Improving medical students

How to Communicate with Cancer Patients

Posted by medliorator on July 8, 2008

She recommended starting out with some tenderness. “This is a tender time,” she said. “It can be, ‘Hey, you know you’re great. I care about you. I love you and I’m here for you.’ ”

Healy said it is important to offer plenty of encouragement either in person or in a letter. “I know you can do this. Having cancer isn’t fun. You’re going to face some difficult times, but I know you can do this. You’re strong.”

“One thing you don’t want to do is instantly assume it’s terminal. … Often there is a feeling that people are going to write them off, or they’re going to count them out.”

In her book, Healy wrote, “Banish the following from your vocabulary: terminal, incurable, hopeless and salvage.”

She said she prefers positive conversations. “I liked hearing that I seemed like myself again. It meant that I was in control, and I was able to believe it,”

Finding the right words to comfort cancer patients [CNN]

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