But You Said I Wouldn’t Need Radiation

Abstract

Summary: Participatory care for breast cancer patients requires doctors to do more than simply tell patients about their diagnoses. It’s about communicating effectively so that patients can comprehend complex medical information, make informed treatment decisions, and feel hopeful about the future. After being diagnosed with breast cancer, the average patient consults with as many as six different physicians about a care plan.[¹] The most effective practitioners use patient-centered communication to encourage patients to participate in their care and to reduce hopelessness.[²] Breast cancer survivor and communication skills trainer Stephanie Roberson Barnard tackles this important subject with a personal essay comparing post-mastectomy appointments with two different physicians. Both physicians interpreted the same results, but the first doctor’s communication style left Stephanie anxious and bereft, while the second doctor’s communication style helped her feel informed and hopeful.

Keywords: Breast cancer, patient-centered communication, doctor-patient communication, patient participation.

Citation: Barnard SR. But you said i wouldn’t need radiation. J Participat Med. 2014 Feb 28; 6:e4.

Published: February 28, 2014.

Competing Interests: The author has declared that no competing interests exist.

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