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A Piece of My Mind
May 16, 2017


Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
JAMA. 2017;317(19):1953-1954. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.0629

A tooth is much more to be prized than a diamond.

Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote

Adam possessed the look of a performance athlete who was slipping comfortably into middle age. He always greeted me with a hearty double-fisted handshake. “I’m not giving up on this, Doc. It’s just wrong. You’ll back me, right?”

“Of course,” I responded, although we both knew he was facing an uphill battle.

He remained very active—running outdoors or swimming most days—although the effects of the long-ago radiation therapy to his skull base for nasopharyngeal cancer had ruined his balance and had forced him from the tennis courts.