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Should You Be in Charge of Your Death?

Columnist: Peter Brett, M.D.
Sep, 2018 Issue

As oncologists, we do our best to care for our patients through all phases of their illness. Many times the goal is to optimize the chance that the person we’re treating will be cured and go on to live a long life free of recurrent cancer. Other times, we know that cure is impossible and that our patient will eventually succumb. In that case, the goal is to help the patient live as good a quality of life as possible for as long as possible.

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Does the Thought of Death Impact How You Live?

Columnist: Peter Brett, M.D.
Jun, 2018 Issue

This is supposed to be a column on living, but sometimes you gain a new appreciation for something when you contrast it with its opposite—in this case, dying. The truth is you never really know what you have until it’s gone. And death is certainly all around us, making life seem pretty scary. How many news stories detail deaths, often untimely and tragic, and sometimes gruesome? Reading about deaths in the news can give you a skewed idea of why we die, and that can affect the way we live.

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Should You Hesitate Before Reaching for the Pinot

Columnist: Peter Brett, M.D.
Mar, 2018 Issue

We’re at a nice restaurant, and the couple sitting at the table next to ours is clearly enjoying their dinner, but especially their wine. They’ve spent at least 10 minutes poring over the wine list, and when the waitress brings over the bottle of Williams-Selyem 2014 Pinot Noir to their table, their eyes light up. They savor every aspect, commenting on the hints of dark cherry, nutmeg, and faded rose—the power, the finish, the polish and grace of the wine.

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So What Causes Cancer Anyway

Author: Peter Brett, M.D.
Dec, 2017 Issue

I met Maura Johnston two months ago. (Her name and patient details have been altered to protect anonymity.) She was an intriguing person, but what was most interesting was it seemed she\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'d done everything “right” in her life, which I find unusual. She\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'d grown up in the Bay Area with a supportive family, attended college and holds a challenging and rewarding job in marketing for a winery. Now 42, she has a loving husband and two daughters, ages 6 and 8.  Maura gets up early every morning to run four to five miles before heading to work. She had smoked “two cigarettes” in college, none since.  She enjoyed a glass of wine a few times a week, never more. No one in her family was ever diagnosed with cancer.

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In this Issue

Rebuilding: Sonoma County Housing Sites

Take a spin through Santa Rosa’s Coffey Park neighborhood and you’ll see what recovery and resiliency look like. Efforts to rebuild thousands of lost homes have ramped up to full speed i...

Fighting Fire With Forethought

As new homes rise in North Bay neighborhoods leveled by fire, it appears life is slowly returning to normal. There is, however, a factor we cannot underestimate: the ever-present risk that comes wit...

Rohnert Park Renaissance

For decades, the city of Rohnert Park has longed for a downtown. Rotary president, Pat Miller remembers moving to Rohnert Park with her boyfriend, now husband, in 1978, and finding disappointment....

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