Protons vs. Photons: A Battlefield Update

gunfight

Many controversies are raging currently in the world of prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment, ranging from PSA screening to robotic vs. laparoscopic surgery.  But certainly the battle with the highest economic stakes is the long-running war between traditional photon-based (X-ray) Electron Beam Therapy (EBT) and Proton Beam Therapy (PBT) for treating prostate tumors. Both methods […]

Tearing Down Cancer Data Silos

silos

When I was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in 2009, I ran to the Internet to learn as much as I could about it, its treatment, and of course, its implications. Article after article described how prostate cancer was invariably linked to an elevated PSA. I had been diligent about monitoring my PSA annually for the previous […]

Lies, Damn Lies, Statistics, and Research Studies.

Mark Twain

As Mark Twain famously said,  “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”  For those of us following developments in medicine and health, we could amend his statement to “there are lies, damned lies, statistics, and medical research studies.” No news cycle is complete without including the results of some new “scientific study.”  One’s […]

Should a biotech company own a piece of me?

BRCAkit

Angelina Jolie recently went public with her decision to undergo a prophylactic mastectomy to reduce her odds of developing breast cancer. Her surgery has been widely celebrated as a courageous act. Jolie watched her mother die painfully of ovarian cancer and later discovered she had a mutation of the BRCA gene, which greatly increased the […]

The Oncology Adventure Ride

1977SpaceMtnTicket

My family lived in Southern California in the mid-1950s, and I vividly remember my inaugural visit to Disney’s Magic Kingdom in 1956, in celebration of my 10th birthday. To my young eyes, it was all amazingly cool: the jungle ride, the Mark Twain steamboat, the teacups in Fantasyland, and Tomorrowland’s ride to the moon.  But […]