COVID-19 and Reductions in Cancer Mortality

That is the topic of a commentary I wrote with co-authors Joanna MacEwan and Farzad Ali, titled “Does COVID-19 Threaten the Progress Pharmaceuticals Have Made in Reducing Cancer Mortality Over the Last 20 Years?” An excerpt is below: Cancer mortality rates have fallen significantly over the last 20 years. Between 2000 and 2010, overall age-adjusted…

Improving Care for Older Adults with Cancer

Cancer is a horrible disease. Providing high quality care often means providing safe, effective and cost-effective treatments that meets a patient’s priority. Reaching these goals, however, is particularly challenging when treating older adults with cancer. A paper on this exact topic by Ramsdale et al. (2017) notes that: Cancer care delivery for older adults with…

Introduction to the Military Health Service

Active service military need health care. How do they get it? For the 9.5 million active military beneficiaries and their families, the Military Health Service (MHS) provides the health care they need. Some of the medical care is provided at military facilities and some care is purchased through non-military (i.e., civilian) providers. A paper by…

Patients value progression-free survival more than providers

An interesting paper from my colleagues at Precision in Medical Decision Making looks at how patients, physicians and nurses value different treatment attributes related to survival and treatment toxicity. The authors surveyed patients, oncologists, and oncology nurses using a combined conjoint analysis and discrete choice experiment survey approach. They found that: Virtually all patients preferred…

Learning-by-doing in cancer surgery

Physician quality is often regarded by researhers as an immutable trait. There are high-quality physicians and low-quality physicians. In most areas where technical skill is required, however, practice makes perfect. A key question is, does ‘practice-makes-perfect’ (aka learning-by-doing) occur for physicians as well? A key challenge when doing this research is knowing the direction of…