CalvertHealth Blog

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  • Food, Glorious Food

    Kenneth L Abbott, MD, FACP  |  6/21/2022

    And you thought this was going to be about the musical “Oliver!” Some other time, perhaps. Few persons who visit this blog have likely heard of an Italian Renaissance painter named Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1526-1593) , but there’s an ...

  • Three Years On

    Kenneth L Abbott, MD, FACP  |  6/7/2022

    My last post to this blog drew attention to the annual observance of National Cancer Survivors Day. As I type these words on my laptop, it is the evening of June fifth, which provides an occasion to reflect on my own experience wi...

  • National Cancer Survivors Day Is June Fifth

    Kenneth L Abbott, MD, FACP  |  5/31/2022

    Music can define an era. To this day, swing and the big band sound evoke the 1940s. Groups such as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones led the British Invasion of the 1960s. For better or worse, the music of the later 1970s was dis...

  • How Worrisome Is My Melanoma?

    Kenneth L Abbott, MD, FACP  |  5/25/2022

    Not every case of malignant melanoma is alike. Depending on the specific characteristics of the disease as it presents in an individual human being, it can be more or (to a degree) less dangerous. Health care providers consider se...

  • What a Dermatologist Wants You to Know About Melanoma

    Kenneth L Abbott, MD, FACP  |  5/9/2022

    My good friend and colleague, Dr. Faris Hawit, a board-certified dermatologist and Mohs micrographic surgeon who has practiced in Calvert County for several years, has graciously consented to sit down with me and field a few quest...

  • Melanoma Awareness Month

    Kenneth L Abbott, MD, FACP  |  5/3/2022

    The poet T. S. Eliot famously wrote, “April is the cruelest month.” Although this is the first line of his most enigmatic poem, “The Waste Land,” which laments loss and destruction in the wake of the First World War, he proceeds t...

  • Heard It On the Radio

    Kenneth L Abbott, MD, FACP  |  4/21/2022

    As part of Calvert Health System’s efforts in March to promote awareness about colorectal cancer, my colleague Dr. Arati Patel recently spoke as a guest expert on the “T-Bone and Heather” morning radio show on Star 98.3. For about...

  • Compassionate Competence

    Kenneth L Abbott, MD, FACP  |  4/14/2022

    Several weeks ago, I noted in this space the recent conferring of the DAISY (“Diseases Attacking the Immune SYstem”) Award on the CHMC Infusion Center, the first such award in the organization to a team rather than an individual. ...

  • Treats without Tricks, Please

    Kenneth L Abbott, MD, FACP  |  4/12/2022

    What does it mean to treat a disease? The simplest sense is to restore normal health, to “fix” what is wrong, to make the disease go away and not come back, as if it had never been present at all. Sometimes medicine can do that; a...

  • As Ye Sew…

    Kenneth L Abbott, MD, FACP  |  3/31/2022

    I continue our annual focus on colorectal cancer by writing about a little-known physician who contributed greatly to the growth in knowledge over the past century of family patterns of cancer development. If you have never heard ...

  • Move ‘Em On, Head ‘Em Up

    Kenneth L Abbott, MD, FACP  |  3/22/2022

    The 1950s and 1960s were the heyday of the classic western, both in the movies and on television. The great John Ford directed epic films such as The Searchers , and the “spaghetti westerns” of Sergio Leone made an international s...

  • Cancer and the Telephone Game

    Kenneth L Abbott, MD, FACP  |  3/16/2022

    Raise your hand if you have ever played the “telephone game.” Form a line or circle with a sizeable group of people—a dozen or so, at least—and hand the first person a modestly complicated sentence. This person whispers the senten...

  • More on Awareness of Colorectal Cancer

    Kenneth L Abbott, MD, FACP  |  3/9/2022

    Colorectal cancer is one of those good news-bad news situations in modern oncology. The good news is that over the past 30 years deaths from colorectal cancer have declined steadily, in large measure because of effective (when uti...

  • March Is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

    Kenneth L Abbott, MD, FACP  |  3/1/2022

    As body parts go, the colon and rectum lack glamor and appeal. They’re not likely to win any popularity polls or beauty contests. Usually, the only time you hear mention of them or their function is when someone wants to sell you ...

  • Sugar, Sugar

    Kenneth L Abbott, MD, FACP  |  2/25/2022

    As fictious rock bands go, The Archies did all right for themselves (my apologies if I shattered any cherished illusions in my fellow Boomers/Busters). In 1969, the band claimed the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 year-end chart...

  • DAISY Award for CHMC Main Infusion Center

    Kenneth L Abbott, MD, FACP  |  2/18/2022

    Successful delivery of quality cancer health care requires the participation of many people: office receptionists, medical assistants, laboratory personnel, radiology technicians, pharmacists, and physician extenders, among others...

