#LCSM Chat Topic 04/11/2019: Why research matters for lung cancer

It’s easy to understand the importance of lung cancer education and advocacy.  Of COURSE we should help patients and caregivers learn more about different types of lung cancer, biomarker testing, and treatment options.  Of course we should help them come together, to raise their voices, to make the general public understand the terrible toll lung cancer extracts from individuals and society, to combat stigma and nihilism. But what about research?  Some people suggest research isn’t as important as education or advocacy. They ask, “But what does research actually do for today’s patients?”… Read More

#LCSM Chat Topic 03/07: Biomarker Magicians (or, Why We Love Pathologists)

Diagnosing the type of lung cancer from a tissue or liquid biopsy is absolutely critical to selecting treatment and determining the patient’s prognosis. However, for many lung cancer patients and their families, the role of tumor tissue in their diagnosis is a mystery. What happens to tissue collected in a biopsy? How is it analyzed? What is involved in getting helpful answers from biomarker testing? The specialized doctors responsible for answering these questions are pathologists.  They identify any lung cancer cells in the biopsied tissue, and guide the patient’s biomarker testing. Unfortunately,… Read More

#LCSM Chat Topic 2019-02-07: Is it worth the drive?

Unfortunately, you just got diagnosed with cancer.  You and your family are desperately trying to figure out where to go and which doctor to see.  But how far are you willing to go?  Can you be more confident in your diagnosis, decrease your complications, and improve your chances of survival if you drive a little farther, past your local hospital, to a specialized center that treats a higher volume of cancer patients?  What would it take for you, the patient, to go that extra distance? Seminal surgical studies have described a “volume… Read More