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Reuters

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Charlie Ornstein of ProPublica and Reuters' Chris Kirkham talk strategy.
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The trade in human body parts in still rife with problems, 17 years after the Orange County Register detailed the horrors in "The Body Brokers" series. A new Reuters investigation provides a gruesome update.
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Debra Sherman died Tuesday of lung cancer after more than a year of living with the disease. She spent her final days sharing what she learned about cancer with readers.

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The most recent employment report from the U.S. Labor Department showed the job market remained tough in January. If it’s difficult for healthy individuals to get a job, what is it like for cancer survivors?

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In my last blog post, I wrote about pain and addiction, and quoted my palliative care doctor. Some readers took that to mean that I am at the end of the road, so to speak, since I am calling for palliative care. No, I’m not! (At least I hope I’m not.)

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I was a bit surprised by how readily this new physician I visited agreed to prescribe more pain medication for me. My previous experience before I was a cancer patient was that doctors were unwilling to prescribe highly addictive drugs — but they weren’t palliative care doctors, like him.

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At a time when there are so many vital questions to ask, and research budgets everywhere are under attack, I wonder why well-meaning researchers pick obvious questions to ask. Is it easier to get funding? Are they cheaper to execute? Is the bar lower?

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The oncologist is the person who will look after my cancer for the rest of my life, however long it lasts. I need to trust him or her implicitly. Just for starters, I need to trust the treatments prescribed for me will work, even if they make me feel sicker than I felt in the first place.

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Lung cancer is the most virulent killer, but there is a big difference between being diagnosed with lung cancer and, say, cancers of the breast, skin or prostate. People who contract those cancers do not face the inevitable question, “Did you smoke?” or put another way, "Isn't it your own fault?"

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Many say the only justice that will get Big Pharma's attention is frog marching the CEOs off to prison and/or cutting them off from their lucrative public trough of Medicare, Medicaid and military health programs.

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