asco-logo It usually starts with a phone call: “Doc, can I come and talk to you about something?” The “something” might be erectile difficulties or other side effect(s) from prostate cancer treatment. It might be confusion or indecision about what treatment to agree to. I always inform the caller that any of these issues are better resolved if their spouse/partner is present and ...

Read more...

asco-logoSarah* is a new patient, referred to me because she is having difficulty deciding on treatment for breast cancer. I don’t know much else about her, and a quick review of her electronic medical record tells me that she is 48 years old and has hormone-positive disease in her left breast. There are numerous missed appointments, and it appears that her ...

Read more...

asco-logo As the patient talked, I found myself nodding my head. In so many ways, she was just like me. Highly educated, a professional, a woman who had worked hard and long to get where she was. And then cancer took it all away, or at least that’s the way she described it. She was diagnosed with metastatic cancer one year ...

Read more...

asco-logo I am in the privileged and humbling position of hearing the stories of patients’ pasts. Sometimes the stories are so horrendous that it takes all my energy to stop myself from crying as they recount the brutality of their experiences. I have heard harrowing descriptions of all manner of abuse done to patients when they were children. The abuse was ...

Read more...

asco-logo I see these couples quite often: the man has been prescribed androgen deprivation therapy and his partner is distressed. He no longer has erections, although for some that had been a problem for years. But even then, they tell me, he at least tried occasionally. Now there is nothing. No hugs, no kisses, no hand holding, no touch. The partners are ...

Read more...

asco-logoI had never met the man, but from a brief reading of the notes in his medical record, I knew that this was not going to be easy. Thirty years old with stage III kidney cancer, the notes showed a long history of missed appointments and late arrivals. I had been asked to talk to him about sperm banking and so ...

Read more...

asco-logoThe couples I see for counseling are not always perfect, not that any couples ever are. But when cancer enters the relationship, for some couples, things get ugly and get ugly fast. I believe that we like to think that cancer makes people “better”; that people rise to the challenge and become the best they can be. I think that we ...

Read more...

asco-logo One of the nurses knocked on my door on a quiet Monday morning. “Hey, can you see this patient? I guess it’s not urgent but he’s here now, and I think what the doctor told him just threw him for a loop.” Of course I had time. In my role as clinical nurse specialist in a busy uro-oncology unit, I see men who ...

Read more...

asco-logo Many of the couples that I see in my practice grow closer after the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. I describe it as being forged by the searing flames of this dreaded disease. First, comes the terror of the diagnosis and the fear of losing one’s love. I see it in the eyes of the women and men as they sit ...

Read more...

asco-logo Ten years ago, I first met this patient, newly diagnosed with intermediate-risk prostate cancer. As I walked into the examination room, I was struck by the juxtaposition of his wife, crumpled in a chair and weeping silently, with the patient himself, pacing the 12'-by-4' room with a look of either anger or frustration. This difference in response between the man and ...

Read more...

3 Pages
Join 145,000+ subscribers

Get the best of KevinMD in your inbox

Sign me up! It's free. 
close-link
✓ Join 145,000+ subscribers 
✓ Get KevinMD's 5 most popular stories
Subscribe. It's free.
close-image