Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 143–146 | Cite as

Persisting differences in truth telling throughout the world

  • Antonella SurboneEmail author

This issue of our journal presents two articles [13, 24] that deal with different aspects of truth telling to the cancer patient. The article by Culha Atesci et al. [13] examines the psychiatric distress in 117 patients from Turkey admitted for chemotherapy of early stage cancers. The authors find a higher level of distress among those patients who were aware of their cancer diagnosis—an observation contradicted by many Western studies [14]. The authors acknowledge that other patient-related factors and disease and treatment variables, as well as social and environmental elements, may have contributed to the higher psychiatric morbidity.

My interest in this commentary, however, is the issue of truth-telling attitudes and practices throughout the world. This article reports a rate of cancer awareness of less than 50%. Moreover, most of the informed patients had guessed their diagnosis from the treatment side effects, while only 14.5% had received full information from their physicians....


Cancer Diagnosis Communication Skill Cultural Identity Psychiatric Morbidity Western Model 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MedicineNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA

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