Women in Cancer

2015 December Newsletter

NEWS, UPDATES & UPCOMING EVENTS!

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Book Recommendations

The Death of Cancer

Author: Vincent T. DeVita, Elizabeth DeVita-Raeburn

“DeVita, an oncologist and professor at Yale School of Medicine, collaborates with his daughter DeVita-Raeburn on this engaging, informative, and inspiring history of DeVita’s prominent role in developing innovative cancer treatments. The authors start with DeVita’s groundbreaking discovery, while at the National Institutes of Health, of a combination chemotherapy treatment that turned Hodgkins lymphoma from a once-fatal diagnosis into one with an 80% cure rate. They also unveil some startling insights into medicine and the development of anticancer drugs, revisiting various episodes of resistance from colleagues in using new therapies, including the one DeVita developed. The book includes offers salient advice for those seeking treatment, and takes on the Federal Drug Administration and its woeful lag in keeping pace with cancer drug development. DeVita’s own battle with prostate cancer teaches him the most important message: “I survived because my doctors were courageous in using the tools we already possessed... and that will allow me to take advantage of new ones.” This remarkable memoir doesn’t just urge the public to have hope: it showcases the exciting evidence that we may finally be winning the war on cancer.” - Publishers Weekly

“This riveting, beautifully written, and poignant memoir takes us on an enormous journey--from cancer's past to its future. Vincent T. DeVita Jr. brings us behind the scenes to the invention of breakthrough therapies for some forms of cancer in the 1960s and '70s. He also provides a much-needed manifesto for the future.” - Siddhartha Mukherjee

The Laws of Medicine: Field Notes from an Uncertain Science

Author: Siddhartha Mukherjee

“Oncologist and Pulitzer Prize winner Mukherjee (Medicine/Columbia Univ.; The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, 2010) skillfully dives into the hidden side of medicine in this elaboration of the author's 18-minute TED talk. Easily consumed in a single sitting, this brief book concisely explains the author's reasoning of why and how medicine asks its practitioners "to make perfect decisions with imperfect information." The author builds a solid foundation demonstrating the genesis of his concept of establishing laws for the practice of medicine. Cogently moving through books that influenced his thinking and the effects of his medical training and numerous practical experiences with patients, Mukherjee guides readers through his thought process on establishing the laws. The author admits beginning slowly but then spending much of his time during medical school with his "odd preoccupation" researching laws governing his chosen profession. Mukherjee stumbled upon the first law, dealing with intuition, by chance. Another law, regarding issues of medical testing, was refined by his analysis of how data, which doesn't fit accepted models of disease, such as "single patient anecdotes," can point to new methods for interpreting test results. The author deftly examines the diverse personalities and subjects that have influenced his thinking (e.g., 16th-century Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe and early-20th-century physician and scientist Lewis Thomas, author of The Youngest Science); the positive effect of the 20th-century philosophy on therapeutic nihilism; and the utility of the magical laws embraced by the novice witch Hermione Granger of Harry Potter fame. This mininarrative, packed with complex ideas translated into easily accessible language and an engaging style, leaves the readers time to ponder the author's ideas at greater length, and the result is a fascinating and illuminating trek through a beautiful mind. A splendid exploration of how medicine might be transformed.” - Kirkus Reviews

Article Recommendation

Social Media Use Among Physicians and Trainees: Results of a National Medical Oncology Physician Survey


Authors: Rachel Adilman, Yanchini Rajmohan, Edward Brooks, MD, Gloria Roldan Urgoiti, MD, Caroline Chung, MD, MSc, Nazik Hammad, MD, MSc, Martina Trinkaus, MD, MT, Madiha Naseem and Christine Simmons, MD, MSc

Published in the Journal of Oncology Practice

Published online ahead of print (October 6, 2015)

http://jop.ascopubs.org/content/early/2015/10/06/JOP.2015.006429.full.pdf+html

Purpose: Cancer management requires coordinated care from many health care providers, and its complexity requires physicians be up to date on current research. Web-based social media support physician collaboration and information sharing, but the extent to which physicians use social media for these purposes remains unknown. The complex field of oncology will benefit from increased use of online social media to enhance physician communication, education, and mentorship. To facilitate this, patterns of social media use among oncologists must be better understood.

Methods: A nine-item survey investigating physician social media use, designed using online survey software, was distributed via e-mail to 680 oncology physicians and physicians in training in Canada. Responses were analyzed using descriptive statistics.

