Saturday, September 29, 2007

Cancer Treatment: Tell or not tell?

Dealing with a disease like cancer can be a very traumatic experience both for the patient and the family. However, different cultures have their own beliefs about life and death, and understanding these differences should guide doctors and family in the way the treat and deal with this trauma. Therefore, how do people in your culture view the treatment of cancer? Does your view of death and the afterlife influence what you say to cancer patients? Do people openly tell the person they have cancer? Share your personal experiences and ideas on this topic.

Randall

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is true that cancer is a very traumatic and devastating disease. If you learn suddenly that a love one is afflicted with this most dreaded disease it could easily make you feel as if the world has already crushed on you. It's as if your world has suddenly changed. That no matter what the doctor will say, one would always feel scared and will continue to fear of what's going to happen next. To tell or not to tell, I think, depends on what the circumstances are for each individual. Sometimes, the patient is strong enough and we think that it would be helpful for him or her to know about the condition but sometimes there are cases where it is more beneficial for the patient not to know.

Anonymous said...

I would like to express a brief account of my own experience. AS everyone knows , "Men Are Mortal",however man do value their physical and mental cirscumstances of external and internal Disturbances. Now my grandfather is facing the disease so called brutal no.1 killer tounge cancer. He is sustainable with the help of
gana medicine.Thank you. I would like to tell about my story as much time as I get from my busy days.

kyungin said...

I had a experience about this. My father had a cancer. He was operated and two times a year he is checked. It was very big shock for our family. But at that time our family realized the important of father. Before I knew my father's condition, I had never said "I love father" to him. So I think that doctors let a patient and his family know the truth is better.

Anonymous said...

The doctors suspect that my uncle may suffer from pancreatic cancer but we still don't know the final diagnosis or my uncle and aunt don't tell us the truth. Anyway they seem to be very stressed by all the situation, when my uncle called my mother on the Christmas day his voice was trembling. They are both terribly afraid of this illness and of his potential death. When they are together at home they don't almost talk one to another, they try not to look one at another and my uncle said that he could die at the moment after having eaten the Christmas meal preapared by my aunt. They were both thinking that it was their last Christmas together. If they don't want to, they don't have to tell us about the dire prognosis but if my uncle dies we will know the truth.

Anonymous said...

In my personal experience is better if the pacient knows the illness that he has for several reasons.
The first reason is because the patient can be all that he can to save his life, for example take his pills or attent some treatments.
Second, is better if the family try to help their relative that is sick, the family is the base and the family give us force to survive.
Third, the cancer is a very traumatic illness, the patients suffer a lot and also the family.

Anonymous said...

well in my personal experience i think that the illness should be informed to the patient and also to the family, because in my case my older sisters tried to encover my mom disease (i was 16), she died because of a kidney cancerwith methastasis , but i didn´t know it was a terminal disease until my mom died, this was really difficoult for me because i always thought that my mother would be ok and someday she would be recovered but it wasnt like that and the shock was even harder for me because i wasn´t informed. I really miss her and i would like to have had say goodbye in a different way

Marisol said...

In my point of view, I consider that to inform the patient about his desease is very important for several reasons. First because if he knows about his desease, he can help with the treatment, I mean he can cooperate. In addition if he knows about it, he can try to find other ways to feel better. In my country in Mexico, in general the patients know about their desease, some cooperate with the problem and others prefer enjoy their last days. The core is to do their last days the best.

Juan Ysimura said...

such bizarre disease was killing people, is killing people, and will be killing people. Nobody is safe to get this disease. furthermore, this sickness is unpredictable. Even people who have been in good shape their whole life can get this illness, so we have to be prepare in a mentally, spiritually, and emotionally manner. we have to know how to deal with the crab.

jen said...

I think it is very important to tell the patient what's going on because if you don't, he can't be carefull with his life.When you finish to tell him what's wrong,you suppose to protect him because he can be very violent.

Anonymous said...

