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.

Disclaimer: The names of providers have been changed for this article. The Waiting Game When my husband, David, and I arrive at the General Surgeon Dr. Alberts’s office for our appointment, [...] continue the story

Guard That Goal

By Dan Hennessey

At age 49, happily married and the father of two girls, prostate cancer was the last thing on my mind. My work as a realtor kept me on the go day and night, and I stayed fit playing hockey and golf and running. But some things seem to catch up to you no matter your age or lifestyle. The new doctor in my life, Dr. Andrew Humphrey, noticed that I hadn’t had the dreaded annual rectal exam in a few years. This test saved my life, I believe, but also changed it forever. Dr. Humphrey was quick to refer me to a urologist, Dr. Greg Bailly, who sent me for a biopsy.

All this occurred early in December 2005. But with Christmas approaching, the results would have to wait until January 2006. This holiday was one to remember, with thoughts of what the future might bring always on my mind.

The day I received the call from Dr. Bailly telling me that I had prostate cancer, my wife was away on business and I was at home with our one-year-old. Thoughts spun around in my head: Wasn’t this something that older men got? How fast can we get this thing [...] continue the story