The Cheerful Oncologist

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Cancer Death Rates Drop Again

Death rates from cancer continue to fall in the United States, dropping more than 2 percent per year from 2002 through 2004, cancer experts reported on Monday. They found important declines in deaths from lung, prostate and colorectal cancers in men, as well as in breast and colon cancer among women. Lung cancer deaths were…

[Editor’s Note: on Friday the narrator lost his little self-esteem-raising med quiz, which apparently was written on the back of a receipt from Rutto’s Trattoria. This afternoon he called from an undisclosed location and apologized for the mishap, but was only able to recall a smattering of the questions. We publish them now. Why, we…

‘Tis the time of year to bring tidings of joy and celebrate Homo sapien-kind’s (formerly known as mankind’s) spirit of generosity. Not being one to scoff at this equitable terpsichore of self-esteem, we here at the Cheerful Oncologist have a quiz of medical knowledge guaranteed to raise the confidence of every person who takes it.…

Beginning Jan. 1, Medicare will reimburse only $16,000 of the $30,000 total cost for hospitals to acquire and administer each treatment of radioimmunotherapy drugs. Currently, only two drugs — Bexxar and Zevalin — fall under this class of therapy. What on earth is going on here? Why would our government reimburse cancer care providers for…

Message to a New Friend

It was a pleasure meeting you today. I truly enjoyed our time together and wish I could have stayed longer. Please pardon my forwardness, but I want to brag a bit about you. When I walked into your home I was struck at how tall you stand – do you know you move without hesitation,…

“Let’s see – what should I do today…YouTube? IPod? Watch a DVD? Surf the ‘net? Watch a little television? Uh, what was I thinking? Oh, who cares – I hate my life anyway.” A lack of physical activity leads to depression and dementia, evidence presented at the British Nutrition Foundation conference shows. A new study…

Al Gore, Call Your Office!

As part of our ongoing commitment to the environment we here at The Cheerful Oncologist have decided to implement the research of Dr. Gregor Blaberidae Samsa, the first scientist to discover the association between mental activity and the release of carbon dioxide gas during normal respiration. Dr. Samsa’s seminal study, published in the Deutsche Fachzeitschrift…

“If it is not seemly, do it not; if it is not true, speak it not.” -Marcus Aurelius A story in USA Today reports the results of a survey of 1,662 physicians, of whom 96% agreed that “doctors should report impaired or incompetent colleagues to relevant authorities,” while over half the group confessed that after…

The Death of a Jehovah’s Witness

I read fellow ScienceBlogger Orac’s take on the sad case of Dennis Lindberg, the 14 year old boy with acute leukemia who died after refusing to accept blood transfusions due to his religious beliefs, and felt like putting my own two cents in this dialogue. As a medical oncologist who occasionally cares for patients who…

A report from MSNBC identifies seven food items commonly thought to be nutritious (or at least harmless) but actually either filled with nasty ingredients or stripped of healthy ones. If I may be permitted, I’d like to summarize the author’s findings. The seven deadly snack foods (and their sins of comission and omission) are these:…