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« Cancer-Colored Glasses | Main | Temporary Friends »

December 06, 2009


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My husband has a cousin who was diagnosed with breast cancer and was choosing an "alternative treatment route". I completely disagreed with her decision but it's her journey. Her family was all over her and I tried very hard to help them understand that she has to go with what she thinks is the best decision for her. Not for me or for them, but for her.

Amazing how difficult that can be to have people understand isn't it?

Kairol Rosenthal

I butt against this problem often. For me, I try to evaluate whether the newly diagnosed patient has all of the information about the benefits of conventional treatment. Or in the case of a close family friend, does she understand the difference in survival rates for her cancer between being treated at the crappy local hospital six blocks from her house vs. being treated at an NCI center three miles from her house?

I do find kind ways to tell others how their odds at survival are increased by taking proven treatments or by getting care at NCI centers. What they do with that information is up to them. I know when to give my opinion and after that I back away and just give them love.

I do not have respect for unintelligent decisions that people make about their care. And I do judge these decisions. However, I realize to each their own and there are plenty of patients who put other values above intelligence when deciding their course of care. I still love the person, wish them well, and give them my support in their battle.

Great topic as always!


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