Dr. John Kehoe is a Memorial Sloan Kettering trained breast cancer surgeon and surgical oncologist. Over two decades ago, he founded and developed a private, full service, free standing breast cancer diagnosis and treatment center.

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“We Can Do It!” – World War II poster

This poster has inspired women in the United States since the 1980s, with its message of strength and its suggestion that women can succeed in a man’s world. Rolling up the sleeve of a men’s type workshirt to flex her bicep, her hair tied out of the way in the iconic red-and-white polka-dot kerchief, glaring at us through long lashes, she is both beautiful and fierce. The poster was originally commissioned by the Westinghouse Electric Corporation, from graphic designer J….

Rock N Roll in the OR

                    There are sounds in the operating room: the clash of instruments, the rhythmic breathing of a patient on a ventilator, the EKG tracing beeping away, the cacophony of laconic orders and requests from the surgeon or the scrub nurse. I suppose every surgeon wants to think he or she is making music while operating—a symphony, a rock opera, a silly little love song, a ballad with deep meaning. The presence of…

Apoptosis–Falling Leaves in Autumn

I loved the word APOPTOSIS when I first heard it applied to cancer treatment. It was the aPOPtosis pronunciation that caught my attention as I imagined cancer cells exploding from chemotherapy and champagne corks aPOPing in celebration. I was so wrong. I still love the word, but its meaning is far less dramatic than I initially thought. Its Greek origin is obvious, but the proper pronunciation erases its onomatopoetic oomph. If the second “p” is silent, as it should be, then…

An Old Italian Man and the Modern Surgeon

The operation didn’t go so well. No big problems or catastrophes, but just a series of small missteps by the staff. Instruments were not in the room, suture material wasn’t on the field, nurses didn’t understand my routines, and my assistant wasn’t too responsive. Granted, it was a new crew and I was patient with them, but we just plodded along with neither rhythm nor efficiency. In the end the operation was a success, but it wasn’t pretty. Annoyed, I…

No Curtain Calls, No Tony Nominations

It is called the operating room. In past times and in some circles it might be called the operating theater. If you are British, you might call it the operating theatre. One has visions of the Thomas Eakins painting “The Agnew Clinic” where an operation–interestingly, a partial mastectomy–plays out in an amphitheater- like setting. We don’t know if it’s “in the round.” The seats are occupied by the surgeon’s colleagues and curious students. The painter even managed to put himself…

The Sorcerer’s Scalpel and Paperboys in Early Morning Hours

  A 7;30 start in the operating room. How I love 7:30 starts. On the highway to the operating room at 6:30. I won’t be late. I respect the hour. The city is still asleep. Not much traffic. It was an easy drive.  I thought about the days of my surgical training. The surgical team would arrive in the hospital by 6 AM for rounds, catching up with the night’s events and planning the needed tasks for the day. Then,…

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