Facing my fear: telling a cancer patient he was going to die

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gp talking to male patient_oncology news australiaBy Jalal Baig – The Guardian.

I was reluctant to let a young patient know he had aggressive cancer. If there was no rhyme or reason to who got fatally ill, nobody was safe

As a medical oncologist, I often give bad news. My words alter the trajectory of lives once teeming with plans and aspirations.

I should be used to it. But physicians are sometimes vulnerable to the wounds of our patients, even as – or, perhaps, because – we absorb their suffering and seek to provide hope in the direst of circumstances.

There was a patient who came into the hospital with a seemingly basic complaint of back pain. But a CT scan revealed evidence of a more pervasive disease than his symptoms suggested – a multitude of lesions had spread throughout his 40-year-old body. The tumors were in his spine, bones, lungs, liver, bladder and brain, and there was evidence that they could have spread to his heart… read the full story.


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The ONA Editor curates oncology news, views and reviews from Australia and around the world for our readers. In aggregated content, original sources will be acknowledged in the article footer.

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