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Communication in non-surgical oncology 

Communication in non-surgical oncology
Communication in non-surgical oncology

Lai Cheng Yew

and E. Jane Maher

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date: 01 December 2020

The non-surgical oncologist is involved in almost every patient’s cancer journey be it at diagnosis, during treatment, at follow-up, at recurrence, through survivorship, and even at the end of life. Communication issues will arise at all of these stages and will need to consider the complexities of the whole patient. There are key communication points when patients shift from different health states (e.g. diagnosis of cancer, completion of initial anti-cancer treatment, recurrence, each time treatment is no longer ‘working’ and disease is progressing, diagnosis of significant, irreversible, treatment-related effects, moving from living with incurable cancer, to dying with cancer). Effective communication is associated with better outcomes including adherence to advice, patient empowerment, quality of life, and survival.

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