Is "Don't worry" the best thing you can say to a cancer patient?

A cancer patient hears a lot of “Everything’s going to be fine…don’t worry” The reaction is a reflex. "Don't worry" is intentioned to bring hope and comfort to the patient. However it probably lowers the comforter's anxiety more than it does the patient's. The latter is probably thinking ”I have cancer, how can I not worry? Do you not get it?” If the word cancer doesn’t bring worry, you're probably still in denial. Every cancer patient will have worries. The immediate worry on diagnosis is " Cancer? Am I going to die? now ..later? ” Even when the prognosis is good, the treatments demand a sizable commitment of time, emotion, energy and money. There’s suddenly a lot to get done and everyd

Breast Cancer Myths

​ ​Social media platforms are a great way to improve health awareness. However most circulating messages and emails, contain information that has not been reviewed by reliable sources. Often search engines direct surfers to blogs and patient forums that are simply personal anecdotes and often misguiding. I caution patients against making any health related decisions based on such information. It can be life-threatening to be misled. Be Breast-Aware but also Beware of myths. Here are some common misconceptions about breast cancer. Myth 1) If A Breast Lump Is Not Painful, It Can't be Cancer. Most breast cancers present as painless lumps in the breast. The lack of pain is common reason women d

I've Completed Cancer Treatments, Will I be ok? Probably? Maybe?

There’s an expected a sense of relief after completion of cancer treatments. You’ve fought and you’ve endured. It’s been a few months of intense physical and emotional exercise. One would hope for a celebration that says, “You did it… you’re cured.” Unfortunately that’s almost never the case. A gnawing question lingers at the back of almost every cancer patients mind, “What if it comes back?” Fear of recurrence is not unfounded…its real. “Is it really gone?” “Will it come back some day? and if so.. when?” “Is this little spot, a sign of the cancer coming back?” During active treatments there’s a whole bunch of doctors around who you could direct these doubts to. Once treatment is complete ho

Genetic Testing for Breast Cancer

​Genetic Testing for breast cancer in India was heretofore limited the high cost of patented tests, need to ship samples overseas and social stigma towards genetic disease. Recent emergence of new technology such as next generation sequencing and local presence of genetic labs has brought down costs considerably. Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie’s story in the media brought a lot of public interest and debate to the topic. Patient interest in the topic is higher than it has been. Meaningful dialogue about genetic testing is still hindered because of misconceptions amongst patients, unfamiliarity of general practitioners with these tests and commercial interests of companies offering testing.

Copyright 2020. All rights reserved by Dr. Pranjali Gadgil

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