Everyone is bound to die after birth. Death is a natural law and it is objective. Imagin what would the world be if we live forever!

There are so many ways to death and cancer is just one of these ways. Personnally, I don't fear death because I think death is a starting point of a new life! In my opinion, what is important to us is not the quantity of life but the quality. When we are alive, we should appreciate every day i.e. hard working, caring more about our familly members and helping others in tire conditions. Then when we face to terminal illness like cancer, we have no regrets to our life so we don't fear death. God tells us that we die and suffer because we are guilty. So, when I were diagnosed with cancer, I would pray to God to reduce the suffering and calmly face to death.

In conclusion, there is no use to fear the death when we suffer from cancer. What we should do are to ponder the meaning of life and to persuade our familly members to face calmly to our situation and encourage them to appreciate every day of their life.

YANNIA said...

AS SAID RANDAL IN HIS COMMENTARY, THE CANCER CAN BE A DIRE EXPERIENCE, FOR BOTH THE PATIENT, AND THE FAMILY. IN FACT, IN MY FAMILY NEVER HAD APPEARED A CANCER CASE UNTIL TWO YEARS AGO, WHEN MY SECOND BROTHER FELL ILL AND DOCTORS DIAGNOSED HIM A THROAT CANCER. HE WAS MY LAST BROTHER ALIVE AND FOR HIS KIDS, HIS WIFE AND I, WAS A SITUATION NOT TOO EASY TO ACCEPT. LUCKYLY IT WAS A RELATIVELY SHORT SUFFERING. AFTER AN OPERATION TO EXTIRPATE THE TUMOR, FINALLY HE PASSED AWAY. THEY WERE THREE MONTHS IN WHICH WE SAW SLOWLY EXTINGUISH HIMSELF, AS A CANDLE. HOWEVER, HE HAD A GOD APPROACH, WHICH ALLOWED HIM TO HAVE A VERY CALM END AND PEACEFULLY, WITH HIMSELF, HIS FAMILY AND FRIENDS.
THE FACT IS THAT DOCTORS HAD INFORMED TO US ABOUT HIS DISEASE WAS POSITIVE, BECAUSE MADE EASY TO APPROACH TO EACH OTHER SHARE WITH HIM MANY EMOTIONS AND FEELINGS THAT PERHAPS IN OTHER CIRCUMSTANCES NEVER WOULD SHARE.
YANNIA

Anonymous said...

Hello my name is Joel and I think that doctors must tell their patients about what they have and what they would happen with them.

Anonymous said...

hi.. I´m Meloni, i think that cancer is a very dangerous desease that can change our lives and the lives of our family, and friend exist diferents factors that can cause canser!but exists a lot of treatements that may be don´t disapear the canser but can help to control this desease!! maybe some types of cancer are terminal but Only God can heal any disease and cancer if you have faith

omarmosqueralozano said...

In my country Ecuador the cancer is very common and I think the doctors always said the true becaues if a person with cancer know that have cancer the person can look for help so Is necessary to know the true but cancer is a very bad disease I f you have cancer you have to follow God and trust in him but no only in problems you always have to follow and trust in him.

Anonymous said...

Cancer in Ecuador exist a lot and always said the diagnostic of the person that have cancer
sebastian garzon

Robert said...

The Cancer Treatment in my country is very hard, becouse the cure, or treatment damage all the spirit and auto-confidence. So in my country some persons that really are scare about the cancer prefer not follow any medication and treatment, becouse they prefer to enjoy all the life that have until they died. In my country, the doctors don't have fear to say to their patients that they have cancer. And if i will sick with cancer i would like died to live with a medication that damages my self.

Carlos said...

