We don’t remember days, we remember moments
It’s always a delightful moment to see the smile on a patient’s face, when they conquer breast cancer.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Indian women now. The most common presentation of this condition is in the form of a painless lump in the breast. Early diagnosis of this dreaded condition can lead to complete cure. So, don’t ignore a lump in the breast as it could be cancer.
A common problem that I face during my practice is that some patients refuse to get biopsies done when they are detected with a breast lump. The reason behind this misconception is that they feel that the cancer will start to spread after the biopsy.
Patients need to be explained that this is a myth and there is no scientific data to support this misconception. Also patients need to understand that it is not possible for doctors to come to a diagnosis of breast cancer, unless a biopsy is performed.
Hair loss during chemotherapy can be a huge psychological and physical blow to a lady. Today, we tried the Paxman scalp cooling device on two of our chemotherapy patients. This device leads to vasoconstriction of the scalp vessels and reduces hair loss during chemo.
Studies done using the device report a 70% reduction in hair loss with Paclitaxel based chemotherapy ( used for breast cancer, ovarian cancer) and a 30% reduction in hair loss with adriamycin (used for breast cancer) based chemotherapy.
The relationship between doctors and their patients has received philosophical and spiritual attention since the time of Hippocrates and still remains a keystone of care. But, unfortunately over the years, this special relationship has undergone a drastic transition. The onus for this actually lies on both the parties. On one hand, increasing number of litigations and the irrational use of social media has made the doctor fraternity more cautious while on the other, many patients claim that doctors treat them as consumers and the healing touch and warmth has gone.
Bobby Fischer once said “Nothing is so healing as the human touch”. As a doctor, it’s very important to counsel & interact with patients, so that their fears regarding the disease can be alleviated.
As a cancer surgeon, I feel that a healing touch is as important as a good surgical hand. Every doctor should make a sincere effort to strike a healthy relationship with their patients.
May the force be with you!!
(This was a card I recently received from one of may patient’s, whom I had treated for cancer)