Saturday, November 3, 2012

How To Tell Patients They Have Breast Cancer

October is the celebration of life and cancer of the breast awareness month globally. This celebration is not only given significance by patients, survivors and their families and friends, but as well as medical practitioners and staff of Cancer alternative treatment centers. There are a lot of screening tests available to detect early breast cancer like self and clinical breast exams, mammogram and X-Rays.
We must take some considerations before; during and after delivering the sad news to them and breast cancer alternative treatment specialists helped us in explaining the following:
They have an idea what you're going to say. The primary reason why they asked for help and consulted is they wanted to be aware of status of their health. So they pretty much have an idea of what to expect. A different approach is needed for certain situations like patients who just wanted to have a general checkup and for patients rushed due to an emergency.
It's either bad or good news. If the individual is negative for breast cancer, it's much simpler delivering very good news. On the other hand be extra mindful and gentle in delivering the news that he/she is positive with this particular dreaded disease.
Avoid Medical Jargon. We ought to explain the cause, condition and cure by simplifying words and detailing it meticulously and precisely. Keep in mind that we're dealing with the second killer cancer globally (next to lung cancer) and not just any complication. We should not mix up words in order to avoid confusion.
Consult their family members first. For checkup and consultation situations, the patient ought to be informed as quickly as possible and it is their choice whether to disclose that information to their families and friends. But for emergency situations wherein the patient was rushed and was just diagnosed, it should be advised by the attending medical staff (the doctor to be very exact) to the immediate family about the situation of the patient.
Use reassuring statements. Medical practitioners should advise the patient and/or their loved ones the 3C's (cause, condition and cure) of the said condition. Upon conveying the disease's cause and condition, we should soon after make clear to them the cure. Assure them there exists alternative treatment for breast cancer as well as other options. Additionally, explain how much it might cost to prepare them not just emotionally but financially as well.
Second opinion doesn't mean you don't know what you do as a practitioner. It doesn't imply that you aren't sure that which you have figured out should you refer your patients to other specialists. Tell them that it is also their right as a patient to search for another opinion. It would not give them false hope, but instead it would allow them to have the reassurance that your findings truly are trustworthy.
Always give curative options. We should say to patients, their family and friends the latest innovation in breast cancer research and treatment procedures from cancer experts and oncologists, up to alternate breast cancer treatment nowadays.
It's not easy trying to explain to someone that they are in a situation where most people lose their lives, lose a part of their body, leave them broke, and almost make them give up. But why don't we also provide them with hope and sufficient information that there are still a large number of survivors from breast cancer who stood up and struggled against their disease not only for themselves but for their family. Let's start getting the news out especially the importance of breast self-exam and other early detection exams for breast cancer.

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