My sister had cancer. She was 22, and underwent for two years in chemotherapies and radiotherapies sessions. However, she faced that battle, and is very well now. When we realize that her disease wasn’t a simple flu, accompanied with a high fever, we all literally became paralyzed. The world became darker for all of us, and every little situation seam to be a big challenge. But she is gorgeous and taught us how powerful the life is. At that time, she supposed to be the weakest of us, due to her quite vulnerable heath situation. But, she faced everything and everybody with her power. She took uncountable radiotherapies sessions by bus and after, she yet went to the school. The doctors always were sincere with her. She never was discredited by the doctors, but they always were very direct with her, saying exactly the words they needed to convince her that if she didn’t undergo the treatment, she would die. Now, she is in a very good situation, living in Australia. That’s my little sister.

Anonymous said...

The disaster of our century, cancer. Even its name is enough to give us the creeps. So it requires the coopartion of patients and families. İ think, both of them have the right of knowing . When everybody has idea about the situation, things,probably, gets better. Together they can keep the patient away from demoralizing. Morale is the biggest power in fighting against cancer. And families have it. "hndsss"

daossa59 said...

Although the disease has been strongly related with death, during the last years medical advances has let us to know in advance if we have some posibility of developing cancer. For instance, a couple of months ago my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Fortunately, it was in its first stages which allows my mom to react on time and to begin a medical treatment. A week ago, she had a mastectomy which is the worst thing for a woman, but at least she can be with us for many years more.

Anonymous said...

This a dificult task to answer properly. From my point of view both family and patitent must have the oportunity to know the situation and the actual impact of the illness in their lives. I'm trying to guess how hard the situation might be... but anyway i think they have the right to know and do whatever consequently.

Anonymous said...

hello, I am viviana from colombia, I´ve never had this kind of illness in my family but, it is not necesary to understand how much you can suffer when cancer is diagnosed, and how much you will suffer if your family does not know what is happening to you, is not advisable to hide this feelings because you can find a shelter in your family and friends. In that circumstancies there is not time for heart feelings.

Anonymous said...

hello. I am Erika, from Pamplona, Colombia.
I would like to share my point of view with you respect to cancer treatment.
First of all, Cancer is an awful disease which affects to the patient phisically and psicologically. I consider it is important to tell someone the truth in order to he is prepared and he or she can attack the illness in a good way.
In addition, it is important that the family get on well with that person and give a lot of support, patience and love.
Thank you very much and God bless you.
bye

Anonymous said...

hello, I am Diana Barón, from Colombia.

I would like to express my personal experience about this topic. I had an aunt who died of breast cancer. I can say that it is one of the most terrible illnesses that somebody can suffer since this kind of disease kills slowly and the pain is unbearable. Based on this, I think that it is so important to tell the situation to the patients in time, in order to get them ready for one of the most difficult event in life.

Anonymous said...

Hi my name is Osleyner Diaz cancer is a very traumatic disease that affects not only the person who suffers, in addition to the family, as was my brother suffered from this terrible disease and unfortunately is no longer with us ..... My recommendation is to motivate people who suffer from this problem fulfilling our role as brothers, friends, parent-child pair mates etc

yassir said...

in the colombian people culture that situation about the cancel disease is view like something, which is hard for both patient and relatives, however it is deal with firmness and the truth is confronting for all.
the colombian society has been fighing agains the cancer even there had been made ¨the league agains the cancer¨ this is a organization, which help the people that suffer this illness.
In all case the treatment is very difficult to take for all patients.

Anonymous said...

Hi, everyone, I`m Carlos Espinosa From Medellin Colombia.
I think prevention is the better way to defeat this terrible desease, My grandfather suffered a skin cancer and thanks god he survived, but if he had pay attention of several signs, maybe the disease could have been defeated more easily.

Anonymous said...

The cancer is a disease that represents a huge emotional burden for the person, family and friends. On my family there was a cancer patient and I can say from my self - experience that commend that person to god is the only thing that comforts and gives the family some peace and hope. In Colombia there are several entities responsible for providing services, medical and psychological care to people padencen this illness, however treatments are expensive and some procedures aren´t precented within mandatory health plans, making it harder to deal with the diseas.

Lilian Cabrera

Olga Lucia mejia said...

