Dental Education on Oral and Oropharyngeal Cancer

The International Federation of Head and Neck Oncologic Societies (IFHNOS) 5th Annual Conference was held in NYC earlier this week. Over 3,500 medical professionals in head and neck oncology representing 65 countries were in attendance. The conference celebrated the 100th anniversary of  the Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Head and Neck services. The keynote speaker was Michael Douglas (15 min presentation on YouTube) …

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Dental Implants Are “Cosmetic” After Head and Neck Cancer

I had one molar pulled before starting radiation for stage IV oral cancer. Over the years, I’ve had two more molars extracted.  When I called my insurance company to find out if they will cover dental implants, they said they would only cover dentures. Why? ‘Implants are cosmetic.’ I didn’t occur to me to ask if they cover breast reconstruction after …

Oral Cancer Strikes CEO of JPMorgan

Jamie Dimon who earned a bonus of 20 million dollars in 2013 as the CEO of JPMorgan, publicly announced his diagnosis of oral cancer. To be more specific, his cancer is at the back of the throat so technically it’s oropharyngeal cancer. Most oropharyngeal cancers are HPV+. HPV loves the tonsillar crypts and the base of the tongue. ‘Oral Cancer’ …

Communicating with Patients

Assessing competency and skills in relating and communicating to patients is not a requirement for graduating medical school. Can giving doctors a script for empathy actually make them more empathetic? In a New York Times article on the subject, a doctor comments on taking a course about communicating with patients: “This has really helped me in my practice and has …

Medical Mistakes

Medical errors happen sometimes. Linda Kenney almost died because of a simple medical mistake. The emotional impact on her healthcare providers were never addressed so she founded MITSS (Medically Induced Trauma Support Services) to help prevent medical mistakes and provide support for all those involved. The year I attended an MITSS conference in Boston, I heard Dr. Nancy Snyderman speak. …