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Dealing with cancer recurrence 

Dealing with cancer recurrence
Chapter:
Dealing with cancer recurrence
Author(s):

Lidia Schapira

and Lauren Goldstein

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198736134.003.0020
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date: 25 September 2017

When patients conclude active cancer therapy, many experience an elevated degree of awareness and worry about disease recurrence. For most patients, this anxiety is intermittent and tolerable, but for others, it is quite disruptive. Patients’ psychological and cognitive difficulties are not systematically explored during routine medical visits. Receiving the news of cancer recurrence is enormously difficult and so is the disclosure of news for the oncologist. The chapter provides practical tips for disclosing prognostic information. Physicians can and should pay particular attention to patients’ overall quality of life, rather than focusing solely on the medical reality, and strive to balance their own communicative preferences and strategies with the needs of their patients, tailoring their process of disclosing news of recurrence to patients’ expressed preferences in order to facilitate coping and sustain the therapeutic alliance.

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