A physician's heart may be in the right place while reassuring a patient, "Don't worry. It'll be nothing." Unfortunately, trying to spare patients worry during evaluations can backfire. Patients who are reassured and then find out they have a serious illness may suffer from...Read More
In my last post, I used the example of a false alarm to illustrate how joy can come out of illness. That wasn't the best example, given how the joyful relief of a false alarm can be mixed with anger, embarrassment, self-doubt and other uncomfortable emotions.Read More
I don't like that I got cancer. Still, many good things have come out of the illness experience. Many joyful moments have happened because of my illness.Read More
I must have been quite a sight, hobbling from display to display on crutches while taking my med-school anatomy final. I remember thinking how much I hated those crutches. Almost forty years later, I rely on a variety of crutches to manage aftereffects of past cancer therapies and (how great to write this) the effects of aging. I love each and every crutch.Read More
I'm reading a popular new book that lambasts screening tests and the medical community that recommends them. Meanwhile, I just read an article put out by the University of Missouri, reporting "A team led by University of Missouri psychological science researchers has determined that patients may want cancer screenings even if the potential harms outweigh the benefits."
What is going on? Why would anyone abandon effective cancer screening tests? Why would anyone want screening tests they've been told are harmful and not helpful?Read More