After cancer has been diagnosed, the patient or a relative frequently asks for an opinion as to the probable outcome of the treatment that has been recommended. It is to be expected that the doctor concerned will have already asked himself the same question. In some favourable cases the result will clearly be good; in others, less favourable, the future is very uncertain and much will depend on the response to treatment; whilst in the worst group death must inevitably supervene before long. The opinion expressed must obviously be somewhat guarded in respect of the middle group, and all practising in the field of cancer must have been surprised on occasion by the behaviour of patients both in the first and last groups. After the successful completion of the planned treatment the same question will probably be put once again, and often, the precise nature and limits of the tumour having been defined or its early response to radiotherapy been observed, a more accurate answer can be given. In all cases it is important that at this stage a near relative of the patient be told the truth, whether palatable or not, but to what extent the patient should be told will depend on many factors. (Some of them are discussed in the chapter on the Psychological Aspects of Cancer).
KeywordsSuccessful Completion Psychological Aspect Involve Lymph Node Favourable Case Middle Group
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.