Expert Information from ASCO
Find out what ASCO experts are saying about current topics in cancer and cancer research.
Cancer clinical trials have led to scientific advances in the prevention, care, and treatment of people with cancer. This knowledge could not have been attained without the participation of patients and their doctors. To understand how patient advocates help advance cancer research, Cancer.Net welcomes George W. Sledge Jr., MD, the 2010-2011 President of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and Mary Lou Smith, a longtime patient advocate. Dr. Sledge and Ms. Smith have worked together for many years, primarily through the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group, a clinical cancer research organization.
Physician assistants (PAs) are integral members of the cancer care team and are committed to addressing a person's needs before, during, and after cancer treatment. PAs are highly trained professionals who work closely with doctors, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, and dietitians to provide personalized care to patients.
With the important role medications play in the treatment of cancer, the oncology pharmacist has become an integral part of the cancer care team. Oncology pharmacists are actively engaged in all aspects of cancer care—from chemotherapy dose preparation and safety checks, to educating patients about side effects, to drug development research.
Oncology nurses are an important part of the health care team and work in all areas of cancer care. Oncology nurses combine their scientific knowledge, technical skills, and caring to help people living with cancer and their families throughout the cancer journey—from diagnosis and treatment to survivorship and end-of-life care.
Many people believe it is already too late to quit using tobacco after they have been diagnosed with cancer and think there would be no benefit to quitting at this point. However, it is never too late to stop using tobacco. Cancer.Net spoke with Graham Warren, MD, PhD, to learn more about the benefits of stopping tobacco use after a cancer diagnosis, as well as to get some practical advice on how to quit.
Hormone therapy is a treatment option for women with early-stage, hormone-sensitive breast cancer, identified by the presence of hormone receptors. Hormone therapy lowers the risk of recurrence (cancer that returns after treatment) by blocking tumor growth caused by hormones so that cancer cells either die or remain inactive. To learn more about women’s options for hormone therapy and what they should know, Cancer.Net talked with Clifford A. Hudis, MD.
After a diagnosis of cancer, one of the first questions asked by a person is whether the cancer can be treated successfully. For tips on bringing up prognosis with the doctor and to learn what patients should know, Cancer.Net talked with Ira R. Byock, MD.
For early-stage breast cancer, doctors generally recommend surgery to remove the tumor. Some women can choose between two types of surgery: a lumpectomy or mastectomy, although lumpectomy is not always a recommended option. To help women talk with their doctors about this decision, Cancer.Net spoke with Julie Gralow, MD.
Vitamin D is one of several nutrients that the body needs to stay healthy. It may also play a role in reducing the risk of cancer, and several research studies are exploring this link. Cancer.Net talked with Richard Goldberg, MD, to learn more about current research on vitamin D and what people should know.
A placebo is an inactive drug or treatment in a clinical trial and is often referred to as a “sugar pill.” A placebo-controlled trial compares a new treatment with a placebo; people who receive a placebo are called the control group. The use of placebos in cancer clinical trials is rare. Cancer.Net talked with Richard L. Schilsky, MD, in 2008 to learn more about the emerging use of placebos in cancer clinical trials. This article was updated in 2012.