The Cheerful Oncologist

Craig Hildreth

Goodbye to ScienceBlogs

Farewell! a long farewell, to all my greatness! This is the state of man: to-day he puts forth The tender leaves of hopes; to-morrow blossoms, And bears his blushing honours thick upon him; The third day comes a frost, a killing frost, And, when he thinks, good easy man, full surely His greatness is a-ripening,…

Dr. Scott Berry, a medical oncologist at the University of Toronto, has written an interesting essay in this month’s Journal of Clinical Oncology entitled “Just Say Die.” His point is that doctors are hesitant to use the words “die” or “death” when counselling patients who are in the process of doing exactly that – dying:…

Exorcising Stress From Your Life

If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time-a tremendous whack. -Winston Churchill Point number one: “Work-related stress can kill, study finds” Point number one again: “The team…

Frying Prostates in Puerto Vallarta

The New York Times has a story published last Friday about American men traveling to Mexico to receive a treatment for prostate cancer that is not approved in the United States. The article implies that this treatment is an unproven entity and may be unethical. I’m not so certain about this, so let’s take a…

Le Mot Juste

When used deftly, words can be incisive tools of communication. Finding the best word to describe an emotion or idea tumbling around inside of one’s brain should be an exciting and rewarding experience. Such mental exercises keep one’s wits sharp while relaying information in a vivid, often memorable manner, such as when Winston Churchill described…

The following is a hypothetical advertisement seen on a community sign, let’s say by a bus stop. ARE YOU EXPERIENCING ANY OF THESE SYMPTOMS? *chest pain, pressure, discomfort, tightness or squeezing, with or without nausea / sweating *inability to breathe *loss of consciousness *worst headache of your life including at least the past six incarnations…

The Right Kind of Blood

“You should think it over – you’d feel so much better if you took a transfusion.” My patient lay in her hospital bed, head at the proper thirty degrees of comfort, staring at some private point on the wall across the room. Her anemia had worsened and I couldn’t tell if it was from the…

“Obesity now a ‘lifestyle’ choice for Americans, expert says“ “Waistline grows along with economy“ “Wealth and Waistlines – A new book explains how the obesity epidemic has been shaped by economics, and what we can do to reverse the trend“ The Fattening of America, by Eric A. Finkelstein and Laurie Zuckerman, is a fascinating new…

Three Hundred Easy Pieces

That last post was my 300th since I joined the ScienceBlogs community in August of 2006. I usually don’t comment about my personal life but I must confess to a certain feeling of satisfaction on reaching the 300 mark, as I never thought I’d last this long. Since creating my alter ego over three years…

A study from Duke University reveals that oncologists who hear an expression of emotional concern from their patients respond with an empathic statement only 22% of the time. In other words, patients who share feelings of distress such as anger, discouragement or fear with their doctors are likely to receive no recognition of their suffering…