Results: A total of 207 responses (30%) were received; 72% of respondents reported using social media. Social media use was highest, at 93%, in respondents age 25 to 34 years and lowest, at 39%, in those age 45 to 54 years. This demonstrates a significant gap in social media use between younger users and mid- to late-career users. The main barrier to use was lack of free time.

Conclusion: The identified gap in social media use between age cohorts may have negative implications for communication in oncology. Despite advancements in social media and efforts to integrate social media into medical education, most oncologists and trainees use social media rarely, which, along with the age-related gap in use, may have consequences for collaboration and education in oncology. Investigations to further understand barriers to social media use should be undertaken to enhance physician collaboration and knowledge sharing through social media.

MENTOR OF THE MONTH

Dr. Elaine McKevitt
BSc, Med, MD, FRCS(C), FACS

Dr. McKevitt is a General Surgeon at Providence Health Care in Vancouver. She did her medical training and General Surgery residency in British Columbia. She also holds a Masters degree in Education, UBC. Her practice is focused at Mount Saint Joseph Hospital. She is a member of the Surgical Oncology Network Continuing Professional Development and Knowledge Transfer Committee as well as the Breast Surgical Tumour Group. Dr. McKevitt is a Lead on the Breast Cancer Synoptic Operative Report initiative that is conducted through the Breast Surgical Tumour Group. Dr. McKevitt is also chair of the Surgical Oncology Network and Surgical Oncology Breast Tumor Group.

Dr. McKevitt was nominated by Rachel Adilman, a medical oncology research student at BC Cancer Agency Vancouver Center.

“Dr. McKevitt is an exceptional physician who devotes her time not only to caring for her many patients and conducting research, but also to mentoring students and trainees at all stages of their medical careers. As a pre-medical research student, I have been so fortunate to receive patient, informative, and inspiring tutelage from Dr. McKevitt. She never misses an opportunity to impart wisdom or encouragement to her mentees. In my personal experiences as her mentee, Dr. McKevitt is always keen to give a lesson on human anatomy and surgical techniques while observing her in the OR, or take some extra time to help hone my oral presentation skills before presenting at a medical conference. It is wonderful to have such a knowledgeable, kind, and dedicated female physician mentor, especially in the male-dominated field of surgery.” - Rachel Adilman

ONCOLOGISTS IN THE HOT SEAT

Stay tuned because our Oncologists in the Hot Seat, Dr. Kathy Pritchard and Dr. Scott Berry, will share their answers to your questions soon!

Dr. Kathy Pritchard

Dr. Kathleen Pritchard is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto, with cross-appointments in the Departments of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, and Public Health Sciences. She is Clinical Director of the Ontario Clinical Oncology Group and Senior Scientist at the Sunnybrook Odette Regional Cancer Centre at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto.

Dr. Scott Berry

Dr. Scott Berry is a medical oncologist at Toronto-Sunnybrook Regional Cancer Centre and an assistant professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto. He completed his general medical training and medical oncology training at the University of Toronto.

Nominate a Mentor or Mention an Accomplishment for Next Month!

AlinC and WinC provide a platform to increase visibility of great mentors on an international level. If you have someone in mind that has been an important mentor to you or people you know OR if you have achieved a new accomplishment, please email our Project Manager at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Save the Date

Our Annual General Meeting will be held on April 29, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario at Oro Restaurant!

UPCOMING CONFERENCES


San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium
Dec 8-12, 2015 in San Antonio, Texas

10th Canadian Melanoma Conference
Feb 18-21, 2016 in Whistler, BC

ASCO Quality Care Symposium
Feb 26-27, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona

2016 CAMO Annual Scientific Meeting
Apr 28, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario

ASCO Annual Meeting: Collective Wisdom
Jun 3-7, 2015

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Events

Key Oncology Conferences:

  • 5-Sep-2014 to 6-Sep-2014
    ASCO 2014 Breast Cancer Symposium
    San Francisco, California

  • 17-Oct-2014 to 18-Oct-2014
    ASCO Quality Care Symposium
    Boston, MA

  • 21-Nov-2014
    Best of Oncology East 2014
    Toronto, Canada

  • 9-Dec-2014 to 14-Dec-2014
    2014 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium
    San Antonio, Texas

If you would like to promote an event, please email the WinC Project Manager at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..