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Tag Archives: dr. mark lewis

Pembrolizumab and the President

MarkLewisby Mark Lewis MD, CKN Social Media Editor

 

When I started my fellowship in medical oncology in 2009, there were 2 inalienable truths.

 

First, as we assessed the weaponry we could deploy against cancer, we identified only three angles of attack: surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. The first two were, in essence, local therapies, effective only where the scalpel or the high-energy beam was directed respectively to excise or ionize a tumor. Chemo was different because it was systemic, diffusely delivered, and the exclusive armamentarium of the medical oncologist, whose expertise lay in administering chemicals to poison malignant cells while trying to limit collateral damage to the host’s normal tissues. If the cancer signified weeds in the garden, this was akin to dispensing pesticides artfully enough to preserve the good plants. But it was hard to avoid a black thumb. Wistfully we hoped for a more discriminating way to stymie the growth of the bad actors, envious of the targeted aim of our colleagues in surgical & radiation oncology.

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Social Media in Oncology

MarkLewisby Mark Lewis, M.D., Assistant Professor, Department of General Oncology, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

 

What a time to be alive! Never in history has so much information been at the fingertips of so many. In the developed world, we are privileged to have near-instant electronic access to the accumulated knowledge of humankind, including up-to-the-minute scientific understanding. Concurrent with this ready availability of data, patients have been encouraged and empowered to advocate for themselves by searching for medical content online that is pertinent to their own conditions. However, it is also true that “Dr. Google” does not supplant the significance and rigor of medical training, so there is real value in enabling dialogue within the healthcare community, both broadly and on an individual scale.

 

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