I am about to retire from active clinical practice as a Medical Oncologist after thirty-four years of taking care of cancer patients. This is a good time for me to reflect on the changes in cancer care over that period. In some ways they have been revolutionary, in others disappointing.
As a trainee in the mid 1970’s I had few tools at my disposal. There was only one CAT scanner in all of Boston, where I trained as a fellow, and it only scanned the head. Body CAT scanners had not been invented and there was no MRI. How did we figure out what was wrong with people? Frankly I have no idea. The staging of cancer must have been a good guess only.