Hard Questions

Hard Questions

Illusion of options

Advances have exploded; it’s an exciting time to be learning and practicing. And yet, we are still gently holding hands and saying that we have no...

Hard Questions

Dear Marisol

I know you don’t remember me. We met when you were just a baby. Now that you’re older, I want to tell you a story about your mom you may not know...

Hard Questions

Doctor, will you please lie to me?

Looking for hope in the face of terrible news is a common reaction. It’s natural. We tend to be optimists, and we look for a silver lining. We...

Hard Questions

Charity case

I deliver a lot of bad news in oncology, but I usually get to blame the disease. What I hate perhaps even more is the other type of bad news: We...

Hard Questions

Aftermath

It was Marty who showed me, early in my career, what happens after leukemia. I frequently see related issues in my patients now, and I credit...

Hard Questions

Gatekeeper

Many people with metastatic cancer say they wouldn’t want invasive treatment near the end of life. But how do we know when it’s the end?

Hard Questions

Information overload

Once a patient hears “cancer,” they often stop listening. We could go on, spelling out the next steps and treatment options. But patients usually...

Hard Questions

The oncologist’s dilemma

What do you do when the evidence doesn’t line up with the patient’s wishes?

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