Hard Questions

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?

Hard Questions

When is the right time to stop treatment?

Patients often face a trade-off of more suffering with a small chance at remission, versus accepting no chance of cure but feeling well for as...

Hard Questions

Am I going to die?

In the debut column of Hard Questions, Dr. Ilana Yurkiewicz explores thorny issues of patient care as she pursues her hematology and oncology...