The Future of Oncology with Dr. Mark Lewis
At its root, oncology is about having empathetic and candid conversations that guide patients towards taking the best path of care. Having been diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumor early in his career, Dr. Mark Lewis has developed a clear perspective on cancer care that is informed by his experience as both a patient and as an oncologist. Today, we speak with Mark to gain an insight into the future of oncology and hear his view on the field as the Director of Gastrointestinal Oncology for the Intermountain Healthcare System.
We open our conversation by exploring Mark’s background and how both he and his father’s cancer diagnoses have placed hereditary cancer syndromes on center stage. After chatting about how genetics can impact illness, he unpacks how the setting in which patients are diagnosed and treated impacts their understanding of their disease. Linked to this, we talk about the controversy surrounding genetic testing products before looking at the benefits of these tests. While reflecting on how quickly the medical field is evolving, we touch on how Mark keeps up with innovation, the problem of how both broad and specialized cancer treatment is, and how you can best judge the merit of new research.
Later, we discuss the physical and psychological damage that can be caused by cancer screening, why Mark so strongly believes in screening for colon cancer, and the issue that oncologists are becoming too strained. We wrap up our informative discussion by hearing about the role of AI within oncology and the improvements that Mark hopes to see within the next decade. Tune in to hear Mark’s balanced take on the future of oncology.
Key Points From This Episode:
- Mark shares details about his background and family history with cancer.
- The frictions within the medical community about how genetics influence illness.
- Why direct-to-consumer genotyping products seem to have under-delivered.
- Reflecting on the importance of being honest with your patients.
- What investors, patients, and practitioners can do to keep up with innovation.
- Exploring the challenges of separating good research from bad research.
- Weighing up the dangers of screening with its benefits.
- The need for patient therapeutic support when performing diagnostic tests.
- Hear why now is such a critical time in the development of imaging and testing.
- Why early intervention is so important when treating cancer.
- Bridging the gap between cutting edge research and actual medical practice.
- Mark’s view that the future of medicine will be informed by genetics.
- Unpacking the growing problems within the field of oncology.
- The role that AI plays within oncology.
- What diagnostic improvements Mark hopes to see within the next decade.