Welcome to My Blog

I thought it might be worthwhile for me to provide some information about my background to put this blog into some perspective.

 

I
am currently the deputy chief medical officer for the American Cancer
Society, and work from the Society’s national home office in Atlanta, GA. 

 

In my usual daily activity, I manage the Cancer Control Science Department at ACS.  I
have the privilege of working with several highly qualified
professionals whose primary responsibilities include the development of
the Society’s well known and widely respected guidelines for the
prevention and early detection of cancer. 

 

In
my role as deputy chief medical officer, I interact with many parts of
our organization including other departments here at our national home
office as well as our divisions throughout the United States.  Sometimes
my contribution can be as simple as providing some advice or background
on a particular issue, or as complex as counseling  someone
who has cancer as to what their treatment options may be or helping
them understand some of the medical information they have been provided
by their physicians.  I also represent the Society in other settings, including projects and programs we conduct with “outside” organizations.

 

My professional activities before I joined the Society in 2001 included 19 years as a practicing physician in Baltimore, MD.  I
started my medical career as an oncologist (at that time, we were one
of the first private oncology practices in the area where chemotherapy
was given to patients in the office), and then decided to change my
focus to primary care internal medicine.  I
made this decision in no small part because I felt that much more could
be done to prevent many diseases rather than treating them once they
had been diagnosed.

 

I have been fortunate during my career to have worked in a variety of other activities as an employee or volunteer.  These experiences have provided me with a broad and somewhat unique overview of medicine and health care related issues. 

 

For
example, I have a long-standing interest in health and public policy
issues. For many years, I have participated in legislative and
regulatory activities on a state and federal level on behalf of various
state and national medical organizations. I remain active in several
medical societies, and currently sit on a committee that helps to set
the national Medicare physician fee schedule.  I
have worked with many media outlets in the past, and currently provide
information to reporters about cancer-related matters on behalf of the
American Cancer Society. 

 

My
goal through these interactions has been to take complicated medical
issues and reports and translate them into something that (hopefully)
is more understandable and practical.  I
also try to put information into a realistic perspective, and do my
best to avoid the “hope and hype” cycle that characterizes so much
medical reporting aimed at the general public.

 

This blog represents one more facet of that effort.  I
anticipate covering a variety of topics that are of interest, including
scientific reports and advances, issues that face cancer patients and
their families, and where I see the larger picture of cancer diagnosis
and treatment today and in the future, among others.  I hope the information useful and informative, and that you find these insights engaging and thoughtful.

3 thoughts on “Welcome to My Blog

  1. My dad has basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. He had lung cancer 11 years ago and they removed his lower left lobe. His sister died of cancer at 37. His brother had prostrate cancer. My dad has basal cell spots burned off nearly every month. He has had Mohs surgery 6 times in the past 2 years. I have pictures of the last 2 times that I could email to you directly. They are awful. There has to be someone out there that can help him live a better life. His face has been bandaged for months….he has had plastic surgery again just last week. Can you help?

    1. I regret that I cannot provide medical advice. You are welcome to contact our cancer information center at 800 227 2345 to discuss your father’s situation. The other consideration is to get a second opinion if you have concerns about his medical condition and how it can be treated. The sad reality–which I have experienced personally–is that although many health professionals say it is simple to treat basal and squamous cell cancers of the skin it can be much more challenging for some patients. Your father appears to be in that category.

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