In my country, Colombia, we are still very fearful about any cancer..my personal experience was with my mother, who is a person very optimistic not only with her disease, but with all around her. So she was very enthusiastic during treatment and it Works! My personal view about death is that the death is inevitable but I hope not to die young, and my mother felt..
In other way, Unfortunately most people are afraid to tell his disease and isolation, which is worse, because it is very important to feel supported to overcome.

Olga Lucia Mejia said...

Hii, my name is Olga Lucia Mejia.
In my country, Colombia, we are still very fearful about any cancer..my personal experience was with my mother, who is a person very optimistic not only with her disease, but with all around her. So she was very enthusiastic during treatment and it Works! My personal view about death is that the death is inevitable but I hope not to die young, and my mother felt..
In other way, Unfortunately most people are afraid to tell his disease and isolation, which is worse, because it is very important to feel supported to overcome.

Samara Herrera said...

Absolutely it is better to know and say the truth; in any circunstance of life people can`t act because the don´t find the real point to begin. Knowing about an own disease, allows taking inmediat care of oneself and provides the urgent posibility to care about the real life sense. One of the most important things in life is the conscience of death because giving its importance to this topic we realy give to live its value. Most of us in the most part of life ignore this reality, going thru life "without living live", some of us die ignoring it, but we can notice this important sense sadly in adverse circunstances sometimes, and maybe despite of physical pain, people live a more honest and good life, in faith, love and hope.
A disease like this expresses in many ways, it is maybe impossible not to see that something is going very wrong, so that, is useless not telling the truth to the family, besides,they represent a necesary and important material and spiritual help. And I want to say finally, that I admire and thank to all the persons who help whose are in need.

Samara Herrera

morristhecalling said...

When diagnosed with fatal deseases like caner, one will inevitably face with the ultimate issue: life and death. The issue always has a strong impact on both the patient and his or her significant others. To me, it's necessary that one be informed of the genuine situation so that he or she can decide how to live with the given time. Of course people respond to the situation very differently. If the patient is kept away from knowing the truth, chances are he or she will miss the last opportunity of living the life wanted and the significant others will suffer from hiding the truth after the patient dies.

Nathália said...

Cancer is today a dire desease that we do not know who will have and who will not have it during life. One of the big worries about this desease is if the person who suffer should know about his own situation or not.

For instance, we do not know the cure for cancer, but most of the people who had cancer survived after made the treatment. In addition, if the desease was discovered early the chances to survive will increase highly.

However, there are cases that a person have a terminal cancer and there is no way to survive. In this situation, I think that the family should tell to the pacient what is happen, because is the right of the person knows what will occur.

To illustrate, my grandfather was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago. In fact, his cancer was diagnosed early, but my father was refusing to say to him what was happening. Despite of the fear of the reaction of my grandfather my father told about the desease and he was upbeat. After this he made the treatment and survived.

To conclude, we know that cancer is a dire desease, but the person who have it should know the truth and after this make the treatment believing that the desease will not take away his life.

Anonymous said...

Nowadays there're more interests of the right for patient. Mostly when there're some patient in comma,
it was a commen sense to make him/her alive even their life is lasting in bed, and the family getting ruined their lifes. So if there're were some comment before the patient was dignosed terminal illness, we have to admire their opinion too. and make them to prepare for how to face their death,how to spend the rest of their life.
If I was the family member, I'd rather share the situation with the patint and try to get over together. However the situation is too bad to cured, I think I have to have more valuable moment with all.

Anonymous said...

Doctors have a psychological role in relation to their patients. I think that if a patient is diagnosed with a terminal disease, the patient's family should know about it. A great deal of prevention should be done to inform the people about terminal disease. People can now go to hospital for free to know whether they are HIV positive or not. That is a great leap forward whose impetus is given by the government. Still, more should be done using the media. Publicities made in partnership with the Health Ministry and the government should encourage people to see their doctor to diagnose whether they are affected by breast cancer, heart disease, or any other disease. This should be so because what is at stake is the future of humanity. If no treatment is found, the number of people peopling a country or the planet might shrink. This is why governments encourage people to make babies.