  • I Will Do Remembering!

    Kenneth L Abbott, MD, FACP  |  2/11/2022

    I indulge an occasional habit of scouring YouTube for scenes from old movies, particularly the classic musicals. A week or so ago, my mental filing system kicked up “Shall We Dance”—don’t ask me why, I just go with it—so, with the...

  • There’s No Place Like Home

    Kenneth L Abbott, MD, FACP  |  2/8/2022

    The oncology service at CHMC dedicates itself to providing the highest quality of care to our family members, neighbors, and friends dealing with cancer in Calvert County and the surrounding communities. While we are grateful for ...

  • World Cancer Day | February 4, 2022

    Kenneth L Abbott, MD, FACP  |  1/31/2022

    Many groups and organizations dedicate themselves to achieving progress in the ongoing fight against cancer. One such organization of longstanding importance to the cancer care community is the Union for International Cancer Contr...

  • You Don’t Have to Walk Alone

    Kenneth L Abbott, MD, FACP  |  1/25/2022

    Imagine hiking through an unfamiliar forest. Which is better? To try to blaze a useable path through the underbrush, hacking away with a machete or ax, stumbling over uneven ground, blocked by large fallen tree trunks, confronted ...

  • Games of Chance?

    Kenneth L Abbott, MD, FACP  |  1/18/2022

    One of the most frequently asked questions that follow receiving a cancer diagnosis never appears on FAQ lists: Why me? In a small space like this, I cannot begin to answer this question on its deepest, most profound level, nor is...

  • Making Your Life Care Wishes Known

    Kenneth L Abbott, MD, FACP  |  1/3/2022

    How can you think about and make important decisions about the kind of cancer care you want? What about other, often equally important, matters? This is where having that good and reliable information I have mentioned before comes...

  • Grappling with Reality

    Kenneth L Abbott, MD, FACP  |  12/27/2021

    In this two-part post, I tie together some ideas I introduced in earlier pieces, specifically encouragement to ask questions, to learn as much about your illness and its treatment as you want or need to know in order to understand...

  • This Is Not Your Cousin’s Roommate’s Cancer, Either

    Kenneth L Abbott, MD, FACP  |  12/12/2021

    My previous post on the dramatic changes that have taken place in cancer care over the past 30 years was longer than most I’ve written so far. I could have written a good deal more. Long blog posts tend to lose reader interest, ho...

  • This Is Not Your Grandmother’s Cancer

    Kenneth L Abbott, MD, FACP  |  11/30/2021

    When I reflect back on nearly thirty years of clinical experience in medical oncology, the most striking feature is how different our approach to cancer care is today compared to what I encountered when I entered into specialty tr...

  • The Death of the Humoral Theory of Disease

    Kenneth L Abbott, MD, FACP  |  11/23/2021

    When last we left the humoral theory of disease, it had survived the debunking efforts of Vesalius and Baillie. Black bile might not exist, but investigators found other body fluids besides blood, phlegm, and yellow bile to take i...

  • Early Ideas about Cancer

    Kenneth L Abbott, MD, FACP  |  11/16/2021

    Humanity and cancer are old adversaries. The earliest descriptions of the disease appear in ancient Egyptian manuscripts, perhaps some four thousand years old. The author catalogued his experience with many kinds of disease and li...

  • Ship Ahoy!

    Kenneth L Abbott, MD, FACP  |  11/10/2021

    Engaging the health care system often feels like travel to an exotic foreign country. The setting is unfamiliar, different from home comforts. Most of the people encountered are strangers. The smells and sounds are strange, too. T...

  • The Symphony of the Human Body

    Kenneth L Abbott, MD, FACP  |  10/28/2021

    One fine, long-anticipated evening, you and your equally well-dressed partner settle into your plush red-velvet front row balcony seats. A hum of excited expectation fills the theater. The eye gorges on rich brocades and exquisite...

  • What Is Hematology?

    Kenneth L Abbott, MD, FACP  |  10/19/2021

    Hematology is the medical specialty having to do with the study and treatment of diseases of the blood and the organs that make blood cells; the word derives from the Greek “haima,” which has come over into American English as the...

  • What Is Oncology?

    Kenneth L Abbott, MD, FACP  |  10/11/2021

    Practically everyone remembers from high school that words ending in “ology” have to do with the study of something, joined to some Greek or Latin root word that specifies the subject. Biology is the study of “bios” or life, for e...

  • Oncology Thoughts with Dr. Abbott

    Kenneth L Abbott, MD, FACP  |  10/7/2021

    Clear and useful communication has been called “the heart of the art of medicine.” More than just being a pleasing rhyme, this expression conveys a vital truth. Effective communication provides the key that ignites the engine of s...