The Cheerful Oncologist

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Saying No to Chemotherapy

What do I say to a patient who declines to take chemotherapy, surgery or radiation therapy for his cancer? More specifically, how do I respond when a patient states that he prefers to take “alternative” medications in order to kill his rapidly growing malignant mass? I’ve counselled him extensively and clearly explained what the chances…

Eyes Wide Shut

“There will be sleeping enough in the grave.” -Benjamin Franklin Question: What kills more than 1550 Americans and injures another 71,000 every year? A. Drowning B. Accidental discharge of firearms C. Viral hepatitis D. Malignant melanoma (Answer below the fold)

Attention All Lovers of the Following: Hamburgers (also known as “our national pastime”) French Fries (also known as “coronary sticks”) Pastries (apply directly to hips to cut out the middle man) Sugary Drinks (the answer to this riddle: “What is the slowest known way to commit suicide?”) Beef (sorry, Fred – brontosaurus steaks are gefahrbringend)…

Happy Hallowe’en from the Ghastly Assassin of Malignant Mitoses!

The Mystery of the Stubborn Mass

[Editor’s Note: at the request of our readers this will become a recurring feature. The C.O. in his infinite wisdom created a new character, Dr. Noce Saggio, to serve as the protagonist in this series of medical mysteries. And now, if you would please, raise the curtain… ] “Another espresso, Doctor?” The waiter stood crisply…

It seems that health insurance companies in New York are trying to persuade their customers to go to doctors who have excelled at the little game entitled “Popularity Contest.” Say, what makes a physician popular with insurers? Is it high intelligence? Untiring diligence? Compassion, empathy and a soothing bedside manner? A really great soap-opera-doc head…

As many ScienceBlogs readers know by now, last month Popular Mechanics published a list on their website of “25 Skills Every Man Should Know,” which included such esoteric talents as “frame a wall” and “extend your wireless network.” How these two made the list over such accomplishments as “find tickets to a Hannah Montana concert,”…

Does keeping a positive mental outlook help cancer patients to live longer? People who are depressed about their cancer are no more likely to die than people who keep a positive outlook, U.S. researchers reported on Monday. The choice of medical reports that news services choose to disseminate continues to fascinate me, including this latest…

Lessons learned are like Bridges burned, You only need to cross them but once. -Dan Fogelberg Last time I checked none of us have been ordered to bend their knee to the Gods of Apathy, Stupidity and Cowardice, yet I see people all the time who are miserable in life because of their unwillingness to…

The Tragedy of Death by Diarrhea

“India to host world toilet summit“ The next time you find yourself kvetching about someone misplacing the television remote, or a spot on your collar, or the spaghetti being lukewarm, or $3 a gallon gasoline, or your favorite team playing like a rafter of turkeys, or Junior failing to put the pizza in the fridge…