Alex- Brazil said...

My father has liver cancer. He's, in this moment, following the treatment while he waiting for a new liver, in the other words, he's queued to be transplanted. In the begin it was very hard for us because we didn't know what to do regarding his ill. But, now, one year after, I think we're more experienced about what to do when he get sick and he's following the right treatment. That,s why we believe he'll overtake this situation.

Cheol Min said...

My father and mother passed away 5 and 10 years ago respectively. They were all suffered from cancer. It was hard to see them suffer from the disease. Fortunately my mother accepted Jesus's salvation and was born again just 1 week before she was called to her eternal rest. Thanks to my mother, our family started believing in God. I expect to meet my father and mother in heaven.

Anonymous said...

My father and mother passed away 5 and 10 years ago respectively. They were all suffered from cancer. It was the hard time to see them suffer from the disease. Fortunately my mother accepted Jesus's salvation and was born again just 1 week before she was called to her eternal rest. Thanks to my mother, our family started believing in God. I expect to meet my father and mother in heaven.

Anonymous said...

It dependens on the situation and the patient in the time of happening. However, the petient has the right to know the real situation and make decision what is next to do. It is true life lession to face and experience.

عـــبـــ الأزهــــارـــيـــر said...

we should blieve in God and whatever happen to us is for our benifit

Anonymous said...

its been a year since my family experience this kind of illness. My aunt suffer from lung cancer and it's only takes her 6 months to live after she learned her disease. What makes it difficult for us is that we learned it to late because she keep it to her self not knowing that she has a family back home waiting to take care and nursing her. when we knew it its like the world crushed on us.

Ana Lidia Barrera Verduzco said...

Ana Lidia Barrera
In my point of view, I consider that to inform the patient about his desease is very important for several reasons. First because if he knows about his desease, he can help with the treatment, I mean he can cooperate. In addition if he knows about it, he can try to find other ways to feel better. In my country in Mexico, in general the patients know about their desease, some cooperate with the problem and others prefer enjoy their last days. The core is to do their last days the best.

Anonymous said...

My mother found out that her best fiends and workmate was suffering of cancer.So , from that day, she had to faced the situation and also, to help her friend believe in the future and in her recovery.The biggest pain, as she said, was caused by her son because, even though he was 21, he was suffering a lot and most of the times, trying to sleep holding her mother in his arms.
She died, though, and we all felt a great lose, but no once cpould understand her son.
Cancer is curable but depends on how fast a person discovers the disease.The big problem is that we go to analyses rarely and we discover these diseases too late.
I do hope that God will help people be wise and take the right decision to go to a doctor everytime they feel a pain.

Anonymous said...

I have one friend suffering cancer. He has taken it in a positive and natural way.When I talk to him I do not feel he is sick. I think his positive attitude has been key for keeping him with a healthy look. At the beginning I felt uncomfortable about talking with him because sometimes I felt happy and I forgot he was sick so I thought he would be angry because the way I took his illness. However I realized that this was the correct way for making him feel better.

Anonymous said...

Cancer is a traumatic and scary disease. But we need to accept this brief reality , as everyone knows "man is mortal" . we have to prepare ourselves to the inevitable :we will die. so , we must not get depressed because of this fact. Anyway we will leave this place we call earth and go to where God will be waiting for us. While this waiting, we have to show the best of us. Leave positive actions, smile and simple contributions for others , what will make those people never forget you. If we are here, we need to make some difference, go for you want to, do not wait for it come, live with intensity, show your emotions, do good for others, say what you want and the most important : seize your time, you do not know when it will be taken from you.

Anonymous said...

hi, I think we should thank god that men are mortal. This world is full of misarable and the world after dead has endless happiness. It should be hard to know you will die soon but we all know that our life will end one day. Maybe we may die before our relative who has been diagnosed with terminal disease. The most important point is to be ready to die anytime.

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