I’m on a bit of a rant this afternoon.
Twice this week I’ve had calls from friends who have asked for a translation. Their cancer doctors have spoken to them about their disease, but they’ve talked “around” the message. In fact, my friends have asked me what certain terms mean because these doctors couldn’t come to grips with speaking openly and in street language and not “medical speak.”
These calls have been filled with anxiety and tears. “Why can’t they just talk to us and tell us what’s going on?”
That is one question I can not answer.
So much of cancer world has changed. Thankfully, part of that has included straight talk from doctors to their patients. In many med schools now, young doctors are being schooled in how to talk to patients. Most family members and patients alike want to know the facts. The facts include the truth. They don’t want “code” words and medical book lingo to get in the way of an explanation and treatment plan.
The people I heard from are educated and although they are frightened because cancer has entered their lives, they are much more annoyed at how evasive their physicians have been when explaining test results and prognosis of their disease.
These particular doctors aren’t doing their patients any favors. The word CANCER has been introduced into their world. It’s time to speak clearly, so they can understand what comes next.