Dr. Len's Cancer Blog

Expert perspective, insight and discussion

Dr. Len's Cancer Blog

The American Cancer Society

Welcome to My Blog

by Dr. Len September 09, 2005

I thought it might be worthwhile for me to provide some information about my background to put this blog into some perspective.


I am currently the deputy chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society, and work from the Society’s national home office in Atlanta, GA. 


In my usual daily activity, I manage the Cancer Control Science Department at ACS.  I have the privilege of working with several highly qualified professionals whose primary responsibilities include the development of the Society’s well known and widely respected guidelines for the prevention and early detection of cancer. 


In my role as deputy chief medical officer, I interact with many parts of our organization including other departments here at our national home office as well as our divisions throughout the United States.  Sometimes my contribution can be as simple as providing some advice or background on a particular issue, or as complex as counseling  someone who has cancer as to what their treatment options may be or helping them understand some of the medical information they have been provided by their physicians.  I also represent the Society in other settings, including projects and programs we conduct with “outside” organizations.


My professional activities before I joined the Society in 2001 included 19 years as a practicing physician in Baltimore, MD.  I started my medical career as an oncologist (at that time, we were one of the first private oncology practices in the area where chemotherapy was given to patients in the office), and then decided to change my focus to primary care internal medicine.  I made this decision in no small part because I felt that much more could be done to prevent many diseases rather than treating them once they had been diagnosed.


I have been fortunate during my career to have worked in a variety of other activities as an employee or volunteer.  These experiences have provided me with a broad and somewhat unique overview of medicine and health care related issues. 


For example, I have a long-standing interest in health and public policy issues. For many years, I have participated in legislative and regulatory activities on a state and federal level on behalf of various state and national medical organizations. I remain active in several medical societies, and currently sit on a committee that helps to set the national Medicare physician fee schedule.  I have worked with many media outlets in the past, and currently provide information to reporters about cancer-related matters on behalf of the American Cancer Society. 


My goal through these interactions has been to take complicated medical issues and reports and translate them into something that (hopefully) is more understandable and practical.  I also try to put information into a realistic perspective, and do my best to avoid the “hope and hype” cycle that characterizes so much medical reporting aimed at the general public.


This blog represents one more facet of that effort.  I anticipate covering a variety of topics that are of interest, including scientific reports and advances, issues that face cancer patients and their families, and where I see the larger picture of cancer diagnosis and treatment today and in the future, among others.  I hope the information useful and informative, and that you find these insights engaging and thoughtful.

Filed Under:


9/22/2005 9:25:50 AM #

Chris Dover

Great to see others in the ACS blogging.

Chris Dover

About Dr. Len

Dr. Len

J. Leonard Lichtenfeld, MD, MACP - Dr. Lichtenfeld is Deputy Chief Medical Officer for the national office of the American Cancer Society.