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  • October is Coming

    Posted 8/27/2015 by hhill

      If you know me, you know much much I detest Pink October. It gets worse each year, and a friend (thank you, Barbara) just sent me this from Dairy Herd Management. I am speechless.

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  • Compare Costs and Benefits of Treatments

    Posted 8/27/2015 by hhill

      As you know, there has been a great deal of work and conversation about the value of care, the possible benefits of any one available drug, the importance of evidence-based treatment choice. I have written, most recently just a few days ago, about the Choosing Wisely campaign and other initiatives that examine this issue.

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  • Coping with Tests

    Posted 8/26/2015 by hhill

      Periodic scans or other tests are one part of cancer that rarely gets easier. It is just as nerve-wracking the 3rd or 4th or 10th CT Scan as it was the first. Each time, there is the anxiety about the results and the difficulty of the waiting for that answer. If you have had several good scans, rather than thinking: "It will likely be fine because the others were", you may be thinking "Bet my luck has run out."

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  • An Update on Choosing Wisely

    Posted 8/25/2015 by hhill

      Many of you are familiar with the Choosing Wisely initiative that was started by the American Board of Internal Medicine in 2012. It is an attempt to focus attention, in all medical specialties, on the choices and recommendations that are made in a patient's care. Yes, it is partly about saving money, but it is mostly about value for care--about not subjecting someone to a procedure or treatment that is not going to be helpful and may even be harmful.

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  • Exceptional Responders

    Posted 8/24/2015 by hhill

      By definition, an exceptional responder is someone who has a unique (positive) response to a treatment, usually chemotherapy, that is not effective for others in a similar situation. The NCI has even launched a study to examine these people and their responses, trying to figure out what and why and how. Scientists are fascinated; if they could understand the reasons, they likely could use that information to improve treatments for others. The phrase, exceptional responder, has a very nice ring, but most of us would be just as happy to consider these responses the miracles that everyone hopes for.

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

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