by Dr. Mark Lewis, CKN Social Media Editor
Every student of Ethics 101 wrestles with the trolley problem. In this moral exercise of the imagination, you are standing by train tracks watching a runaway trolley race towards 5 people who are going to be crushed unless you intercede. If you pull a lever, the trolley will divert onto a different track, where it is bound to kill one person. In this situation, is it better to be passive or active? Should you pull the lever or not?
by 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.
by: Jonathan Klein, MD
Stories about mechanization of industry and the effect of industrialization on workers are centuries old. Ever since the Luddites attacked mechanical looms during the Industrial Revolution, battles have been waged over the social effects of technology and the role it should play in the marketplace.
By: Dr. Monisha Sudarshan
Dr. Sarkis Meterissian needs no introduction. He is not only an accomplished cancer surgeon, but he is also the Associate Dean of Post-graduate Medical education at McGill University, an active cancer researcher, Director of the Cedar’s Breast Clinic and above all a well recognized educator and mentor. He graciously grants an interview for the Cancer Knowledge Network to offer counsel and inspirational advice to surgical residents and delves down memory lane to give us an account of his own passage in the field of medicine that led him to the specialty of surgical oncology.
Cancer Rehabilitation – An Introduction
By Julie Silver, MD
Here at the Cancer Knowledge Network, we are excited to bring you information about cancer rehabilitation. Cancer rehabilitation is an important part of the oncology care continuum. This is an area of medicine that has dedicated healthcare professionals such as board certified physicians (called physiatrists) and licensed allied healthcare providers (e.g., physical/occupational/speech therapists, nurses, etc.). Mental health professionals are also key members of the “rehabilitation team”. Frequently, others may be included as well (e.g., yoga instructors, massage therapists, orthotists, etc.).
Ideally, cancer rehabilitation services should be offered to survivors when they have problems functioning. Indeed, the rehabilitation professional’s code is “focus on function.” Medically speaking, this means intervening when individuals are suffering from problems such as weakness, fatigue, pain, lymphedema, difficulty speaking or swallowing, decreased attention or memory, and a host of other issues. Rehabilitation medicine interventions can significantly help survivors with a broad range of problems that they may be experiencing due to cancer and/or cancer treatments. The goal is always to help them function at a higher level—with as little pain, fatigue and disability as possible—regardless of what type of cancer they have or had.
Cancer rehabilitation interventions have been studied fairly extensively, and Cancer Knowledge Network will be highlighting what is often called “evidence-based” medicine. Part of insuring that cancer survivors receive the best possible care is to understand the research that has been done to date in the field of cancer rehabilitation. The next step is applying this research to clinical practice in order to help cancer survivors have the best quality of life possible.