. Read more... Comments (0)
  • Vocabulary

    Posted 2/25/2015 by hhill
      Think of today's entry as something that is good for you, perhaps the blog equivalent of a mountain of leafy green vegetables. As I write that, I think I need a different metaphor as I am actually a big fan of all kinds of green vegetables. As a total aside, even if you think you don't like brussel sprouts, consider making the Kung Pao Brussel Sprouts from last month's Bon Appetit: That reipe may be the very best thing you will ever get from this blog. Read more... Comments (0)
  • Scanxiety

    Posted 2/23/2015 by hhill
      "Scanxiety" is a wonderful word/non-word coined by cancer patients. We all know what it means. For some of us, the worry begins weeks before an annual mammogram or a staging CT scan. For others, it is possible to stay mostly calm until the night before. If there is any kind of prep involved for the test, those difficulties are added to the test itself and, worst of all, the waiting for results. Read more... Comments (0)
  • Considering Clinical Trials

    Posted 2/20/2015 by hhill

      Clinical trials are the bedrock of evidence-based medicine. Everything we know about treatments that work, and those that don't, came from patients who were willing to participate in trials. To begin this conversation, here is a short fact sheet that I developed for our medical center:

    Clinical Trials at Beth Israel Medical Center

    BIDMC is an academic medical center and a founding member of the Dana Farber Harvard Cancer Center. This means that our commitment is both to excellence in patient care and participation in research to better understand and treat cancer.
    If you are interested in learning more about cancer clinical trials, the National Cancer Institute has an excellent website:
    As you and your doctors begin to consider the best treatment for you, here are some things to remember about clinical trials:
    ** Clinical trials are conducted in every Department throughout the Medical Center.
    ** Clinical trials are designed to help patients with all kinds of diseases and problems. They are not only for very ill people who have no other options.
    ** Everything we know about good treatment for cancer is because people have agreed to participate in trials in the past. Everything we are learning for the future is because people are now willing to consider being part of an appropriate trial.
    ** If you would like to know more, talk with your doctors.

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Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215

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