Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: lung cancer

  • The man shackled on 4 Northwest

    Andria AlbertTucson, Arizona, United States In one of the patient rooms tucked into the Northwest (NW) wing of the fourth floor of the hospital, there lay a particular man. Upon walking into his room, you would find nothing extraordinary about him. He is young, early thirties, with a head full of curly brown hair and…

  • Metastases

    A CXR of a person with lung cancer causing superior vena cava syndrome. Photo by James Heilman, MD. Via Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 3.0. Paul Rousseau Charleston, South Carolina, United States   The fact Is they are there, gathered like a clutter of popcorn, some kernels, others fluffy white swirls, but they are there, bound to…

  • The sleep of doctors

    Barry MeisenbergAnnapolis, Maryland, United States The gods who rule 2AM summon the doctor from sleep to the sequestered place where the veneer of unearned pride is bleached away. You forgot to re-order a sodium level on the whiskered old fisherman with lung cancer. It was low last week and might be lower tomorrow. He looked…

  • Occupational lung malignancies: Role of malachite

    Tamas F. MolnarKatalin AknaiHungary To this very day, malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) remains a serious oncologic, public health, and industrial challenge, a fatal disease in which standard chemotherapy with or without radiotherapy has done little to increase the chance of survival.1-6 While the role of asbestos exposure in the pathogenesis of the disease is seemingly…

  • Monet’s illnesses: Beyond cataracts

    Sally Metzler Chicago, Illinois, USA   Fig. 1: Claude Monet, Apple Trees in Blossom, 1872, Union League Club of Chicago. Fig. 2: Claude Monet, The Japanese Footbridge, ca. 1922, Modern Museum of Art New York. No other artist in the world is more beloved than Claude Monet (1840-1926), the father of French Impressionism. From Shanghai…

  • Shostakovich and his mysterious neurologic disease

    For most of his life Dmitri Shostakovich lived under the shadow of Joseph Stalin, the brutal dictator of the Soviet Union. In 1936, Stalin and some members of the Politburo attended a performance of Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. Stalin did not like it. The next day, the opera was criticized, denounced, and ridiculed in…

  • On your doctor’s orders

    Alexandria SzalanczyWinston-Salem, North Carolina, United States Long before physicians faced a nation crippled by an opioid crisis, their predecessors lived and worked in a nation dominated by cigarettes. By 1953, 47% of Americans smoked cigarettes, including half of all physicians.1 These physician smokers were particularly instrumental to the rise of the cigarette in America. Beginning…

  • A love story

    Kate RowlandChicago, Illinois, United States “Is that her partner in there with her?” Ankita, a second-year resident, and I had just finished seeing a new patient, Marian. Marian’s detailed problem list had required an equally detailed visit, and Ankita had addressed her urgent issues: uncontrolled diabetes, cirrhosis, and stage 3 congestive heart failure. As a…

  • Three Visits

    Anthony PapagiannisThessaloniki, Greece Prelude She rings at the recommendation of a colleague who knows my interest in lung cancer and palliative care. “It is about my father, doctor.” I suggest that she brings me his films and tests for a briefing before I get to meet him. We arrange an appointment, and she comes with…

  • Humanism in medicine

    Annie YehLouisiana, New Orleans, USA As medical students, we are taught the “art of medicine” and the importance of gathering a thorough patient history. “Ninety percent of your diagnosis comes from the history,” we are told. And to do so, we must establish a rapport with our patients. We enter the lives of patients at…